How a Gentile Converted to Judaism Because of the Sale of Chometz


rav-moshe-shternbuchThe following story took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, and describes how a gentile converted to Judaism because of selling chometz.  

Now Raavad of Yerushalayim, Rav Moshe Sternbuch was the rov of the community at the time, and every year on Erev Pesach he would sell the chometz of the community to a certain gentile. One particular year, on Chol Hamoed morning, there was a knock on the door of a Jew of the community. Standing there was the gentile to whom all the chometz was sold.

“Hi, I bought your chometz and I have the document that proves this, and now I want to complete the sale and take the chometz that was sold to me. Where is the chometz?”

He went inside and the Jew showed him where the chometz was being stored. Among the items was an expensive bottle of liquor worth close to $500.

The gentile said, “I want the whiskey.”

The Jew responded, “Please, take it. The bottle is yours. But don’t forget that after Pesach, you must pay the full value of it.”

“No problem,” said the gentile, taking the bottle with him.

The Jew was astounded. He never dreamed that the gentile would take the chometz that he bought.

The gentile continued on his rounds. He knocked on the door of a second Jew, again requesting to see the chometz that he bought and again taking something. This continued for ten houses, with the gentile each time taking something with him without any hesitation on the part of the Jewish owner.

On the last day of Chol Hamoed, the gentile approached Rav Sternbuch and said, “Dear rabbi, there is absolutely no problem with the sale, but I want to convert to Judaism.”

The rov responded, “That is fine, but not now. Wait another two days until after the holiday. In the meantime, tell me what happened. What made you decide to convert?”

The gentile related: “My wife is Jewish. When she saw that the chometz was being sold to me, she said, ‘My dear husband, all the Jews are selling you their chometz, but what about me? I, too, am Jewish, and I, too, have chometz to sell to you.’ I told her that the entire sale is fictitious; do I have the money to buy all the chometz? Surely the Jews don’t really want to sell the chometz; they are just making up stories as if the chometz is actually sold. The proof will be if I go to their house and ask for the chometz. Will they give it to me?

“My wife told me, ‘They will definitely give it to you! I am certain that they are selling it wholeheartedly. If you go to this one on Pesach and ask for a bottle of whiskey, he will give it to you.’ I told her, ‘There’s no way! I will test them and see what comes of it!’

“I knocked on the first house, certain that I would disprove my wife and show her that she was mistaken, but I received what I asked for without any hesitation. The same thing happened at the second house and the third and all the houses after that. I knocked on ten houses and asked for something, and they all gave it to me. I said to myself,” the gentile finished his story, “that a nation such as this that is ready to sell its belongings and everything it has in order to fulfill the directive of the Creator…well, let’s just say that I want to belong to this nation!”

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. To comment 1: that’s not the point.
    I Love how Some people alway miss the point
    In life with just a small detail. Get with it.

  2. Dear no 2: Do not expect some people to get inspired by these story although they should.

    We live in a world so assimilated and so insensitive that the only reaction from people is a very superficial one.

    We are in big trouble, Because our well known historical intelligence is beginning to be affected by Assimilation even in frum circles. Goyim usually miss the point of everything they read and so also many assimilated Jews. beautiful story!