Why Don’t People Sell Chometz Gomur?

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Q. I have heard people say they “don’t sell chometz gomur.” Why not?

A. A common method for relinquishing ownership of chometz before Pesach is to sell it, typically through an agent, to a gentile. The chometz remains in the house, in a closed-off area that has been rented to its new owner. After Pesach the agent repurchases the chometz on your behalf (and the rental period ends).

Some poskim have questioned the validity of a large-scale sale, as it appears to be insincere. Nonetheless, most poskim consider mechiras chometz halachically valid, and this has become the mainstream practice for Klal Yisrael for the past few centuries. Nonetheless, there are those who are machmir and do not rely on this device for food that is obviously chametz and prohibited on a Biblical level (see Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chaim 448:13). Instead the chametz is eaten before Pesach, burned, or otherwise destroyed.

For an article on the topic of chametz gamor and to download a PDF product chart please see HERE.

This column comes from OU Kosher’s Halacha Yomis dedicated in memory of Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt’l, Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016). Subscribers can also ask their own questions on Kashrus issues and send them to grossmany@ou.org. These questions and their answers may be selected to become one of the Q and A’s on OU Kosher Halacha Yomis.

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