Why Don’t People Sell Chometz Gomur?


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.


  1. With the way things work in large supermarket chains (especially in Israel where they are owned by Jews), it is really impossible to avoid eating Chametz that was sold on Pesach. Supermarket owners are aware that many people avoid it. So it’s taken out of the warehouses in the middle of the summer and hits the shelves when people have stopped looking at production dates.
    So you really have a simple choice:
    You can rely on the Mechiras Chametz you arranged with your Rov for the Chametz you own.
    You can rely on the Mechiras Chametz of the supermarket owners.
    Which do you think is likely a better bet?

  2. There are many that discourage the sale of Chametz Gamur due to concerns about the validity of the ale, but the Aruch HaShulchan cited above, and the Tvuas Shor he brings, are not among them. On the contrary, they say that once we are mevateil, it becomes a derabanan, and ha’arama is muttar in a derabanan, even for chametz gamur. Even where ha’arama is assur, it is not because we are afraid the sale is not valid, it is because of the inappropriateness of using that means of circumventing an issur deoraysa. They only prohibit the case of selling animals and their feed to a gentile, where you’re keeping the animal on your property.

  3. Yehuda you missed the point. there is a aveirah m’deorysa to own chometz on pesach. there is a dirabunon to eat it after pesach. therefor some will rely on it after pesach and not on pesach.