Q. How does the OU deal with Jewish-owned companies during Pesach?
A. Jewish-owned companies are not permitted to produce chametz on Pesach. They are required to sell their chametz and cease all operations. To be considered a valid sale there must be “gemirat da’at” (complete recognition that a sale has occurred).
Rav Yisroel Belsky zt”l would not permit a Jewish-owned company to even move inventory during Pesach. The company must understand that the sale is genuine, and the chametz no longer belonged to them.
Rav Belsky was strongly opposed to allowing a “paper sale” of the entire corporation to a non-Jew for the purpose of circumventing Pesach. Such sales are devoid of sincerity and therefore lack gemirat da’at – the basic component that is the foundation of every sale of chametz.
This Matzav.com 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 email@example.com. These questions and their answers may be selected to become one of the Q and A’s on OU Kosher Halacha Yomis.