Pesach vs. Yom Kippur

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By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

                In Vayikra 23:27 the Torah discusses the laws regarding Yom Kippur. If a person eats on Yom Kippur, he is oveir a Lav and is punished with Kareis. On Pesach we are not allowed to eat chametz and if one does, he is punished with kareis. The Chasam Sofer asks the following question. Why were Chazal mesaken to search for all the chametz in the house when it comes to Pesach so as not to come to a chiyuv kareis, but on Erev Yom Kippur we do not have the same takana 

There are a number of answers to this question. The first answer is from the Chasam Sofer who explains that when it comes to chametz, when a person is not segregating himself and the issur lasts for seven days, Chazal were worried that the person may come to eat the forbidden food. They therefore made a takana to do bedikaYom Kippur, which is only one day, doesn’t cause the same concern that he might come to eat. With this yesod the Chasam Sofer explains the posuk in Parshas Bo that says on the first day one must get rid of all sour dough from the home. The posuk then continues and gives the reason, which is because if one eats chametz from the first day of Pesach until the seventh day of Pesach he is punishable by kareis. The key is that the punishment of kareis is for a period of seven days, unlike Yom Kippur, which is only one day.

The second answer is based on Tosfos in Pesachim 2a, which says that only when something is forbidden to be eaten and also assur be’hanaa were Chazal worried since “shema yavo le’achlo.” Chazal were therefore gozeir the inyan of bedika. Regarding Yom Kippur, where food is not assur be’hanaa, there is therefore no chiyuv bedika or biur.

The third tirutz is based on the psak in Rema Orach Chaim Hilchos Yom Hakippurim 612:10 that says that a person is allowed to touch food and drink and feed children on Yom Kippur. We are not concerned that maybe the adult will come to eat from the food. The Magen Avraham asks why is this different than Pesach, where one is forbidden to even touch chametz? The Magen Avraham answers that on Pesach, when one can eat other foods except for chametz, we are choshesh that by handling chametz he might come to eat from it. However, on Yom Kippur, when all food is forbidden, the Chachamim were not worried that a person may come to eat and allowed food to be handled. We can say that here too, when it comes to making a chiyuv bedika and biur, since a person does not eat any food on Yom Kippur, we don’t need to worry.

The fourth and final answer is based on the Mishna Berurah, Orach Chaim 612:32 that explains the reason why one may touch food on Yom Kippur is because there is an “eimas ha’din. “That would be the reason why there is no chiyuv biur and bedika on Yom Kippur, because the person will segregate himself because of the fear of “din.”

May we be zocheh to be mekayem both Pesach and Yom Kippur in Eretz Yisroel with Moshiach.

Do you have a topic or discussion you want to read about? Please send comments or questions to hymanbsdhevens@gmail.com or berachsteinfeldscorner@gmail.com

 

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