Storeowner Forgets to Sell Chometz, Has to Burn 30,000 Shekels Worth of Products

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A supermarket owner in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Yerushalayim forgot to sell the chometz in his store, so, in the middle of Pesach, a local rov appeared in the store and ordered the chometz to be burned.

Each year, the store’s mechiras chometz was taken care of by the owner’s brother.

The owner of the store, Gavriel, who resides on Rechov Chazon Ish Street, explained, “Every year, for 23 years, my brother Michoel sold the chometz through the neighborhood rabbonim. Last year, Michoel stopped working in the store, and the responsibility that lay on his shoulders fell to me, but I forgot to sell the chometz.”

On Thursday, the seventh day of Pesach, the rov of the neighborhood, Rav Matisyahu Deutsch, learned that the chometz was not sold. He entered the store at about noon and told the owner that all the chometz, worth tens of thousands of shekels, must be removed. Thus, in the midst of the chag, the entire stock of chometz was burned.

Gavriel said afterwards that the inventory he burnt was worth about NIS 30,000.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

21 COMMENTS

  1. “Forgets” to sell chometz.

    Seriously? Did he forget to put his pants on that morning? Did he put on tallis and tephillin?
    Food store – selling chometz. Every food store owner knows Pesach is coming. Something is not adding up.

    • He was a tzaddik for owning up to it and asking the Rov what to do. That is why we have rabbonim, people are human and mistakes are made. I think you always ask shaalos when a question in halacha comes up. Why not him? Also, there are halachos about what to do if you forget to sell the chometz, so he is not the first one in history to forget to sell his chometz.

  2. That will be the last time he forgets to sell his chometz.
    But in all seriousness ,what a nisayon.
    But the owner should know, that he was going to have a loss this year of 30,000 shekal-how it went was his choice, but had he not chosen to burn it, I’m sure he would have had a fire in his store that would have done 30,000 shekal worth of damage anyway.

  3. I know Gavriel! I used to shop there when I was a bochur. He is a well meaning but simple man. Its very understandable that he would not have known how or what to do, and may have forgotten about it, given that his brother always did it. May Hashem pay him back a hundred times over for his mesirus nefesh and great kidush Hashem!

  4. Does he still have to burn it if he was mevatel belibo on Erev Pesach one hour before chatzos? Obviously he should have sold it lechatchila, but if he was mafkir his chometz, than perhaps he wouldn’t have to burn it bedieved.

  5. This story does not add up. As part of the mechirah process bais din also includes in the sale anyone who either forgot or for whatever reason besides being a meizid did not sell mitaam zochin leodom

  6. So sad!

    “A local rov appeared in the store and ordered the chometz to be burned”.

    I wonder how big this Rov’s shoulders are that he can take such an extreme position on the dime of another Yid.

    Most major poskim are okay b’dieved with bittul b’peh, bittul b’lev and mechiras beis din which has in mind people who forget.

    To force another Yid to do this, when his family’s entire source of parnassah is reliant on that store, is mislead at best and avak retzicha ar worst.

    Vehu rachum yechaper avon!

  7. every Yid sells his private chometz whether he has or doesn’t have anything, just in case. How did he rely on his brother? If someone has chomtetz, he sells it. If he was such an am haaretz, I am proud of him. Just can’t get my head around it.

  8. Catchy,
    This is obviously not the first time in history it has occurred. As per many teshuvos written on the very topic of one “forgetting” to sell chametz. It was usually a case of the local tavern with his whisky etc. As finished chometz products was not around and stocked in those times…

  9. He’s obviously not frum because he was open on the 7th day of Pesach. Yom Tov. That’ll answer all your questions

    • He could sell on credit.
      The Rav apparently did not say anything about being open on Y”T.

      Besides, the story does not say he was open for business that day. It’s just that they walked in, possibly just to look at the damage.

  10. Of course he’s frum. Its a frum neighborhood, there are NO stores open in Ramat Shlomo on Yom Tov. Thursday was erev yom tov.

  11. This story does not add up.
    1. The Rabbanut is proactive regarding chametz sales and reaches out to store owners before Pesach.
    2. In Chareidi neighborhood the makolet usually has a store hechsher. If so it has a mashgiach and he would not forget.
    3. How did the rav of the neighborhood suddenly find out at noon on Erev Shevi’i (not the seventh day as reported)?
    4. From my experiences on Isru Chag I find it hard to believe that he had that much chametz on hand. Who valued it?
    5. Why not just cart it off to East Jerusalem and leave it for the Arabs?

  12. Store owner could have relied upon default clause in Beis Din’s mechiras chametz, had he wished to, even according to one of the Rabbonim who ordered it burned.

    “למעשה” אומר הרב פרנק “בעל החנות יכל להסתמך על ההיתר של פוסקים רבים של זכין לאדם שלא בפניו שאדם שנוהג למכור ורק שכח אז בית דין כותבים שהם מוכרים גם בשביל אלו ששכחו והוא בכל אופן התעקש לשרוף כהוראת הרבנים”.

    http://www.bhol.co.il/132308/%D7%A7%D7%99%D7%93%D7%95%D7%A9-%D7%94-%D7%91%D7%A2%D7%9C-%D7%94%D7%97%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%A3-%D7%97%D7%9E%D7%A5-%D7%91-%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%A3-%D7%A9%D7%97.html?cat=1

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