375 Aberdeen Ave., Hamilton, ON L8P 2R7 | 905-522-1351 | office@bethjacobsynagogue.ca

Sell Your Chametz!

Sell Your Chametz!

Please download, fill out and return the Sale of Chametz – Power of Attorney form to authorize Rabbi Hillel to sell your Chametz on your behalf.


Explanation of the Sale of Chametz (5779/2019)

According to the Torah, a Jewish person is forbidden to own chametz (חָמֵץ), anywhere in the world, during Pesach, even if it won’t actually be seen or used during Pesach. Chametz owned by a Jewish person during Pesach becomes non-kosher and may not be eaten, even after Pesach. This is why we sell it.

  • In Hamilton, the prohibition of owning chametz begins at 12:11 pm on Friday, April 19th, 2019. (The prohibition of eating chametz begins slightly earlier, at 11:03 am.) The prohibition ends when Pesach ends – at 8:58 pm on Saturday, April 26th.

  • Ideally, a person should finish eating all their chametz and destroy all leftovers before Pesach begins.

  • Since in our days, destroying all of one’s chametz is often difficult, wasteful and impractical, the rabbis have provided us with another way of fulfilling the Torah’s requirement: selling one’s chametz to a non-Jew. Non-Jews have no Jewish requirement to disown their chametz during Pesach, so if we sell them chametz we are not asking them to transgress anything for our benefit; by selling it, we no longer own it ourselves, and no longer risk transgressing anything either.

  • By filling in the attached Power of Attorney, Beth Jacob’s rabbi, Rabbi Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraëli will act as your agent to sell your chametz on your behalf. This saves you the hassle of having to locate an interested non-Jew and negotiating the sale yourself.

  • You do not sell chametz to the rabbi! The rabbi merely acts as an agent, and sells your chametz directly to the purchaser.

  • All chametz to be sold should be gathered together in a special place or a few special places, and clearly marked “chametz”.

  • For the duration of Pesach, the rabbi also rents out the place in your home in which the chametz is being stored – be it a closet, a cupboard, or a section in your refrigerator or freezer – which is why it should be clearly marked.

  • The sale will take place on Friday morning, April 19th, around 11:20 am. Sold chametz must not be moved, destroyed or eaten from this point on, since it will belong to someone else.

  • According to the agreement with the non-Jew, once they own your chametz, they have the right to access it if they want to. The sale is final, not temporary, conditional, or merely symbolic.

  • After Pesach, the rabbi gives the non-Jewish person the opportunity to sell the chametz back to its original owner. Assume it is yours again if you haven’t heard otherwise by 9:25 pm on Saturday night, April 26th. Chances are good you will get it back, but give the rabbi a chance to purchase it on your behalf.

  • To appoint the rabbi to act as your agent to sell your chametz, please fill in the attached form as detailed as possible, and return it in person or by email ( r.hillel@bethjacobsynagogue.ca ). Please hand in your form no later than Wednesday, April 17th.

  • It is customary to contribute some money to tzedakah (charity) when handing in the sale of chametz form. Some of this money will be given to the non-Jewish person as a token of our appreciation for helping us out with our religious requirements. The rest will be given to those in need.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Rabbi Hillel at 905.522.1351 ext. 12 or r.hillel@bethjacobsynagogue.ca .

Pesach kasher vᵉsame’ach!    Have a happy and Kosher Pesach!

Rabbi Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraëli.

Download the authorization form here.

Return completed form by email to r.hillel@bethjacobsynagogue.ca or to the Beth Jacob office no later than Wednesday, April 17th.