- When? The custom is that the Chametz which one finds by the search is not burned immediately that night but rather is hidden away to be burned the next day. One needs to be careful to destroy the Chametz prior to the 6th hour, and then recite the Bittul.
- Although one does not transgress a negative command when owning Chametz prior to the night of the 15th, nevertheless, he is Biblically obligated due to a positive command, to destroy all Chametz from his home from midday of the 14th and onwards. This obligation is called Tashbisu. If he did not destroy his Chametz [at that time], then he transgresses the positive command of Tashbisu for every moment thereon.
- The above obligation to destroy the Chametz by midday is only from a Biblical perspective, however Rabinically once the beginning of the 6th hour of the day has arrived one is to destroy the Chametz.
- Today the custom is to destroy the Chametz prior to the beginning of the 6th
- How-Leaving the Chametz in a public area: Prior to the 6th hour of the day, one can free himself from the prohibition of owning Chametz by giving or selling the Chametz to a non Jew, or by disowning the Chametz and placing in a public area.
- If he disowns the Chametz and leaves it in his house or building courtyard or lobby, then he transgresses the Rabbinical prohibition of Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh, as Rabinically the Chametz must be placed in an area that is considered public to all, even after it is disowned.
- Even when placing the Chametz in an area that is public to everyone, one must leave it there with a full heart, without the intention to take back after Pesach. If he intends to retrieve the Chametz after Pesach then it is not considered disowned, and he thus transgresses on its ownership even when placed in the public area.
- After the beginning of the 6th hour, it no longer helps to disown the Chametz in a public area and one must rather destroy the Chametz from the world in a way that no person can get benefit from it, however it does not have to be destroyed to the point that animals cannot get benefit from it.
- How-Destroying the Chametz: After the beginning of the 6th hour it no longer helps to disown the Chametz in a public area and one must rather destroy the Chametz from the world in a way that no person can get benefit from it.
- It does not have to be destroyed to the point that animals cannot get benefit from it.
- Even prior to the 6th hour, the disowning of the Chametz simply refrains one from transgressing ownership once the 6th hour arrives, however it does not fulfill the Mitzvah of destroying Chametz. It is for this reason that we burn the Chametz on Erev Pesach prior to the 6th hour, in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of destroying Chametz with at least some part of our Chametz that we own.
- The following are the valid methods of destroying the Chametz: Initially, the best method to be used is to burn the Chametz until it becomes charcoal. When burning the Chametz prior to the 6th hour, it suffices to burn it until it becomes unfit for a dog, and not until it becomes charcoal.
- If one cannot burn the Chametz it is valid to destroy the Chametz through any of the following methods: Break the Chametz into crumbs and then throw it into the wind or sea.
- If one finds kernels of Chametz then they are to be broken into 2/3 pieces and then thrown. If however there are many kernels, then it should be thrown as is.
- Alternatively, one can place the Chametz in a toilet [and flush it], even if the pieces are large.
- What does one burn: One is to burn any Chametz that he found during the Bedika, including the ten pieces of bread and the vessels used for the Bedika, such as the spoon and candle.
- If one did not find any Chametz during his search, then it is proper for him to burn the vessels used for Bedikah.
- Some have the custom to use the Aravos which were hit on Hoshana Rabah as fuel to burn the Chametz.
- Bittul: After performing Biur Chametz, prior to the 6th hour, it is proper that one repeat the bittul, and nullify once again all the Chametz which he has in his possession. The Bittul cannot be performed once the 6th hour has arrived.
May one throw his Chametz into the garbage can/dump of his building, if it will not be removed until after the 6th hour?
Owned by Jew: If the garbage can is owned by you, or by your building, or by a municipality of Jews, which is the case in Israel, then leaving the Chametz there past the 6th hour is forbidden, and by doing so one transgresses on it [if he did not sell his Chametz]. Thus, the following are one’s options:
1) If one sold all of one’s Chametz in all areas that they are in [as is commonly written in all contracts of Mechiras Chametz today], then the Chametz which was thrown into the garbage is also included in the sale, and therefore he does not transgress owning it. However, in such a case one may no longer use the garbage can over Pesach, as it is considered rented to the gentile for the entire duration of that time.
2) To disown the garbage can and its garbage in front of three people. If the garbage can is standing on ones property, then one is to also disown that area of one’s property. In such a case one may use the garbage can throughout Pesach.
3) To spill bleach or the like before the 6th hour onto the Chametz that is in the garbage can.
4) To break the pieces of Chametz to less than a Kezayis prior to putting them inside the garbage bag.
Owned by gentile: If the garbage can/dump is owned by the gentile municipality, then it is permitted to throw Chametz garbage into it before the 6th hour, as the garbage is automatically acquired to the gentile municipality.
May one barbecue hotdogs or marshmallows over the flame used to burn the Chametz?
The custom is not to do so.
Should one destroy the Chametz himself rather than appoint someone else to do it for him?
Yes. It is best for the owner of the Chametz to burn it than to have someone else do so for him.
Does one need to wait to make sure that all the Chametz is burned?
Before the 6th hour: No, however it is proper to do so. One should verify that at least one Kezayis is burnt in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tashbisu. [This however only applies when the Chametz is being burnt in a public area. If however it is being burnt in a private area, such as the open garage of a private building, then one must verify that all the Chametz is burned.]
After the 6th hour: When burning the Chametz past the 6th hour one must make sure that all the Chametz has been burned. Therefore, one must remain by the fire there until all the Chametz is burnt, as many times if the flame is not stoked it will not penetrate and burn all of the Chametz.
Where should the Chametz be burned; in a public area or in ones property?
There are opinions which say that the Chametz should be burned in ones property, or in a public area but in a vessel that belongs to oneself. This is because once the Chametz is placed in a public property he is no longer obligated Biblically to destroy it, and thus he only fulfils the mitzvah of burning it Rabinically. In such a case however, one must verify that all the Chametz is burned, as explained above.
If one does not own any Chametz, is he to buy Chametz in order for him to be able to burn it before the 6th hour?
There is no obligation to do so, although one who desires to be stringent upon himself may do so, although he may not rule this way for others.
What does one do with the candle/spoon and feather customarily used to search for the Chametz?
After the search one places the bag, together with the feather and any remnant of the candle, in a wooden spoon. All this is then wrapped in paper (except for the spoon handle which remains uncovered), and bound several times with string, which is then knotted. This is then thrown in the fire.
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