- Question: [Monday, 3rd Iyar 5783]
I found a Chametz candy bar in my pocketbook after Pesach? May I eat it, or do I have to throw it out?
If you performed a sale of your Chametz through a Rav [i.e. Mechiras Chametz] in a correct time zone, then it is considered to have been sold to the Gentile and you may therefore eat it. This applies even if you were not aware of its existence at the time of the sale and did not specifically write down its location in the document you signed by the rabbi.
If you did not perform Mechiras Chametz, then it must be destroyed either through burning, or flushing down the toilet, as is the rule of all Chametz that was owned over Pesach.
Explanation: The rule is that Chametz that was owned by a Jew over Pesach is forbidden in benefit for all Jews after Pesach. Thus, any Jew who did not perform Mechiras Chametz, all Chametz that was in his possession anytime during Pesach is forbidden in benefit for all Jews even after Pesach. Such Chametz must be destroyed from the world without a blessing just as is the law regarding Chametz before Pesach, in order someone does not come to accidentally eating or benefit from it.
However, all Chametz that was owned by a gentile over Pesach is permitted to be eaten and benefited from after Pesach. Thus, anyone who did Mechiras Chametz before Pesach may eat and benefit without restriction from any Chametz that belonged to them before Pesach and was included in the sale.
Now, the question is raised as to what Chametz is included within the sale and is even Chametz that one was not aware of included in the sale? So, the common sale contracts that are given to the gentile include the following clause: Included in the sale is all pieces of Chametz, which do not have any sales worth, and are not purchasable, they belong to the gentile. Likewise, the Poskim rule that even if one does not mention all the areas that contain the Chametz, the sale is remains valid. Accordingly, all Chametz that one owns is included in the standard sale contract used today. This applies to all forms of Chametz, whether it is big or small, expensive [i.e. bottle of whisky], or worthless [i.e. a cracker or pretzel], known or unknown, it is all included in the sale.
Sources: See regarding the prohibition against benefiting from Chametz after Pesach if was owned by a Jew over Pesach: Admur 448:1-2; Michaber 448:3; Mishneh Pesachim 28a; See regarding that such Chametz should be destroyed: Admur 435:4; Rambam 3:5; See regarding Chametz in areas that one did not mention in the Shetar Harsha: Tzemach Tzedek 46 writes that even if the gentile was not made aware of the areas that contain the Chametz, it is nevertheless valid, as anyways the gentile knows that all the rooms which contain Chametz within them are rented to him, and there is thus no greater sign for him then that, Brought in Shaar Hakolel Seder Mechira 12; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:29; See regarding that the sale to the gentile includes all Chametz: Shevet Halevi 9:116; Mikraeiy Kodesh 1:74; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:211; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; Nitei Gavriel 3:4; footnote 22