Introduction to the Chametz prohibition and its spiritual meaning

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There are several different commands and prohibitions regarding the owning and eating of Chametz on Pesach. There is a positive command to destroy Chametz, two negative commands not to own Chametz, a negative command against eating or benefiting from Chametz, and a Rabbinical command to search one’s house for Chametz. The following chapter will discuss all the general laws relating to Chametz. Further details of Chametz related laws are recorded throughout the later chapters, in their relevant areas of discussion.


Being careful from Chametz protects one from sin:

The Arizal[1] states that one who is careful to avoid even a small amount of Chametz is guaranteed not to sin throughout the year. [This means that his nature will change to the point that he will not naturally do a sin inadvertently. However, regarding sinning advertently, one always retains his freedom of choice.[2]]


The Yetzer Hara:

Chametz represents the Yetzer Hara.[3] Just as Chametz is defined as bread that has risen, so too, the Yetzer Hara derives from haughtiness.


Working on one’s character:[4]

The entire idea of cleaning the house for Chametz is to get rid of bad traits. [Accordingly, one is to take extra precaution on Pesach, and during Pesach preparations, to rid oneself of any bad traits of haughtiness, anger, and the like.]


[1] Mishnas Chassidim Nissan 3:4; Brought in Beir Heiytiv 467:1; Shaalos and Teshuvos of Admur 6

[2] Likkutei Sichos Vayikra 3 p. 945

[3] Zohar Shemos 40b “Chametz is the Yetzer Hara”; Radbaz 3:546; Shelah Hakadosh Bo; See also Kad Hakemech [Rabbeinu Bechayeh] Pesach; Toras Moshe [Alshich] Shemos 12:13

[4] Shelah Hakadosh Bo

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