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Pesachim 10


OPINIONS: The Mishnah says that according to Rebbi Yehudah, the time to perform Bedikas Chametz is up until the sixth hour, when Chametz must be destroyed. According to the Chachamim, if one did not search for Chametz at the proper time on the fourteenth of Nisan, one may search during the "Mo'ed" or even after the "Mo'ed." What does "Mo'ed" refer to in the Mishnah?

(a) RASHI explains that "Mo'ed" refers to the sixth hour. If one did not check for Chametz before the sixth hour, he may check after the sixth hour, until nightfall. (However, if one also failed to check after the sixth hour and did not remember until nightfall, then on Pesach itself one does not perform a Bedikah.)

(b) TOSFOS and other Rishonim explain that Mo'ed means literally *during* Pesach itself. If one did not check before Pesach began, then one must check even once the Yom Tov has arrived. If one failed to check during Pesach, then one must check *after* Pesach, because of the rabbinical prohibition that forbids using Chametz after Pesach when it was in the possession of a Jew during Pesach.

QUESTION: Rashi argues with Tosfos on two points:
(a) First, Rashi understands that the Mishnah is teaching us that there is no obligation to check *after* Pesach for Chametz that was in his possession during Pesach.

(b) Secondly, according to Rashi, one does not have to check for Chametz *on Pesach itself*, even when he did not perform a Bedikah before Pesach. From where did Rashi learn these two Halachos?

(a) TOSFOS explains what forces Rashi to make his first point. Rashi is consistent with his opinion elsewhere (2a), where he says that the whole purpose of Bedikah is to prevent one from transgressing the prohibitions of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei. After Pesach, though, the prohibitions of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei do not apply; it is only forbidden to *eat* Chametz, and thus there is no reason to require the Bedikah to be done. (According to Tosfos 2a DH Or, though, the purpose of Bedikah is to prevent one from *eating* Chametz, and therefore it can apply after Pesach as well.)

(b) What forced Rashi to make his second point? The Gemara says clearly that the Rabanan are *not* afraid that one will eat Chametz that he finds while searching for it. If so, even on Pesach itself, and not just on Erev Pesach, one should be required to perform a Bedikah to avoid transgressing Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yematzei!

The RASHASH answers that Rashi derived this second Chidush from the text of the Mishnah. Rashi had no choice but to say that "after the Mo'ed" means after the sixth hour but only *until* Pesach starts. If it means after the sixth hour up until *after* Pesach ends, why does the Mishnah say only that one should check for Chametz "the evening of the 14th, [and if he forgets, then] on the morning of the 14th, [and if he forgets, then] during the sixth hour, and [and if he forgets, then] after the sixth hour?" The Mishnah should have added that if he can, one must check for Chametz *before* Pesach starts rather than waiting for Pesach to start! Certainly it is better to check before Pesach starts, when there is no Isur Kares for eating Chametz, then to check after Pesach starts when there is an Isur Kares of eating Chametz. Why did the Mishnah leave out this extra stage? Apparently there *are not two stages*, because one *cannot* check on Pesach itself!

Although the Gemara tells us that the Rabanan are not concerned that one might eat Chametz while searching for it on Pesach, the RAN explains that this is only true before Pesach, when there is only an Isur Lav not to eat Chametz. However, when there is an Isur Kares (i.e. on Pesach itself), the Rabanan did not trust that if one is looking for Chametz to destroy it then he will not eat it.

QUESTION: According to Rebbi Yehudah, one does not perform Bedikas Chametz on Pesach itself if he failed to do so before Pesach, lest he eat the Chametz that he finds.

We know that having Chametz in one's possession during Pesach is an Isur d'Oraisa of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, while the fear that one might eat Chametz if he finds it is only mid'Rabanan. How can a rabbinical concern override an Isur d'Oraisa of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei? It would seem that it would be better to do the Bedikah and avoid transgressing Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei then to comply with a rabbincial concern!

This is especially difficult to understand since Rebbi Yehudah even exempts a person from Bedikas Chametz during the sixth hour of the day, when eating Chametz is only an Isur Lav! Why is preventing one from possibly eating Chametz (by prohibiting him from searching for it on Pesach) more important that the Lav of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei?


(a) The MAHARSHAL explains that the Gemara is discussing a case when one was already Mevatel his Chametz; he merely failed to do the Bedikas Chametz which is done after Bitul. In such a situation, there is only an Isur d'Rabanan of owning the Chametz (lest one find it on Pesach). Rebbi Yehudah therefore decided that it would be preferable not to perform a Bedikah after Chametz has become prohibited, lest he find Chametz and eat it, transgressing an Isur d'Oraisa.

(b) The MAHARSHA says that even if one was not Mevatel the Chametz before Pesach, one may still not perform a Bedikah on Pesach according to Rebbi Yehudah, because *even before Bitul* one will not transgress an Isur mid'Oraisa of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, if he does not perform Bedikas Chametz. Why is that? Because TOSFOS (21a, DH v'Iy) asserts that a person does not transgress Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei if he is not aware that there is Chametz in his house. Since Bedikas Chametz is done because one does not know if there is Chametz in his house, if he fails to do Bedikas Chametz and there is Chametz in his house which he does not know about, he is not transgressing Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei.

Why, then, is Bedikas Chametz performed? Bedikas Chametz is performed since without it, one may transgress an Isur d'Oraisa by allowing the Chametz to remain in his possession *upon finding it*, if he finds it on Pesach. If so, Rebbi Yehudah is justified in saying that one should not search for Chametz *during* Pesach, since that will just raise the possibility that the person will transgress another Isur d'Oraisa, by *eating* the Chametz.

(Note: The words of Tosfos on 21a do not actually provide clear proof to the Maharsha's principle. Tosfos may consider Chametz left in a place in which Chametz is *normally brought* ("Makom she'Machnisim Bo Chamet," which has a Chezkas Chametz) to be Chametz that *is* known.)

The argument between the Maharsha and Maharshal over whether one transgresses Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei if he does not perform Bitul is also argued by a number of leading Poskim. In OC 433:5, the MAGEN AVRAHAM writes that one *does* transgress an Isur d'Oraisa, like the Maharshal, while the TAZ (433:3) sides with the Maharsha, that one does *not* transgress an Isur d'Oraisa.

(c) Perhaps once the Rabanan enacted that Bedikah cannot be done, then even though one did something wrong in the first place by not doing Bedikah before Pesach, during Pesach he may not do Bedikah even though the Isurim of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yematzei normally *do* apply to Chametz one does not yet know about. The reason for this is that in *this particular case* the person will certainly not transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of Bal Yera'eh because he is forced to leave the Chametz there due to circumstances presently beyond his control ("Ones"), since the Rabanan prevented him from searching for Chametz.

A similar logic is expressed by TOSFOS in Shabbos (4a DH Kodem), regarding the Rabbinic prohibition for a person who put a loaf of bread into an oven on Shabbos to remove it before Shabbos ends. Even though leaving it there will normally cause the person to transgress an Isur d'Oraisa and earn him the death penalty, in this case he is exempt from punishment due to "Ones" since the Rabanan prevent him from removing the loaf.) (M. Kornfeld)

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