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Pesachim 29


QUESTION: The Gemara (29a) cites a Beraisa in which two Tana'im argue concerning one who eats Chametz which is Hekdesh during Pesach. The first opinion says that the person is Chayav for Me'ilah, and the second opinion says that he is not Chayav for Me'ilah. The Amora'im offer different ways of understanding the Machlokes in the Beraisa. According to Rav Acha bar Yakov, their argument is based on the argument between Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Shimon (28b). The Tana Kama, who says that one is Chayav for Me'ilah, agrees with Rebbi Shimon -- since the Chametz will not be Asur after Pesach and will have value at that time, it is considered to have value now. One who benefits from Hekdesh which has value is Chayav for Me'ilah. The second Tana who says that one is not Chayav for Me'ilah holds like Rebbi Yehudah, who says that Chametz after Pesach remains Asur b'Achilah and Asur b'Hana'ah; since the Chametz will have no value, one is not Chayav for benefiting from Chametz of Hekdesh.

RASHI (DH Man d'Amar) asks a question. Even according to Rebbi Yehudah, one should be Chayav for Me'ilah if he eats Chametz of Hekdesh on Pesach. Since the Chametz can be sold to a gentile on Pesach, it has value and one should be Chayav Me'ilah! Rashi answers that it is forbidden to feed Hekdesh to anyone but a Jew, even after it has been redeemed.

How can Rashi suggest that the Chametz could be sold to a gentile? Selling Chametz is a form of deriving Hana'ah from it, and Chametz is Asur b'Hana'ah according to both Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Shimon!

ANSWER: It is only prohibited for a *Jew* to sell his Chametz. The entity known as "*Hekdesh*," however, is not bound by Mitzvos. Therefore, the Gizbar, or the official treasurer representing Hekdesh, is permitted to sell Chametz of Hekdesh to a non-Jew because Hekdesh *is* allowed to receive benefit from Chametz on Pesach (REB YAKOV EMDEN and others).

QUESTION: In the Gemara's final approach to explaining the Beraisa discussing Me'ilah, (see previous Insight), Rav Ashi explains that both Tana'im in the Beraisa agree that one is not allowed to let a gentile eat Hekdesh that has been redeemed. Rather, their argument is based on the argument between Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili and the Rabanan (Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Shimon). The Tana Kama says that one is Chayav Me'ilah because he holds like Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili, who says that Chametz on Pesach is Mutar b'Han'ah, and therefore the Chametz may be sold to a Jew who may benefit from it. The second Tana holds like the Rabanan, who say that Chametz is Asur b'Hana'ah on Pesach, and thus it has no value.

How can the Gemara assert that according to Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili Chametz has value on Pesach because a *Jew* could buy it and derive benefit from it? Even according to Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili a Jew cannot buy the Chametz, because he is not allowed to own Chametz on Pesach! If he buys Chametz, he will transgress the Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei! How, then, can the Gemara say that Chametz has value according to Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili?


(a) Perhaps the Gemara means that according to Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili, one may sell the Chametz to a *non-Jew* on condition that he allows a Jew to have Hana'ah from it during Pesach. In that way it would be permissible to let a non-Jew redeem the Chametz, and thus the Chametz has value even during Pesach.

However, the Rishonim (see TOSFOS, DH Rav Ashi) reject this approach, because if this is the way that Chametz has value, then even according to the Rabanan who argue with Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili, one could sell it to a non- Jew on condition that the *non-Jew* may benefit from it but may not eat it (for instance, he may use it as fuel). It is only forbidden to *feed* redeemed Hekdesh to a non-Jew, but it is not forbidden to allow him to benefit from it in other ways! Therefore, it must be that it is *not* permitted to sell it to a non-Jew so that he (or a Jew) should benefit from it, because we do not trust him and we are afraid that he will eat it. If so, the Gemara must mean that according to Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili, the Chametz of Hekdesh is sold to a *Jew* and not to a non-Jew, and our question returns -- how can a Jew redeem Chametz on Pesach when by doing so he transgresses the Isurim of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei?

(b) TOSFOS (DH Rav Ashi) and other Rishonim conclude that it is permitted for a Jew to own Chametz on Pesach as long as he has intention to destroy it. He is even allowed to buy Chametz, l'Chat'chilah, in order to use it as fuel, according to Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili. The reason for this is because the Isurim of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei are "Nitak l'Aseh" -- they can be rectified by performing the Mitzvah of Tashbisu, destroying the Chametz. Once the person fulfills the Aseh, then retroactively the Lav is uprooted (see Makos 15a, in the Sugya of "Kiyemo v'Lo Kiyemo," RASHI DH Hanicha l'Man d'Tani).

(c) TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ says, like Tosfos, that if a person buys Chametz on Pesach with intention to destroy it, he does not transgress Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, but he gives a different reason. He from the moment that a person begins to be involved in destroying Chametz, his Chametz is considered as if it has been destroyed. Therefore, from the moment that the Jew redeems the Chametz he plans on burning it, it is as if it is burned already and he is not in possession of Chametz.

The explanation of Rabeinu Peretz seems to be consistent with the opinion of RASHI (6b, DH Da'atei Alei), who says that as long as a person is involved in trying to burn the Chametz, he does not transgress Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei. Only if he chooses to delay the burning for even a moment, he transgresses the Isur.

(d) The SHA'AGAS ARYEH suggests another way for it to be possible for a Jew to derive benefit from Chametz during Pesach without owning it and transgressing Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei. One could sell the Chametz of Hekdesh to a Jew by selling it in small increments of half of a Shi'ur at a time to different Jews. When each Jew buys half of a k'Zayis of Chametz, he has not transgressed any Isur, because he does not own the necessary amount of Chametz to be in violation of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei.

Even though we find (Yoma 74a) that transgressing "half of a Shi'ur" of an Isur Torah is also Asur (either mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan), this Isur of "Chatzi Shi'ur" does not apply to Bal Yera'eh for the following reason, the Sha'agas Aryeh explains. Why is it Asur to eat Chatzi Shi'ur of an Isur? The Gemara in Yoma says it is Asur because the small amounts of food are "Chazi l'Itzterufi," they join together to become a proper Shi'ur. This may mean that it is Asur to eat one half-Shi'ur because if the person eats another half-Shi'ur, he will have eaten an entire Shi'ur and will have transgressed the Isur d'Oraisa *retroactively* by eating the first half-Shi'ur. Anything which can turn into an Isur retroactively, is Asur. When it comes to Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, though, even if one acquires another half-Shi'ur of Chametz at another time, one will only be in violation of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei at the point in time at which he has a full Shi'ur in his house at once. The act of having the first half-Shi'ur alone can *never* be Asur, because no matter what one buys afterwards, he has not transgressed anything *until* he buys another half-Shi'ur (since at that point he has an entire Shi'ur in his possession). (The MINCHAS CHINUCH, Mitzvah # 9, comes to the same conclusion about Chatzi Shi'ur of Bal Yera'eh.)

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