Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day
Shevitat Yom Tov Chapter Seven, Shevitat Yom Tov Chapter Eight, Chometz U'Matzah Chapter One
Although Chol HaMo'ed is not referred to as a Sabbath, since it is referred to as "a holy convocation" and it was a time when the Chagigah sacrifices were brought in the Temple, it is forbidden to perform labor during this period, so that these days will not be regarded as ordinary weekdays that are not endowed with holiness at all. A person who performs forbidden labor on these days is given stripes for rebelliousness, for the prohibition is Rabbinic in origin.
Not all the types of "servile labor" forbidden on a holiday are forbidden on it, for the intent of the prohibition is that the day not be regarded as an ordinary weekday with regard to all matters. Therefore, some labors are permitted on it, and some are forbidden.
These are [the labors that are permitted]: Any labor may be performed if it would result in a great loss if not performed, provided it does not involve strenuous activity.
What is implied? We may irrigate parched land on [Chol Ha]Mo'ed,but not land that is well-irrigated. For if parched land is not irrigated, the trees on it will be ruined.
When a person irrigates [such land], he should not draw water and irrigate [the land, using water] from a pool or rain water, for this involves strenuous activity. He may, however, irrigate it [using water] from a spring: whether an existing spring, or a spring that must be uncovered anew. He may extend the spring and irrigate [his land using this water]. The same applies in all similar situations.
A person may turn over his olives during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, grind them, press them, fill jugs up with oil, and seal them as he does on weekdays. Whenever the failure to perform a labor would lead to a loss, one may perform the labor in its ordinary way without deviating from one's regular practice.
Similarly, a person may bring in his produce [to protect it] from thieves, provided he does so discreetly. A person may remove his flax from soaking so that it will not be spoiled, and one may harvest a vineyard during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed if the time to harvest it has come.
It is forbidden for a person to delay the performance of these or similar labors intentionally so that he will be able to perform them during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed when he has free time. Whenever a person ignores his work, leaving it for [Chol Ha]Mo'ed with the intention of performing it then, and actually [begins] to do so, the [Jewish] court must destroy [the fruits of this labor] and/or declare it ownerless, [free to be acquired] by anyone.
If a person [delayed] his work, with the intention [of performing it on Chol HaMo'ed] and died, we do not punish his son, and cause him a loss. [On the contrary,] we do not prevent the son from performing the labor on [Chol Ha]Mo'ed so that he will not suffer a loss.
[The following rules apply when] a person must sew a garment or build a structure during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed: If he is an ordinary person and not skilled in the performance of that labor, he may perform it in his ordinary manner. If, however, he is a skilled craftsman, he [must deviate from his ordinary practice, and] perform the labor as an ordinary person would.
What is implied? When sewing, he should sew stitches as a weaver would. When building, he should place the stones down, but should not put mortar upon them. One may smooth [plaster over] cracks [in a roof] with a roller, with one's hands and with one's feet as one would do with a trowel. The same applies in other similar situations.
[The following rule applies when] a person has grain that is still growing in the ground, and he has no other food to eat except this [grain]: Although he would not suffer a loss [if he did not harvest the grain], we do not require him to buy what he needs at the marketplace and [wait] until after the festival to harvest.
Instead, he may harvest [the grain] he needs, collect it in sheaves, thresh it, winnow it, separate it, and grind it, provided he does not thresh it with oxen. For any labor performed [during Chol HaMo'ed] that does not involve a loss must be [performed] in a manner departing from the norm. The same applies in other similar situations.
[Food] that one desires to pickle that can be eaten during a festival may be pickled [during Chol HaMo'ed]. If, however, the pickled food will not be ready until after the festival, it is forbidden to pickle it [during Chol HaMo'ed].
One may catch as many fish as one can during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed and salt them all, for it is possible for him partake of them during the festival if he squeezes them many times by hand until they become soft.
One may set beer to ferment during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed for the sake of the festival. If it is not for the sake of the festival, it is forbidden. This applies both to beer made from dates and beer made from barley.
Even if a person has aged beer, he may act with guile and [prepare fresh beer to] drink, for the guile of this act would not be noticeable to an observer. The same applies in other similar situations.
Whenever labors that are necessary for the festival are performed [during Chol HaMo'ed] by professionals, they must be performed in a private manner. What is implied? Hunters, millers, and grape-harvesters, whose intent is to sell their products in the marketplace, must perform these activities in a private manner for the sake of the festival. If these activities are not performed for the sake of the festival, [the products] are forbidden. If they perform these activities for the sake of the festival and the products remain afterwards, they may be used.
We may perform [any labors that are] necessary for the sake of the community at large during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
What is implied? We may fix breaches in waterworks in the public domain; we may fix the highways and the roads; we may dig cisterns, trenches, and grottos for the public; we may dig rivulets so that they will have water to drink; we may store water in cisterns and grottos belonging to the public and may fix the cracks [in their walls]; we may remove brambles from the roads; and we may measure mikvaot. When the amount of water in a mikveh is lacking, we may direct water to it to complete its measure.
The agents of the court may go out to declare ownerless fields that contain a mixture of species. We may redeem captives [taken by gentiles], endowment evaluations, entitlements, and consecrated articles.
We may have a woman suspected of adultery drink [the required mixture], we may burn a red heifer, we may break the neck of a calf, we may pierce the ear of a slave, and we may purify a leper. We may also designate the site of graves whose markings were washed away by rain, so that the priests will not walk there. All these are activities necessary for the community at large.
Similarly, we may judge monetary disputes, cases involving the punishment by lashing, and capital cases during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. When a person does not accept a judgment, a ban of ostracism may be issued against him during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. Just as cases may be judged during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, we may write court documents and any similar articles during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
What is implied? The judges may write an account of the evaluation of [a debtor's property] for his creditor, a statement of the property sold to feed a person's wife and daughters, and a bill of chalitzah and of miyyun. Similarly, we may write any legal document that the judges require to remind them - e.g., a record of the claims of the litigants, or a statement of the concessions they made - e.g., that so and so is acceptable [to testify regarding] my case, that so and so may serve as a judge.
When a person requires a loan and the lender will not grant him the loan on a verbal commitment alone, it is permitted to have a promissory note written. Similarly, a bill of divorce, a bill of marriage, a receipt [for payment of a debt], and a deed [recording a present may be written during Chol HaMo'ed], for all these resemble matters necessary for the community at large.
It is forbidden to write [professionally] during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed; this includes even Torah scrolls, tefillin and mezuzot. Nor may one check [the letters of a Torah scroll], not even a single letter in the scroll kept in the Temple courtyard, for this is not a labor that is necessary for the sake of the festival.
A person may, however, write tefillin or mezuzot for himself, or spin purple cloth for his garment. If he has nothing to eat, he may write and sell to others for his livelihood.
It is permitted to write social correspondence during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. Similarly, one may make a reckoning of one's budget and costs. For a person does not take much care when writing these matters, and this is thus like the performance of a task by an ordinary person.
We may take care of all the needs of a corpse during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. We may cut its hair, wash its shrouds, and make a coffin for it. If there are no boards available, we may bring beams and cut boards from them in a discreet manner inside a building. If [the coffin is intended for] an important person, it may be made in the marketplace.
We may not, however, cut down a tree from the forest to cut boards for a coffin, nor may we quarry out stones to build a grave.
We may not inspect leprous blotches during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, lest the person be declared impure and his festival be transformed into a period of mourning.
We may neither marry, nor perform the act of yibbum during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, so that the happiness of the festival will not be obscured by the happiness of the marriage. One may, however, remarry one's divorcee, and one may betroth a woman during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, provided one does not make a feast for the betrothal or the wedding, so that no other rejoicing will be combined with the rejoicing of the festival.
We may not cut hair, nor may we launder clothes during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. [This is] a decree, [instituted] lest a person wait until [Chol Ha]Mo'ed and enter the first day of the holiday unkempt. Therefore, anyone who was unable to cut his hair or launder his clothes on the day before the commencement of the holiday may launder his clothes and cut his hair during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
What is implied? The [following] individuals are permitted to cut their hair and launder their clothes during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed: a mourner whose seventh day of mourning falls on [the first day of] a holiday- or even if [his seventh day] falls on the day before the holiday, but it is a Sabbath, when it is forbidden to cut hair, a person who returns from an overseas journey - provided he did not travel for pleasure, but rather for business purposes and the like - a person who is freed from captivity, or freed from prison, a person who was under a ban of ostracism that was not lifted until [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, a person who took an oath not to cut his hair, or not to launder his clothes and did not ask a wise man to abrogate his oath until [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
In all the above situations, if any of the persons had the opportunity to cut their hair before the festival but failed to do so, they are forbidden from doing so [during Chol HaMo'ed].
In contrast, when the time for a nazarite or a leper to shave has already arrived, whether it arrived during the festival or before the festival, they may shave during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, even if they had the opportunity [to shave their hair before the holiday], so that they will not delay the offering of their sacrifices. [Similarly,] anyone who terminates a state of ritual impurity and becomes pure is permitted to cut his hair during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
We may cut a child's hair during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, whether he was born during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed or before [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
The members of the priestly watch serving in the Temple who completed [their week of service] during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed may cut their hair. For the members of the priestly watch may not cut their hair during their week of service.
It is permitted to cut one's mustache during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed and to cut one's nails, even using a utensil.
A woman may remove the hair from her underarms and her pubic hair by hand, or with a utensil. Similarly, she may undergo all cosmetic treatments during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed: [e.g.,] she may paint her eyes, part her hair, apply rouge to her face, and apply lime to her skin and the like, provided she can remove it during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
A zav, a zavah, a niddah, a woman who gave birth, and all those who emerge from a state of ritual impurity during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed are permitted to launder their garments.
A person who has only one garment should wash it during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. Hand towels, barber's towels, and bathing towels are permitted to be laundered. Similarly, undergarments are permitted to be laundered during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, because they must continually be laundered, even if they were laundered on the day preceding the holiday.
One may not become involved in commercial enterprise during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, whether one sells or purchases. If, however, the matter is one that involves the loss [of an opportunity] that is not always available after the festival - e.g., ships or caravans that have arrived or that are preparing to depart and they are selling their wares cheaply or purchasing dearly - it is permissible to sell and to purchase from them [during Chol HaMo'ed].
We may not purchase buildings, servants, and animals that are not necessary during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
Merchants selling produce, garments, and utensils may sell them discreetly for the sake of the festival. What is implied? If [the merchant's] store opens to a corner or to a lane, he may operate it in his ordinary manner. If it opens into the public thoroughfare, he should open one door and close the other. On the day before Shemini Atzeret, one may take out one's produce and adorn the marketplace with it, as an expression of honor for the holiday.
Spice merchants may sell their wares in their ordinary manner, in public [during Chol HaMo'ed].
Whatever is forbidden to be done during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, one may not instruct a gentile to do [on one's behalf].
If a person does not have food to eat, a person may perform any task that is forbidden during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed or involve himself in any commercial enterprise to earn his livelihood.
It is permissible for a rich man to hire a poor employee who does not have food to eat to perform tasks that are forbidden during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, so that the worker will be paid a wage with which he can purchase his sustenance. Similarly, we may purchase articles that are not necessary for the festival, because the seller is in need and lacks food.
We may hire a worker during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed to perform a task after the festival, provided he does not weigh, measure, or count [the amount of work he must perform] as he would on an ordinary day.
When a gentile has been contracted to perform a task for a Jew, [the Jew] should prevent him from performing it during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. [This applies] even if the gentile [works] outside [the city's] Sabbath limits. For the people at large know that this task [is being performed] for the sake of a Jew and they will suspect that he hired the gentile to perform it for him during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. For not all people are aware of the distinction between a hired laborer and a contractor. Therefore, [lest a mistaken impression arise,] it is forbidden.
When streams flow from a pond, it is permitted to irrigate parched land from them during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, provided they do not cease flowing. Similarly, it is permissible to irrigate [fields] from a pool through which an irrigation ditch flows.
Similarly, if a pool [was created from water] dripping from parched land, one may irrigate another portion of parched land from it, provided the stream that irrigated the first portion of parched land has not ceased flowing.
When half a row of crops is located on low land and half on higher land, one should not draw water from the lower land to irrigate the higher land, for this involves very strenuous activity.
It is permitted to draw water to irrigate vegetables so that they will be fit to be eaten during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. If, however, [one does not desire to use them until after Chol HaMo'ed, irrigating them] to improve their quality is forbidden.
One should not dig a pit at the roots of a grapevine to collect water. If such pits have already been dug, and they have become impaired, one may fix them during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. Similarly, one may fix an irrigation ditch that has become impaired during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
What is implied? If the ditch was only one handbreadth deep, one may dig until it is six handbreadths deep. If it was two handbreadths deep, one may dig until it is seven.
One may cause water to flow from one tree to another, provided one does not irrigate the entire field. If the field has already been watered, it is permitted to irrigate the entire field. One may sprinkle a field during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. For all these activities do not involve very strenuous effort.
When plants have not been watered before [the beginning of] the festival, they should not be watered during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, for [in this situation] they require much water, and this will lead to strenuous effort.
It is permitted to change [the direction of] a river from one place to another and to open a river that has been dammed. [The following rules apply to] cisterns, trenches, and grottos that belong to a private individual: If he needs them, they may be cleaned and their breaches sealed. One may not, however, dig new ones. One may cause water to flow into them, even when one has no [immediate] need for them. One may make a small pool [for soaking flax] during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
Mice which damage trees may be snared during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. In an orchard, one may snare them in one's ordinary fashion. What is implied? One may dig a hole and hang a net.
If an unplowed field is located close to an orchard, one may snare the mice in the unplowed field using a technique that departs from one's ordinary practice, so that they do not enter the orchard and ruin it. What is meant by snaring them using a different technique? [Instead of digging a hole,] one should implant a shaft in the ground and strike it with a hatchet. Afterwards, one should remove it, leaving a hole in its place.
When the wall to a garden falls, one may build it as would an amateur, put up a divider of reeds, bullrushes, or the like. Similarly, if one erects a guardrail for one's roof, one should build it as would an amateur.
When, by contrast, the wall to a courtyard falls, one may rebuild it in an ordinary manner. If it is deteriorating [and likely to fall], one should tear it down because of the danger and rebuild it in an ordinary manner.
A person may build a bench to sit on or to sleep on. If a hinge, a drainpipe, a lintel, a lock, or a key becomes broken, one may fix it during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed in an ordinary manner. [This ruling applies] whether they are made of iron or of wood - [the rationale is that] this [could result in] a great loss. For if a person leaves the entrance to his house open and the doors broken, he will lose everything within the house. As explained previously, whenever [the failure to perform a task will result] in a loss, one need not deviate from one's ordinary practice.
One may not dig a grave [during Chol HaMo'ed] so that it will be ready for a person should he die; nor may one build a structure for this purpose. If [a grave] is already prepared, one may modify it during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. What is implied? One may increase or decrease its size, so that it will be ready when it is necessary to bury [the intended] in it.
We may not move a corpse or bones from one grave to another - neither from a more esteemed grave to one of lesser esteem, nor from one of lesser esteem to one of greater esteem. [Indeed,] it is always forbidden to do so, even on ordinary weekdays, unless one moves the corpse to an ancestral plot. [In such an instance,] on ordinary days, one may move the corpse [even] from an esteemed grave to one of lesser esteem.
We may not remove worms from trees, nor apply waste to saplings, nor may we prune trees. We may, however, apply oil to trees and their fruit.
We may dig flax, for it is fit to use as a cover [for produce] during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. We may harvest hops, because they are fit for use in making beer during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. The same laws apply to other similar situations.
We may not bring sheep to pasture [on a field] so that they will fertilize the land [with their manure], for in this way one is enriching one's field during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. If the sheep come to the field on their own accord, it is permitted [to allow them to remain].
We may not help them [enter the field], nor may we entrust them to a shepherd who will cause [the herd of] sheep to proceed [from place to place within the field]. If [a shepherd] is hired on a weekly basis, on a monthly basis, on a yearly basis, or on a seven-year basis [to fertilize one's fields by pasturing sheep within them], one may help them enter the field. One may also hire a shepherd [on such a basis during Chol HaMo'ed] to cause [the herd of] sheep to proceed from place to place.
One may move manure in a courtyard to the side. If [the manure accumulates to the extent that] the courtyard becomes like a barn, one may take the manure out to the waste heap.
[The following rules apply when a person] levels the surface of the earth [in his field]: If his intent is to prepare a place to store a mound of grain or to thresh there, it is permitted. If his intent is to till his land, it is forbidden.
Similarly, if a person gathers wood from his field because he needs the wood, it is permitted. If his purpose is to improve the land, it is forbidden. Similarly, when a person opens [a dam, letting] water into his garden, if his intent is that fish will enter, it is permitted. If [his intent is] to irrigate the land, it is forbidden.
By the same token, when one trims branches from a date palm, if one's intent is to feed them to an animal, it is permitted. If one's intent is to cultivate the tree, it is forbidden. From the person's deeds, the nature of his intent becomes obvious.
If it is possible that an oven or a range will dry and [food] can be baked within it during the festival, it may be fashioned [during Chol HaMo'ed]. If not, it may not be fashioned.
One may place an upper layer of mortar on an oven or a range whether or not [it will dry]. Similarly, one may tie the cords of a bed. One may clean a mill, open the hole made in its center, set it up, and build a water conduit for a mill.
We may seal a jug with tar so that the wine [it contains] will not spoil. Similarly, we may seal a bottle with tar, since this does not involve strenuous activity. We may seal the mouth of a jug of beer so that it will not spoil.
We may cover figs [that have been left to dry] with straw so that they will not deteriorate. One may soften a garment by hand [after laundering it], because this does not involve professional expertise. One may not tie the cuffs [of a garment], because this involves a professional activity. The same principles apply in all similar situations.
We may cut the nails of a donkey that works in a mill and we may build a feeding-trough for an animal. It is permitted to cut the nails of a horse upon which one rides and to comb its hair so that it will look attractive.
We may not mate animals during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, but we may let their blood. We do not prevent them from receiving any medical treatment.
Any food or drink that is not usually eaten by healthy people and is taken only for therapeutic purposes may be eaten or drunk during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.
We may not move from [a dwelling in] one courtyard to [one in] another courtyard during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed - neither from an unpleasant one to a pleasant one, nor from a pleasant one to an unpleasant one. We may, however, move from house to house within the same courtyard.
We may bring articles that will be used during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed from the premises of the craftsman [who made them] - e.g., pillows, blankets, and cups. But articles that are not necessary for the sake of the festival may not be brought [during Chol HaMo'ed] - e.g., [we may not bring] a plow from an ironmonger or wool from a dyer.
If the craftsman has nothing to eat, we may pay him and leave the articles in his care. If one does not trust him, we may deposit them in the house next to his. If we fear that they might be stolen, we may move them to another courtyard, but we should not bring them home unless [this can be done] in a discreet manner.
It is forbidden to perform labor on the day before a holiday from mid-afternoon onward, as this is forbidden on Friday [afternoons].
If a person ever performs work during this time, he will never see a sign of blessing from it. We should rebuke him, and force him to stop against his will. He should not, however, be punished with stripes for rebelliousness, nor should he placed under a ban of ostracism.
There is an exception: after midday on Pesach afternoon. A person who works at that time should be placed under a ban of ostracism. Needless to say, if he was not placed under a ban of ostracism, he should be given stripes for rebelliousness. For the fourteenth of Nisan differs from the day preceding other holidays, because at that time the festive offering is brought and [the Paschal offering] is slaughtered.
Therefore, the performance of labor on the fourteenth of Nisan is forbidden by Rabbinical decree, as on Chol HaMo'ed. [The rulings pertaining to the fourteenth of Nisan] are, however, more lenient than [those pertaining to] Chol HaMo'ed.
Moreover, it is forbidden to perform labor on [the fourteenth of Nisan] only from midday onward, for this is the time when the sacrifice is offered. From sunrise until noon, [the practice] is dependent on [local] custom. In places where it is customary to perform labor, one may. In places where it is not customary to perform labor, one may not.
Even in a place where it is customary to perform labor, one should not begin the performance of a task on the fourteenth [of Nisan], even though one could complete it before noon.
There are, however, three exceptions to this principle: tailors, barbers, and launderers. With regard to other craftsmen, if they began before the fourteenth, they may finish before noon. [The rationale for this distinction is that] the people at large do not have a great need for other labors [for the sake of the holiday].
When a person journeys from a place where it is customary to perform [labor on the fourteenth] to a place where it is not customary to perform [labor], he should not perform [labor] in a settled region, lest [this cause] strife. He may, however, perform labor in the desert.
When a person journeys from a place where it is not customary to perform [labor on the fourteenth] to a place where it is customary to perform [labor], he should not perform [labor at all]. To a person [who journeys], we apply the stringencies observed in the place that he left and those observed in the place where he arrives.
Even though [he is prohibited to perform work], he should not make it appear to [the local people] that he is idle because of a prohibition. For a person should never deviate [from local custom], lest strife arise.
Similarly, a person who intends to return to his place should follow the customs of the inhabitants of his place, whether stringent or lenient. He should not, however, be seen [conducting himself contrary to the local custom] by the inhabitants of the place where he is located, lest strife arise.
[In contrast to Chol HaMo'ed,] we may bring articles to and from the homes of craftsmen on the fourteenth of Nisan after midday, even though they are not needed for the festival. We may rake manure from under the feet of livestock and take it out to the dung heap.
We may make a nest for chickens. When a chicken that sat on eggs for three days or more dies, we may place another chicken on the eggs on the fourteenth [of Nisan], so that they will not spoil. During [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, by contrast, we may not place [a chicken on the eggs]. If [a chicken] leaves the eggs on which it is sitting during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, one may return it to its place.
Anyone who intentionally eats an olive's size [כזית, or more] of chametz on Pesach from the beginning of the night of the fifteenth [of Nisan] until the conclusion of the day of the twenty-first [of Nisan] is liable for כרת, as [Exodus 12:15] states: "Whoever eats leaven... will have his soul cut off."
[Should one eat this amount of chametz] unintentionally, one is liable to bring a fixed sin offering [as atonement].
[The above applies] equally to one who eats chametz and one who converts it into a liquid and drinks it.
On Pesach, it is forbidden to derive any benefit from chametz, as [Exodus 13:3] states: "Do not eat (לא יאכל) chametz"; i.e., it is not permitted [to be used to derive benefit that leads to] eating.
A person who leaves chametz within his property on Pesach, even though he does not eat it, transgresses two prohibitions: [Exodus 13:7] states: "No leavening agent may be seen in all your territory" and [Exodus 12:19] states: "No leavening agent may be found in your homes."
[Though the prohibitions stated in these verses apply to שאור,] it is the same prohibition which forbids both חמץ (leaven) and שאור (a leavening agent).
[A violator] is not lashed for [transgressing the prohibitions] not to have [chametz] seen [in his possession] and not to have [chametz] found [in his possession] unless he purchased chametz on Pesach or [caused flour] to become leavened, and thus committed a deed.
However, if he possessed chametz before Pesach, and when Pesach came he did not destroy it and left it in his possession, even though he transgresses two prohibitions, according to the Torah, he is not lashed, for he did not perform a deed. [Nevertheless,] he is given "stripes for being rebellious."
It is prohibited to ever benefit from chametz [that a Jew] possessed during Pesach. This prohibition is a penalty instituted by the Sages. Since the person transgressed [the prohibitions against chametz] being found and being seen [in his possession], they prohibited its use.
[The above applies] even if he inadvertently left [the chametz in his possession during Pesach] or was forced to do so. [These stringencies were instituted] lest a person leave chametz in his possession during Pesach in order to benefit from it after Pesach.
If, on Pesach, even the slightest amount of chametz becomes mixed together with another substance, either of its kind or not of its kind, [the entire mixture] is forbidden.
Though it is forbidden to benefit from chametz which a Jew possessed on Pesach, if it became mixed with another substance, whether of its kind or not of its kind, it is permitted to be eaten after Pesach. [The Sages] only penalized and forbade [the use of] chametz itself. A mixture [containing chametz possessed on Pesach] is permitted to be eaten after Pesach.
One is liable for כרת only for eating chametz itself. However, a person who eats a mixture containing chametz--for example, Babylonian kotach, Median beer, or similar mixtures which contain chametz--[is punished by] lashes and is not liable for כרת [for this involves the transgression of a different commandment], as [Exodus 12:20] states: "Do not eat any leaven."
When does the above apply? When the person consumed an olive size of chametz [while eating] from the mixture within the time it takes to eat three eggs or less. Then, he is obligated for lashes by the Torah. However, if he does not consume an olive size of chametz from the mixture in less time than it takes to eat three eggs, even though such eating is forbidden, he is not [punished by] lashing. Rather, he is given "stripes for being rebellious."
Eating even the slightest amount of chametz itself on Pesach is forbidden by the Torah as [Exodus 13:3] states: "Do not eat [leaven]." Nevertheless, [a person who eats chametz] is not liable for כרת, nor must he bring a sacrifice for anything less than the specified measure, which is the size of an olive.
A person who intentionally violates the prohibition and eats less than an olive size of chametz is given "stripes for being rebellious."
It is forbidden to eat chametz on the day of the fourteenth [of Nisan] from noon onward--i.e., from the beginning of the seventh hour of the day. Any person who eats chametz during this time is punished by lashes according to Torah law, as [Deuteronomy 16:3] states: "Do not eat any leaven with it "; i.e., together with the Paschal sacrifice.
Based on the oral tradition, we received the interpretation of that statement as: Do not eat any chametz during the time which is fit to slaughter the Paschal sacrifice, that being the afternoon--i.e., after midday.
The Sages forbade the eating of chametz from the beginning of the sixth hour in order to prevent infringement upon a Torah commandment. Thus, from the beginning of the sixth hour, it is forbidden to eat or benefit from chametz, based on Rabbinic law. During the rest of the day, from the seventh hour on, eating chametz is forbidden because of the Torah law.
During the fifth hour of the day, we do not eat chametz, lest the day be cloudy and we err between the fifth and six hours. However, there is no prohibition against benefiting from chametz during the fifth hour.
Therefore, Terumah and the breads of the thanksgiving offering which are chametz are left in a tentative status because of their holiness. They are neither eaten nor burned until the beginning of the sixth hour. Then, the entire quantity [of chametz] is burned.
Thus, you have learned that it is permitted to eat chametz on the day of the fourteenth [of Nisan] until the end of the fourth hour. During the fifth hour, [chametz] is not eaten, but benefit may be derived from it. A person who eats chametz during the sixth hour is [punished by] "stripes for being rebellious." One who eats during the seventh hour is lashed.
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If you follow My statutes and observe My commandments and perform them: I will give your rains in their time, the land will yield its produce, and the tree of the field will give forth its fruit. Your threshing will last until the vintage, and the vintage will last until the sowing; you will eat your food to satiety, and you will live in security in your land. And I will grant peace in the land . . .