The dispersal of pieces of chametz around the home prior to the bedikat chametz (ceremonial search for chametz on the evening before Passover) is not obligatory — the obligation is to search, not necessarily to find — but has become accepted Jewish custom.

Based on kabbalistic reasoning, it is customary to place ten pieces of bread around the home before the search.

On the eve of Passover, when the entire home has been spotlessly cleaned, it is highly doubtful that any chametz would be found in the home. These pieces which will now be "found," will give us "chametz fuel" for the traditional chametz burning ceremony on the following morning. Otherwise, it is conceivably possible for the entire chametz burning tradition to be forgotten.

Two quick tips: 1) Make sure that the chametz pieces are wrapped well, so that no crumbs will be left behind. 2) Remember well — maybe even write down — the locations where you place the ten pieces. If you will end up finding only nine pieces, you are in a heap of trouble!

Have a Kosher and happy Passover,

Rabbi Dovid Zaklikowski