Is it really necessary to have leaven "removed" from one's property during the eight days of Passover? My plan was to box it up and put it in my shed for the week. Is this acceptable according to Torah? If not, why?


The prohibition against chametz is unique in that not only is its consumption forbidden (as is the case with most forbidden foods), and not only is it forbidden to derive any benefit from it (as is the rule regarding a select few forbidden food items), but we are actually prohibited from possessing any chametz for the duration of Passover. In the words of the Torah: "No leaven shall be seen of yours, and no leavening shall be seen of yours throughout all of your borders."1

According to the mystics, chametz is a metaphor for vanity and arrogance, substances which we must completely be rid of on Passover — the holiday when we embark on our journey to freedom, spirituality, and the Torah. Click here for more on this topic.

Ridding one's home of all chametz or leavened foods during Passover is not simple. Most of us have pantries and freezers which are full of items which are not kosher for Passover. In addition, eliminating all chametz would also include thoroughly scouring every utensil, pan and pot which were used together with chametz items, to rid them of chametz residue.

So the rabbis conceived a halachic device whereby all chametz foods are stored in a closet or room (or more than one), which are then closed and sealed for the duration of the eight days of the holiday. On the morning before Passover the chametz is sold, and the areas wherein they are stored are rented, to a non-Jew. In this manner, the chametz no longer belongs to us, until the end of Passover when the chametz is bought back from the non-Jew.

So your shed would work out just fine!

The procedure of selling and buying the chametz involves many legal intricacies, it is thus necessary to delegate a competent rabbi to perform the sale on our behalf. You can delegate your local rabbi or use an online form to perform the sale.

Incidentally you need to sell the chametz which may be in any properties you own or rent. This would also include your office or business premises. If you have a home on the beach or in the mountains, whether you use it or not, you still need to sell the chametz that is within it, too.

Follow these links for more information about:

Sale of Chametz

Best wishes,

Chani Benjaminson