SECTION 435 The Laws [Pertaining to] One Who Did Not Search [for Chametz] on the Night of the Fourteenth [of Nissan] (1-4)

סימן תלה דִּין מִי שֶׁלֹּא בָּדַק בְּלֵיל י"ד וּבוֹ ד' סְעִיפִים:

1 A person who forgot to – or intentionally did not – search [for chametz] on the night of the fourteenth [of Nissan],1 must search [for it] on the day of the fourteenth [of Nissan]2 by candlelight.3 [The person] should recite the blessing, [praising G‑d] “…Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the mitzvah of obliterating chametz (al biur chametz).”4 After the search, he should nullify [his possession of chametz]5 if the sixth hour [of the day] has yet to commence.6

א מִי שֶׁשָּׁכַח אוֹ הֵזִידא וְלֹא בָּדַק בְּלֵיל י"ד1 – יִבְדֹּק בְּיוֹם י"דב,2 לְאוֹר הַנֵּר,ג,3 וִיבָרֵךְ "אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל בִּעוּר חָמֵץ".ד,4 וְאַחַר הַבְּדִיקָה יְבַטֵּל5 אִם עֲדַיִן לֹא הִגִּיעַ שָׁעָה שִׁשִּׁית:ה,6

2 If the entire day of the fourteenth passed and a person did not search [for chametz], he should search for it during Pesach by candlelight, i.e., from the beginning of the night of the fifteenth [of Nissan]7 until the end of the last sacred day, which is [celebrated as] one day in Eretz Yisrael and [is celebrated as] two days in the Diaspora. [The person] is obligated to search (immediately, at the time he remembers – see sec. 431[:5])8 – according to all the guidelines for [conducting] the search that were explained in sec. 433.9

[Even during Pesach,] before [beginning] the search, one is obligated to recite the blessing, al biur chametz.10[This applies] even if he already nullified [his possession of] all his chametz before Pesach, in which instance, he is not obligated to obliterate [the chametz] according to Scriptural Law. Nevertheless, according to Rabbinic Law, he is obligated to check and search for [chametz] and obliterate it from existence entirely.11 [The rationale is that] the Sages were concerned that if he did not check and search for [chametz] to obliterate it, he might discover it later as a matter of course, and forget [about the prohibition against chametz,] and eat it.12 At the time [the person] is searching for [chametz], however, even if he finds it he will not forget and eat it, because the entire focus of his [search] is to obliterate it from existence. How, then, will he forget the prohibition and eat it!?13

ב עָבַר כָּל יוֹם י"ד וְלֹא בָּדַק – יִבְדֹּק בְּתוֹךְ הַפֶּסַחו,2 לְאוֹר הַנֵּר,3 דְּהַיְנוּ מִתְּחִלַּת לֵיל ט"וז,7 עַד סוֹף יוֹם טוֹב הָאַחֲרוֹן,ח שֶׁהוּא יוֹם אֶחָד בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבַגּוֹלָה ב' יָמִים, חַיָּב הוּא לִבְדֹּק (מִיָּד בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה שֶׁנִּזְכַּר,ט עַיֵּן סִימָן תל"אי,8) כְּכָל מִשְׁפְּטֵי הַבְּדִיקָהיא שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֲרוּ סִימָן תל"ג.9 (א) וְקֹדֶם הַבְּדִיקָה חַיָּב לְבָרֵךְ "עַל בִּעוּר חָמֵץ".יב,10

אֲפִלּוּ אִם כְּבָר בִּטֵּל כָּל חֲמֵצוֹ קֹדֶם הַפֶּסַחיג שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְצֻוֶּה לְבַעֲרוֹ מִן הַתּוֹרָה, מִכָּל מָקוֹם מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים חַיָּב הוּא לִבְדֹּק וּלְחַפֵּשׂ אַחֲרָיו וּלְבַעֲרוֹ מִן הָעוֹלָם לְגַמְרֵי,11 שֶׁחָשְׁשׁוּ חֲכָמִים אִם לֹא יִבְדֹּק וִיחַפֵּשׂ אַחֲרָיו לְבַעֲרוֹ שֶׁמָּא יִמְצָאֶנּוּ מֵאֵלָיו וְיִשְׁכַּח וְיֹאכְלֶנּוּ.יד,12 אֲבָל בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהוּא מְחַפֵּשׂ אַחֲרָיו אַף אִם יִמְצָאֶנּוּ לֹא יִשְׁכַּח וְיֹאכְלֶנּוּ, שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל עַצְמוֹ אֵינוֹ מְחַזֵּר אַחֲרָיו אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לְבַעֲרוֹ מִן הָעוֹלָם, וְאֵיךְ יִשְׁכַּח אִסּוּרוֹ וְיֹאכְלֶנּוּ:טו,13

3 When one checks and searches for chametz on the sacred days of the holiday, whether on the first day(s) [of the holiday] or the last day(s) [of the holidiay], even on the last sacred day observed in the Diaspora, if he actually finds chametz during his search, he should not touch it. Instead, he should cover [the chametz] with a container until the evening14 so that it will not be visible, and thus he will not come to partake of it. In the evening [following the sacred days], he must obliterate [the chametz], as will be explained in sec. 446[:5-6]. Consult that source regarding all the details of this law.

(On the Shabbos during Pesach, one should not search [for chametz] at all. [The rationale is that] the search [for chametz] may only be [conducted] by candlelight,15 and on Shabbos, it is forbidden to carry a candle. See sec. 444[:1].)16

ג וּכְשֶׁהוּא בּוֹדֵק וּמְחַפֵּשׂ אַחַר הֶחָמֵץ בְּיוֹם טוֹב עַצְמוֹ, בֵּין בְּיוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן בֵּין בְּיוֹם טוֹב הָאַחֲרוֹן, אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם טוֹב הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁל גָּלֻיּוֹת, וּמָצָא חָמֵץ בִּבְדִיקָתוֹ – לֹא יִגַּע בּוֹ, אֶלָּא יִכְפֶּה עָלָיו כְּלִיטז עַד הָעֶרֶב,14 כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מְכֻסֶּה מִן הָעַיִן וְלֹא יָבוֹא לֶאֱכֹל מִמֶּנּוּ,יז וְלָעֶרֶב יְבַעֲרֶנּוּ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תמ"ו,יח עַיֵּן שָׁם כָּל פְּרָטֵי דִּין זֶה.

(אֲבָל בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁבְּתוֹךְ הַפֶּסַח לֹא יִבְדֹּק כְּלָל,יט שֶׁאֵין בְּדִיקָה אֶלָּא לְאוֹר הַנֵּר,15 וּבְשַׁבָּת אָסוּר לְטַלְטֵל אֶת הַנֵּר, עַיֵּן סִימָן תמ"דכ,16):

4 If the entire festival passed without [the person] searching [for chametz], he is obligated to search after the festival17 by candlelight, so that he can obliterate (from existence entirely – as will be explained in sec. 445[:4-12] –) all the chametz that he finds in his search. [This is necessary because] it is forbidden to benefit from this [chametz] [even after Pesach] because [it was in the possession of a Jew] during Pesach, as will be explained in sec. 448[:1]. If [the person] does not check and search for [chametz] in order to obliterate it, there is room for concern that he will happen upon [the chametz], forget [that he may not benefit from it], and [unwittingly] partake of it.

One should not recite a blessing on the search conducted after Pesach, for how can he bless [G‑d for commanding us] “concerning the obliteration of chametz,” when he [himself] is eating chametz? The reason [the person] is commanded and obligated to obliterate this chametz [that was in his possession] during Pesach is only because of a concern for a mishap, lest he come to partake of it. There is, however, no mitzvah at all in the obliteration of this [chametz], for [once Pesach has passed], even if he were to leave [this chametz] in his house and not obliterate it, he would not violate the prohibitions against having [chametz]seen [in his domain] and possessing [chametz], even according to Rabbinic Law. It is only that [by failing to search for and obliterate this chametz after Pesach, the person] is considered as one who violates the instructions of our Sages, who prohibited leaving [this chametz in his home] so that he will not confront a stumblingblock [and inadvertently] eat it.18 If, however, there would be no concern about such a stumblingblock, there would be absolutely no prohibition in retaining this [chametz]. Therefore, a blessing should not be recited for obliterating this [chametz]. ([To cite a parallel, it is] like one who kills fowl that were attacked [by predators], which are forbidden to be left [alive] lest they present a stumblingblock, as explained in Yoreh Deah, sec. 57.19 One should not recite a blessing for removing [such fowl] from one’s home.)

When, by contrast, one searches for and obliterates [chametz] during Pesach, the obliteration fulfills a mitzvah, as it is written:20 “Obliterate s’or from your homes.” [Moreover,] if one does not obliterate [the chametz in his home], he violates the prohibitions against having [chametz]seen [in his domain] and possessing [chametz]. Even if he already nullified [his possession of] all his chametz before Pesach, in which instance, he is not commanded to obliterate it according to Scriptural Law, nevertheless, since the Sages decreed that nullification alone is not effective at all for known reasons,21 it is as if [one’s possession of] this chametz was not nullified and [hence, the person] violates the prohibitions against having [chametz]seen [in his domain] and possessing [chametz] according to Rabbinic Law. Moreover, according to Rabbinic Law, the mitzvah to obliterate chametz also applies. Therefore, before searching, one should recite the blessing, [praising G‑d “…Who…] commanded us concerning the mitzvah of obliterating chametz.

ד עָבַר כָּל הָרֶגֶל וְלֹא בָּדַק – חַיָּב לִבְדֹּק לְאַחַר הָרֶגֶלכא,17 לְאוֹר הַנֵּר,כב כְּדֵי לְבַעֵרכג (מִן הָעוֹלָם לְגַמְרֵי, עַל דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תמ"הכד) כָּל חָמֵץ שֶׁיִּמְצָא בִּבְדִיקָתוֹ, שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָהכה מִשּׁוּם שֶׁעָבַר עָלָיו הַפֶּסַח, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תמ"ח,כו וְאִם לֹא יִבְדֹּק וִיחַפֵּשׂ אַחֲרָיו כְּדֵי לְבַעֲרוֹ – יֵשׁ לָחֹשׁ שֶׁמָּא יִמְצָאֶנּוּ מֵאֵלָיו וְיִשְׁכַּח וְיֹאכְלֶנּוּ.כז

וְעַל בְּדִיקָה שֶׁלְּאַחַר הָרֶגֶל לֹא יְבָרֵךְ כְּלוּם,כח כִּי אֵיךְ יְבָרֵךְ "וְצִוָּנוּ עַל בִּעוּר חָמֵץ", וַהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹכֵל חָמֵץ.כט וּמַה שֶּׁהוּא מְצֻוֶּה וּמְחֻיָּב לְבַעֵר חָמֵץ זֶה שֶׁעָבַר עָלָיו הַפֶּסַח, אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם חֲשַׁשׁ תַּקָּלָה,ל שֶׁלֹּא יָבֹא לְאָכְלוֹ, אֲבָל הַבִּעוּר הַזֶּה מִצַּד עַצְמוֹ אֵין בּוֹ מִצְוָה כְּלָל, שֶׁהֲרֵי אַף אִם מַשְׁהֶה אוֹתוֹ בְּבֵיתוֹ וְאֵינוֹ מְבַעֲרוֹ – אֵינוֹ עוֹבֵר עַל שְׁהִיָּה זוֹ מִצַּד עַצְמָהּ בְּ"בַל יֵרָאֶה" וּבְ"בַל יִמָּצֵא" אֲפִלּוּ מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, אֶלָּא שֶׁנִּקְרָא עוֹבֵר עַל דִּבְרֵי חֲכָמִים שֶׁאָסְרוּ לְשַׁהוֹתוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יָבֹא לִידֵי מִכְשׁוֹל אֲכִילָה.18 אֲבָל אִם לֹא הָיִינוּ חוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁיָּבֹא לִידֵי מִכְשׁוֹל – אֵין בִּשְׁהִיָּה זוֹ מִצַּד עַצְמָהּ אִסּוּר כְּלָל, וּלְכָךְ אֵין לְבָרֵךְ עַל בִּעוּר זֶהלא (כְּמוֹ שֶׁהַמֵּמִית עוֹפוֹת שֶׁנִּדְרְסוּ, שֶׁאָסוּר לְהַשְׁהוֹתָן מִשּׁוּם חֲשַׁשׁ תַּקָּלָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּיוֹרֶה דֵּעָה סִימָן נ"ז,לב,19 וְאֵין מְבָרֵךְ עַל בִּעוּרָן מִבֵּיתוֹ).

מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן כְּשֶׁהוּא בּוֹדֵק וּמְבַעֵר בְּתוֹךְ הַפֶּסַח, שֶׁאָז יֵשׁ בַּבִּעוּר מִצְוָה מִצַּד עַצְמוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַרלג,20 "תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ שְּׂאֹר מִבָּתֵּיכֶם".לד וְאִם אֵינוֹ מְבַעֲרוֹ – עוֹבֵר עָלָיו בְּ"בַל יֵרָאֶה" וּ"בַל יִמָּצֵא".לה וְאַף אִם כְּבָר בִּטֵּל כָּל חֲמֵצוֹ קֹדֶם הַפֶּסַח שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְצֻוֶּה לְבַעֲרוֹ מִן הַתּוֹרָה, מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁגָּזְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁאֵין בִּטּוּל מוֹעִיל כְּלוּם (ב) מִטְּעָמִים יְדוּעִיםלו,21 – הֲרֵי חָמֵץ זֶה כְּאִלּוּ לֹא נִתְבַּטֵּל, וְעוֹבֵר עָלָיו בְּ"בַל יֵרָאֶה" וּ"בַל יִמָּצֵא" מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, וְגַם יֵשׁ בּוֹ מִצְוַת "תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ" מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,לז וּלְכָךְ מְבָרֵךְ "וְצִוָּנוּ עַל בִּעוּר חָמֵץ".