1

The Torah (Exodus 13:7) states: "No chametz shall be seen for you." Perhaps, if it were buried or entrusted to a gentile, he would not transgress the commandment? The Torah (Exodus 12:19) states: "leaven should not be found in your homes," [implying] even if it is buried or entrusted.

Perhaps he would only transgress [the commandment] when chametz is [found] in his house, but if it were outside his house, in a field or in another city, he would not violate [the commandment]? The Torah states (Exodus 13:7): "[No leaven shall be seen for you] in all your territory" - i.e., in all your possessions.

Perhaps a person will be obligated to remove from his property chametz that belongs to a gentile or that was consecrated? The Torah states (ibid.): "No [leaven] shall be seen for you." [We may infer]: You may not see your own [leaven]. However, you may see [leaven] belonging to others or which was consecrated.

א

כתוב בתורה לא יראה לך חמץ יכול אם טמן אותו או הפקיד אותו ביד עכו"ם לא יהיה עובר תלמוד לומר שאור לא ימצא בבתיכם אפילו הפקידו או הטמינו. יכול לא יהיה עובר אלא אם כן היה החמץ בביתו אבל אם היה רחוק מביתו בשדה או בעיר אחרת לא יהיה עובר תלמוד לומר בכל גבולך בכל רשותך. יכול יהא חייב לבער מרשותו חמץ של עכו"ם או של הקדש תלמוד לומר לא יראה לך שלך אי אתה רואה אבל אתה רואה של אחרים או של גבוה:

The Torah (Exodus 13:7) states: "No chametz shall be seen for you." Perhaps if it were buried -- because the chametz is not "seen."

or entrusted to a gentile -- because ostensibly, the leaven is not "for you."

he will not transgress the commandment? The Torah (Exodus 12:19) states: "leaven should not be found in your homes," [implying] even if it is buried or entrusted -- it is still "found in your homes." The place in which a watchman keeps an entrusted article is also considered "your homes."

The prohibition against entrusting chametz to a gentile is not explicitly stated in the Talmud. It can be derived from the leniency allowing one to maintain possession of chametz belonging to a gentile mentioned at the conclusion of the Halachah. Some authorities explain that the Rambam derived the concept from the Mechiltah of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

In his commentary on the Torah (Exodus 12:19), the Ramban differs with the concept in its entirety and states that a person does not transgress the prohibition against possessing chametz when it is entrusted to a gentile. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 440:4) accepts the Rambam's opinion. No later halachic authorities question the matter.

Perhaps -- if the latter verse were taken as the source of the prohibition

he would only transgress [the commandment] when chametz is [found] in his house -- as that verse states

but if it were outside his house, in a field or in another city, he would not violate [the commandment]? -- Therefore,

The Torah -- includes the verse originally mentioned which

states (Exodus 13:7): "[No leaven shall be seen for you] in all your territory" - i.e., in all your possessions -- in the totality of a person's domain.

Perhaps a person will be obligated to remove from his property chametz that belongs to a gentile or that was consecrated? -- for that is also "seen." Therefore,

The Torah states (ibid.): "No [leaven] shall be seen for you." -- From the addition of the latter phrase

[we may infer]: You may not see your own [leaven]. However, you may see [leaven] belonging to others -- for that is not "for you." The rules governing this concept are the major subject of this chapter.

or which was consecrated -- for use in the Temple, or to be sold for the purposes of the Temple. Once an article has been consecrated, it no longer belongs to its original owner and becomes the property and responsibility of the Temple treasury. Property consecrated to be given to charity is not governed by these rules.

2

[From the above,] you can learn that chametz belonging to a Jew which was left in his possession, even though it is buried, is located in another city, or is entrusted to a gentile, causes him to violate [the commandments]: "[leaven] shall not be seen" and "[leaven] shall not be found."

Chametz that either was consecrated or belongs to a gentile, and is located within a Jew's property, even if it was with him at home—behold, this is permitted, for [the chametz] is not his. Even if it belonged to a resident alien under the authority of the Jewish people, we need not force him to remove the chametz from his property on Pesach.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to construct a partition at least ten handbreadths high in front of chametz belonging to a gentile, lest one come to use it. [With regard to chametz] that has been consecrated, this is unnecessary; everyone shies away from consecrated property, lest they infringe on [the prohibition of] מעילה.

ב

הא למדת שהחמץ של ישראל אם הניחו ברשותו אפילו טמון ואפילו בעיר אחרת ואפילו מופקד ביד עכו"ם הרי זה עובר משום לא יראה ולא ימצא. חמץ של הקדש או של עכו"ם שהיה אצל ישראל אפילו היה עמו בבית הרי זה מותר מפני שאינו שלו. ואפילו היה של גר תושב שיד ישראל שולטת עליו אין כופין אותו להוציא החמץ מרשותו בפסח. אבל צריך לעשות מחיצה גבוהה עשרה טפחים בפני חמצו של עכו"ם שמא יבוא להסתפק ממנו. אבל של הקדש אינו צריך מפני שהכל פורשין מן ההקדש כדי שלא יבואו לידי מעילה:

[From the above,] you can learn that chametz belonging to a Jew which was left in his possession, even though it is buried, is located in another city, or is entrusted to a gentile, causes him to violate [the commandments]: "[chametz] shall not be seen" and "[chametz] shall not be found" -- for in each of these instances, chametz was present within a Jew's possession on Pesach.

Chametz that either was consecrated or belongs to a gentile and was in a Jew's possession, even if it was with him at home -- As evident from the following halachah, this law applies only when the Jew does not accept responsibility for the chametz.

behold, this is permitted, for [the chametz] is not his -- the Jew's,

Even if it belonged to a resident alien -- Hilchot Melachim 8:10 and Hilchot Avodah Zarah 10:6 define this term as referring to a gentile who keeps the seven universal laws given to Noah's descendants. A gentile who accepts these rules of behavior may be granted the privilege of living in Eretz Yisrael.

under the authority of the Jewish people -- Pesachim 5b emphasizes that even a gentile who lives in a Jew's home may keep chametz during Pesach.

we need not force him -- the Jew

to remove the chametz from his property on Pesach -- Some manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah state: "We need not force him (i.e., the gentile) to remove his chametz from our property."

Nevertheless, it is necessary to construct a partition at least ten handbreadths high in front of chametz belonging to a gentile -- A similar partition is not required when a gentile entrusts other forbidden objects to a Jew. As mentioned above, greater stringencies are taken regarding chametz than other forbidden substances, since the use of chametz is permitted during the entire year.

lest one come to use it. -- The Kessef Mishneh notes that in Halachah 3:8, the Rambam considers covering the chametz with a utensil as a sufficient measure to prevent the use of the chametz. Two explanations are offered why, in the present instance, a more stringent measure is required:

a) the amount of chametz the gentile entrusted for safekeeping is probably too large to be covered by utensils;

b) covering the chametz with a utensil is only a temporary measure, intended to be effective only until the end of the day of the festival. Once that day is concluded, the chametz must be destroyed. In contrast, in this instance the chametz will remain in the Jew's possession throughout the entire holiday. Hence, more severe measures must be taken.

The Ramban and the Ba'al HaItur do not accept this requirement and maintain that if a Jew does not accept responsibility for the chametz, he is not obligated to construct a partition. All that is necessary is that the chametz be placed out of the way. Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 440:2) and the later halachic authorities all follow the Rambam's opinion.

[With regard to chametz] that has been consecrated, this is unnecessary; everyone shies away from consecrated property, lest they infringe on [the prohibition of]

מעילה. — Leviticus 5:15-16 describes the prohibition of מעילה, the misappropriation of consecrated property for personal use.

3

A gentile who entrusted his chametz to a Jew: Should the Jew accept the responsibility of paying for the worth of the chametz if it is lost or stolen—behold, he is obligated to destroy it. Since he accepted responsibility for it, it is considered as though it were his.

If he did not accept responsibility for it, he may keep it in his domain and may eat from it after Pesach, for it was in the gentile's possession.

ג

עכו"ם שהפקיד חמצו אצל ישראל אם קבל עליו ישראל אחריות שאם אבד או נגנב ישלם לו דמיו הרי זה חייב לבערו הואיל וקבל עליו אחריות נעשה כשלו. ואם לא קיבל עליו אחריות מותר לקיימו אצלו ומותר לאכול ממנו אחר הפסח שברשות העכו"ם הוא:

A gentile who entrusted his chametz to a Jew: Should the Jew accept the responsibility of -- caring for the chametz as a watchman would, and

paying for the worth of the chametz if it is lost or stolen -- due to factors other than his personal negligence. Rashi and Rabbenu Asher obligate a Jew to destroy any chametz belonging to a gentile for which he has accepted responsibility, even if his responsibility is less than that specified above. The Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Orach Chayim 440:13,16) and the Mishnah Berurah advise following the latter opinion.

behold, he is obligated to destroy it -- before the sixth hour on the fourteenth of Nisan.

Since he accepted responsibility for it -- and would have to pay for it if it is lost.

Pesachim 5b offer two possible explanations why the chametz is considered as if it belongs to the Jew. One opinion maintains that throughout the Torah, an article that causes financial liability is considered as one's responsibility.

Another opinion maintains that in this instance, since the Torah adds a special commandment "leaven should not be found," extra stringency must be taken. From this discussion, we see that the responsibility to destroy this chametz stems from the Torah itself, and is not merely a matter of Rabbinic decree.

it is considered as though it were his -- and, hence, must be destroyed. Tosefot, Pesachim 6a maintains that if a Jew designates a specific place within his home for the gentile and tells him to place his chametz there, he is not obligated to destroy it even though he accepted responsibility for it. Rashi does not accept this position. From the Rambam's omission of the matter, we may assume he also follows Rashi's view (Lechem Mishnah).

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 440:1) quotes the Rambam and hence, requires the acceptance of the more stringent position. However, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (440:16) and the Mishnah Berurah (440:3) mention certain leniencies based on Tosefot's position.

If he did not accept responsibility for it -- the gentile's chametz

he may keep it in his domain -- without transgressing the prohibitions against possessing chametz

and may eat from it after Pesach -- in contrast to chametz possessed by a Jew during Pesach which is forbidden to be used (Halachah 1:4)

for it was in the gentile's possession -- Pesachim 6a mentions a situation where a gentile brings chametz that he wishes to entrust to a Jew, and the latter designates a particular portion of the house for him to put the chametz. Under such circumstances, there is no need to destroy the chametz.

There are some authorities who explain that the Talmud is speaking about a situation in which the Jew accepted responsibility for the chametz. Nevertheless, since he told the gentile to put it in one specific place, it is considered as if that place belongs to the gentile, and thus the chametz is not found in the Jew's possession.

The Rambam does not accept this interpretation and requires the gentile's chametz to be destroyed whenever a Jew accepts responsibility for it. Though the Shulchan Aruch HaRav and the Mishnah Berurah mention the more lenient opinion, they require that the more stringent approach be followed.

4

Should a gentile who forces his way upon people entrust his chametz to a Jew: If the Jew knows that if it is lost or stolen, [the gentile] will obligate him to pay for it—forcing and compelling him to pay even though he did not accept responsibility—he is obligated to destroy it. It is considered as though it were his, for the gentile holds him responsible for it.

ד

עכו"ם אנס שהפקיד חמצו אצל ישראל אם יודע הישראל שאם אבד או נגנב מחייבו לשלמו וכופהו ואונסו לשלם אע"פ שלא קבל אחריות הרי זה חייב לבערו. שהרי נחשב כאילו הוא שלו מפני שמחייבו האנס באחריותו:

Should a gentile who forces his way upon people -- a literal translation of the word אנס. Some editions of the Mishneh Torah use the expression אלם instead. However, the intention remains the same, regardless of which term is used.

entrust his chametz to a Jew: If the Jew knows that if it is lost or stolen, [the gentile] will obligate him to pay for it -- This law is derived from the following passage (Pesachim 5b): Ravvah told the inhabitants of Mechuzah: "Destroy the chametz belonging to the king's soldiers." Since the army would hold the Jews responsible if it were stolen, it was considered their property.

forcing and compelling him to pay even though he did not accept responsibility -- In the previous halachah, the Rambam requires a Jew to destroy chametz only if he willingly accepts responsibility for it. Nevertheless, in this instance,

he is obligated to destroy it. It is considered as though it were his, for the gentile holds him responsible for it -- whether the Jew willingly accepts that responsibility or not. Certain opinions maintain that this law applies only when the secular law of the land would uphold the gentile's view, as in the instance cited from Pesachim, and not when a private individual takes the law into his own hands (Maggid Mishneh). Nevertheless, this differentiation is not accepted by most halachic authorities.

5

A Jew who gives his chametz to a gentile as security for a loan and tells him: "If I do not bring the money between today and such and such a date, you acquire the chametz [retroactively] from the present moment," the chametz is considered as in the gentile's possession and is permitted to be used after Pesach. This applies if the date specified was before Pesach.

However, if he did not tell him: "you acquire the chametz [retroactively] from the present moment," that chametz is considered as an article entrusted to the gentile, and it is forbidden to benefit from it after Pesach.

ה

ישראל שהרהין חמצו אצל העכו"ם אם אמר לו אם לא הבאתי לך מעות מכאן ועד יום פלוני קנה חמץ זה מעכשיו הרי זה ברשות העכו"ם ואותו החמץ מותר לאחר הפסח. והוא שיהיה אותו זמן שקבע לו קודם הפסח. ואם לא אמר לו קנה מעכשיו נמצא אותו החמץ כאילו הוא פקדון אצל העכו"ם ואסור בהנייה לאחר הפסח:

A Jew who gives his chametz to a gentile -- before Pesach, transferring it into the latter's domain

as security -- The Aruch relates that the word רהן means security in Arabic.

for a loan and tells him: "If I do not bring the money between today and such and such a date, you acquire the chametz [retroactively] from the present moment" -- This specific statement is required, because although a Jewish lender is considered to have acquired a certain degree of ownership over an article given him as security, this principle does not apply with regard to a gentile (Pesachim 31b, Maggid Mishneh).

the chametz is considered as -- payment for the loan. Hence, it is

in the gentile's possession -- In a responsa (no. 252), the Rambam writes that it is as if the Jew sold the chametz to the gentile outright.

and is permitted to be used after Pesach -- as is all chametz that belonged to gentiles during the holiday.

This applies if the date specified was before Pesach -- more specifically, before the sixth hour on the fourteenth of Nisan.

The Ra'avad disagrees with this law and maintains that if this stipulation was included, the chametz is considered as belonging to the gentile even if the date mentioned is after Pesach. The Rambam maintains that since the Jew has the right to redeem his chametz during Pesach, it is still considered his (Rabbenu Ephraim). In this instance, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 441:1) accepts the Ra'avad's view.

Nevertheless, this leniency applies only when the Jew willingly foregoes any right to the chametz and considers to have repaid his loan with it. Should the Jew decide to redeem his chametz after Pesach, he is retroactively considered the owner and is liable for possessing chametz throughout the holiday.

However, if he did not tell him: "you acquire the chametz [retroactively] from the present moment," -- even if the day of payment is fixed before Pesach

that chametz is -- not considered as repayment for the loan. Rather, it is

considered as an article entrusted to the gentile -- to ensure payment. Hence, it is still considered as the Jew's property

and it is forbidden to benefit from it after Pesach -- as stated in Halachah 1:4.

The Ra'avad disagrees with this point as well, maintaining that if the date mentioned is before Pesach, the chametz becomes the gentile's property, and the Jew does not transgress the prohibitions against possessing chametz.

The difference between the Rambam and the Ra'avad revolves around the principle of Asmachtah, an agreement which was never intended to be fulfilled. The Ra'avad maintains that, generally, the fact that a borrower does not specify that the security would retroactively become the lender's property implies that he never really intended to sell it to him and always considers it as his own. Thus, were such a transaction to be carried out between Jews, the Ra'avad maintains that the security would never become the lender's property. However, he explains that this law applies only regarding business dealings carried out between Jews, and not to those involving gentiles. Therefore, in this instance, the chametz given as security becomes the gentile's property.

In contrast, the Rambam does not consider such an agreement an Asmachtah. However, he does not accept a gentile's right to an article given as security. Hence, though the date for repayment passes before Pesach, he still considers the article as belonging to its original Jewish owner.

In this matter, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav follows the more stringent view if the chametz is worth more than the loan, and forbids its use after Pesach. However, if it is not worth more than the loan, that text and, similarly, the Mishnah Berurah, require the Jewish borrower to redeem his chametz before Pesach. However, if he fails to so, they allow people to rely on the Ra'avad's opinion and benefit from the chametz.

Different laws apply to chametz given to a Jew as security by a gentile or by another Jew. In the former instance, a Jew is considered the owner of the chametz if the agreement included the clause specifying retroactive ownership, even though the time for payment is not fixed until after Pesach. If the agreement lacked that clause, and the Jew is not held responsible for the chametz (see Halachah 3 above), the Jew is not liable for that chametz (Shulchan Aruch). Nevertheless, other authorities do not accept this decision.

6

A Jew and a gentile are traveling together in a ship, and the Jew possesses chametz. When the fifth hour [on the fourteenth of Nisan] arrives—behold, he should sell it to the gentile or give it to him as a present. He may return and buy it back from him after Pesach, as long as he gives it to him as an outright present.

ו

ישראל ועכו"ם שהיו באין בספינה והיה חמץ ביד ישראל והגיעה שעה חמישית הרי זה מוכרו לעכו"ם או נותנו לו במתנה וחוזר ולוקחו ממנו אחר הפסח. ובלבד שיתננו לו מתנה גמורה:

A Jew and a gentile are traveling together in a ship -- This halachah is a quote from the Tosefta, Pesachim 2:6. Nevertheless, it is worthy of question why the Rambam quotes that source verbatim. Often, when mentioning such a law, the Rambam will eliminate particulars that are extraneous to the principle he wishes to communicate.

and the Jew possesses chametz -- in the ship or in other places.

When the fifth hour [on the fourteenth of Nisan] arrives - behold, he should sell it to the gentile -- Today, in many Jewish communities, the sale of chametz to gentiles is an almost indispensable element in the observance of Pesach. Nevertheless, the details of the sale and the legal provisions which,

a) on one hand, ensure that the gentile is the sole legal owner of the chametz on Pesach, and

b) assure the Jewish owner of receiving the goods in return, or their monetary equivalent

are a technical matter which has been discussed by the Rabbis in their responsa over the generations. For this reason, it is not advisable for a person to sell his chametz himself. Rather, he should entrust the local Rabbi with the responsibility of carrying out the sale.

or give it to him as a present -- Hilchot Avodah Zarah 10:4 states that we should not give presents to gentiles. However, in this instance, giving such a gift will prevent a Jew from violating a Torah prohibition. Hence, there is no objection.

The halachic authorities emphasize that the sale or gift of chametz to the gentile must be formalized by a kinyan (legal transaction) recognized by both Torah and secular law. Thus, the gentile becomes its legal owner.

He may return and buy it back from him after Pesach -- The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 448:3) states: "Even though the Jew who sells it to the gentile knows that he will not touch it at all, but will watch it for him until after Pesach and then return it to him, it is permitted."

as long as he gives it to him as an outright present -- This expression excludes conditional gifts or sales, as explained in the following halachah.

7

The Jew may tell the gentile: "Rather than buy a manah's worth [of chametz], come and buy two hundred [dinars'] worth [of chametz]... Rather than buy from a gentile, come and buy from a Jew. Perhaps I will need [chametz] and will buy from you after Pesach."

However, he cannot sell or give [chametz] to him on condition. If he does so—behold, he transgresses [the prohibitions]: "[leaven] shall not be seen" and "[leaven] shall not be found."

ז

אומר ישראל לעכו"ם עד שאתה לוקח במנה בוא וקח במאתים. עד שאתה לוקח מעכו"ם בוא וקח מישראל שמא אצטרך ואקח ממך אחר הפסח. אבל לא ימכור ולא יתן לו על תנאי. ואם עשה כן הרי זה עובר על בל יראה ובל ימצא:

The Jew may tell the gentile -- This is a continuation of the above Tosefta, ibid. 2:7.

"Rather than buy a Manah's worth [of chametz], come and buy two hundred [dinars'] worth [of chametz] -- i.e., don't buy a small amount from me; buy a larger quantity. Alternatively, some interpret this quote within the context of the circumstances mentioned in the Tosefta, and explain that the gentile was buying provisions for the journey for himself. The Jew tells him: "Don't buy enough only for yourself; buy for me as well."

Rather than buy from a gentile, come and buy from a Jew -- i.e., from me

Perhaps I will need [chametz] and will buy from you after Pesach." -- The halachic authorities even allow the Jew to promise the gentile a profit. These statement are permitted as long as the Jew does not make a binding commitment. The intimation that he will repurchase the chametz after Pesach is not considered significant.

However, he cannot sell or give [chametz] to him on condition. — This includes all conditional agreements, not only those requiring the gentile to return the chametz after Pesach.

If he does so - behold, he transgresses [the prohibitions]: "[leaven] shall not be seen" and "[leaven] shall not be found." -- For until that condition is fulfilled, the Jew remains the owner of the chametz.

The above restrictions apply even if the condition is phrased in a manner in which, once the gentile fulfills the condition, he retroactively becomes the owner of the chametz from the time the agreement was originally made. We fear that, perhaps, the gentile will not fulfill his commitment, and thus the Jew will remain the owner of the chametz. Hence, even though the chametz was in the physical possession of the gentile during Pesach, the Jew might be its legal owner. See also Radbaz, Vol. 5, Responsum 1416.

8

[A person] who possesses a mixture of chametz transgresses [the prohibitions]: "[leaven] shall not be seen" and "[leaven] shall not be found" because of it; for example: pickle-brine, Babylonian kotach, and Median beer, which are made from flour.

[The same applies] to other similar substances which are eaten. However, a substance which contains a mixture of chametz, but is not fit to be eaten, may be kept on Pesach.

ח

תערובת חמץ עוברין עליה משום בל יראה ובל ימצא. כגון המורייס וכותח הבבלי ושכר המדי שעושין אותו מן הקמח. וכל כיוצא באלו מדברים הנאכלים. אבל דבר שיש בו תערובת חמץ ואינו ראוי לאכילה הרי זה מותר לקיימו בפסח:

[A person] who possesses a mixture of chametz transgresses [the prohibitions]: "[leaven] shall not be seen" and "[leaven] shall not be found" because of it -- As explained in Halachah 1:6, according to the Rambam a person who eats a mixture of chametz does not transgress the same Torah prohibition as one who eats chametz itself. Hence, he is not liable for the punishment of כרת. The Maggid Mishneh explains that the possession of these mixtures only violates the prohibitions against possessing chametz when they contain a substantial amount of chametz (at least the size of an olive in a quantity to be eaten בכדי אכילת פרס).

Rav Moshe HaCohen maintains that even the possession of a smaller amount violates these prohibitions. Rav Yosef Caro supports this view in the Kessef Mishneh. Although he does not explicitly state so in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 442:1) when discussing this law, the later authorities (Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Mishnah Berurah) accept this opinion as binding.

for example: pickle-brine -- a mixture containing brine, fish-hash, flour, and sometimes wine.

Babylonian kotach, and Median beer -- See Halachah 1:6 for a description of these substances.

which are made from flour.

[The same applies] to other similar substances which are eaten -- or drunk.

However, a substance which contains a mixture of chametz, but is not fit to be eaten -- by human beings.

may be kept on Pesach -- This is called חמץ נוקשה, "hardened chametz," and is permitted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 447:12). See the following halachot. However, if the substance is originally intended for human consumption and then becomes spoiled, one is considered to have violated the prohibitions against possessing chametz until it becomes spoiled to the extent that it will not be eaten by a dog. (See Halachah 11.)

9

How is [the latter principle] applied? A tanner's trough into which one placed flour and animal hides: Even if this was done one hour before [the time chametz must be] destroyed, one may keep it. If one placed flour [in the trough] without animal hides three days before [the time chametz must be] destroyed, one may keep it, for the [chametz] has surely become spoiled and rotten. Within three days, one is obligated to destroy it.

ט

כיצד עריבת העבדנין שנתן לתוכן קמח ועורות אפילו נתנו שעה אחת קודם הביעור הרי זה מותר לקיימו. ואם לא נתן העורות ונתן הקמח קודם שלשה ימים לשעת הביעור מותר לקיימו שהרי נפסד והבאיש. תוך שלשה ימים חייב לבער:

How is [the latter principle] -- allowing one to keep chametz unfit for consumption

applied? A tanner's trough into which one placed flour and animal hides -- The flour is useful in drying out the hides and absorbing their natural moisture. See also Shabbat 79a ("There are three hides").

Even if this was done one hour before [the time chametz must be] destroyed -- the end of the fifth hour on the fourteenth of Nisan

one may keep it -- for as soon as the flour comes in contact with the hides, it is no longer fit for consumption.

If one placed flour [in the trough] without animal hides three days before [the time chametz must be] destroyed, one may keep it, for the [chametz] has [surely] become spoiled and rotten -- from the residual moisture and odor left in the trough. If the chametz was placed in the trough

within three days -- of the end of the fifth hour on the fourteenth

one is obligated to destroy it -- for it may not have spoiled.

10

Similarly, an eye salve, a compress, a plaster, or Tiriac into which chametz was placed may be kept on Pesach, for the nature of the chametz is spoiled.

י

וכן הקילור והרטיה והאספלנית והתריא"ק שנתן לתוכן חמץ מותר לקיימן בפסח שהרי נפסדה צורת החמץ:

and the like, though one may keep it [during Pesach] -- as stated in Halachah 10.

eating it is prohibited -- Though the mixture is generally not used for human consumption, the fact that an individual eats from it shows that he considers it as food. Hence, it is prohibited.

until after Pesach -- Nevertheless, a person may benefit from it on Pesach (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 442:24, Mishnah Berurah).

Even though it contains only the smallest amount of chametz -- less than the size of an olive בכדי אכילת פרס, as in Halachah 1:6.

eating it is forbidden -- Nevertheless, in the case of danger to life or limb, one may use a remedy which is chametz in the midst of Pesach (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 466:5, Mishnah Berurah).

11

Bread itself which has become moldy and is no longer fit for consumption by a dog, or a compress that has become spoiled, need not be destroyed.

Clothes which were washed with starch and, similarly, papers which were stuck together with chametz, and other like cases, may be kept on Pesach. Their [possession] does not constitute a [violation of the prohibitions]: "[leaven] shall not be seen" and "[leaven] shall not be found," for they no longer have the form of chametz.

יא

הפת עצמה שעפשה ונפסלה מלאכול הכלב ומלוגמא שנסרחה אינו צריך לבער. בגדים שכבסו אותן בחלב חטה וכן ניירות שדבקו אותן בחמץ וכל כיוצא בזה מותר לקיימן בפסח ואין בהן משום לא יראה ולא ימצא שאין צורת החמץ עומדת:

Bread itself which has become moldy and is no longer fit for consumption by a dog -- in contrast to chametz which is not human food, as mentioned in the previous halachot, and is permitted once it is no longer fit for human consumption.

Rav Chayim Soloveitchik (Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 15:1) differentiates between the two cases as follows. Chametz itself is a forbidden substance. Hence, it must be spoiled to the point that a dog cannot benefit from it. In contrast, the other substances are merely mixtures of chametz. They are only forbidden because they contain the taste of chametz. Hence, once that taste is no longer suitable for human consumption, there is no reason why they should remain forbidden.

He continues relating that, as stated in Halachot 11 and 12, chametz that is obviously designated for purposes other than food can be used even though it has not become spoiled. Thus, one could explain that once the chametz in the above mixtures becomes unfit for human consumption, it is clearly not food. In contrast, bread which is originally made for that intent must spoil more.

or a compress -- This compress differs from the one mentioned in the previous halachah. It is made from wheat and figs that have been chewed, and is then applied to an infected area. (See Bava Kama 102a.) It is not mixed with bitter medications, and hence is generally fit to be eaten before it becomes spoiled.

that has become spoiled -- beyond being fit for consumption by a dog. Rabbenu Manoach emphasizes that it must become spoiled before the prohibition against chametz takes effect. Otherwise, it must be destroyed.

need not be destroyed -- for in its present form it is no longer considered useful.

Clothes which were washed with starch -- made from wheat

and, similarly, papers which were stuck together with chametz, and other like cases, may be kept on Pesach -- This law is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch. However, the Ramah (Orach Chayim 442:3) states that if the chametz is visible as a separate entity, it must be destroyed.

their [possession] does not constitute a [violation of the prohibitions]: "[leaven] shall not be seen" and "[leaven] shall not be found," for they no longer have the form of chametz -- i.e., they are not in the form of food. Halachah 2:15 provides a similar example: a mound of yeast that has been set aside as a seat.

12

A substance which is not eaten by people, or one which is generally not eaten by people, with which chametz has become mixed— e.g., Tiriac and the like, though one may keep it [during Pesach], eating it is prohibited until after Pesach. Even though it contains only the smallest amount of chametz, eating it is forbidden.

יב

דבר שנתערב בו חמץ ואינו מאכל לאדם כלל. או שאינו מאכל כל אדם כגון התריא"ק וכיוצא בו אע"פ שמותר לקיימו אסור לאכלו עד אחר הפסח. ואע"פ שאין בו מן החמץ אלא כל שהוא הרי זה אסור לאכלו

A substance which is not eaten by people, -- even if it has not been spoiled to the point that it is unfit for human consumption (Rav Chayim Soloveitchik, ibid.)