- Question: What is the Chazon Ish’s psak about one who swears: “I will
not eat matzo on the night of Pesach and the seven days of the holiday “?
A. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim
siman 485) says that if one in general swears “I will not eat matzo” he is
forbidden to eat matzo on the night of Pesach. If he swears “I will not eat
matzo on the first night of Pesach” he gets lashes and must eat matzo on the
night of Pesach.
B. The Mishna Berura there says that
as a rule if one includes in his oath something that applies to a mitzva and
also does not apply to a mitzva, the oath works and he can’t even do the mitzva
like in this case if he swears in general to not eat matzo even if he says this
on the night of Pesach, since it includes eating matzo in general which is not
a mitzva and the night of Pesach which is a mitzva, he still cannot eat matzo
even for the mitzva. But in the other case since he specified not eating on the
night of Pesach then we can assume he was referring specifically to not wanting
to fulfill the mitzva and an oath to not fulfill a mitzva or to transgress a
mitzva does not work.
C. The Be’ur Halacha says that if one swears “I will not eat matzo the whole week of Pesach” the oath works according to most poskim, even though Pesach is mentioned explicitly because the oath is inclusive of both matzo to be eaten for non-mitzva and mitzva purposes.
Answer: The Chazon Ish (Orach Chaim 123:2) says that since he separately mentioned the night of Pesach, it is not considered an oath inclusive of permissible (non-mitzva) things, rather it is two separate oaths, one for the night of Pesach and the other for the rest of the holiday and therefore the oath does not work for the night of Pesach and he must eat matzo then for the mitzvah.
Why is taste of chometz absorbed in food more stringent than taste of chometz
absorbed in a vessel on Pesach?
A. The Rema (467:10) holds that we have a custom to burn a chicken which has a cracked kernel of wheat found in it, and you can’t leave it until after Pesach even though the physical chometz was removed and only the taste is absorbed in the chicken.
B. The Shulchan Aruch (451:1) says
that any earthen ware vessels that chometz like oatmeal, which one uses throughout
the year should be washed off of all physical chometz and put away until after
Pesach. The Mishna Berura (2) says this applies to any other type of vessel if
you don’t want to kasher them.
C. The Chazon Ish (Orach Chaim
117:15) says that technically one does not have to sell any chometz which is
absorbed in vessels though he does include them in the language of his document
of selling chometz as a stringency to get rid of every last bit of chometz.
D. The Chazon Ish says that really
absorbed taste of chometz cannot be sold because it has no physical substance
to it but since the taste can come out of the wall of the vessel it can be
considered physical so he stringently sold it but Rav Elyashiv and the Shulchan
Aruch HaRav both say as long as there aren’t any physical chometz on vessels
they don’t have to be sold before Pesach.
E. The Chazon Ish in note 12 said that absorbed taste in a vessel is like chometz which was left in rubble which isn’t edible.
Answer: The Dirshu Mishna Berura (451:1:2:2) quoting the Chazon Ish answers that taste of chometz absorbed in food is different from taste absorbed in vessels since it is still edible in food even though it is not physically there but when eating the chicken for example it is like you would eat the chometz absorbed inside it, with it, so it should be burned according to the Rema except in extenuating circumstances.