Rabbi Akiva Aiger asks and answers in his Responsa, first version, siman 30:
Why do you make a blessing on separating Terumah even if done in one’s mind but
a blessing is not said over bitul chometz, which can also be done in one’s
A. The Mishna Berura 432:1:3 says that you
don’t say the blessing of “al bitul chometz “ upon nullifying the chometz since
the main part of the bitul is dependent on the heart and we don’t say blessings
on matters that pertain to one’s heart or thoughts.
teruma is separated from fruit it is given to the kohen but in this case the
teruma is separated in one’s mind and the blessing is goes on separating
teruma, not the giving.
C. What is Rebbe Akiva Aiger’s answer?
Answer: The purpose of separating teruma is to give it to the kohen so even if it was separated in one’s thoughts it is as if he did something which has an action since in the end it will lead to an action, i.e. giving it to the kohen. But nullifying the chometz is completely done in one’s heart even if he verbally announces it to the world.
Why does one make a blessing of “al biur chometz” at the time of burning when
he found chometz on Yom Tov but before Pesach we say the blessing by the
checking, bedikas chometz?
Magen HaAlef (2) poskins that if one realizes on Yom Tov that he did not check
for chometz before Pesach then he should check for chometz and cover it if he
finds any because it is muktzah on Yom Tov and then on chol hamoed he should
burn it with a blessing.
B.Normally we say the blessing and check for
chometz the night before the eve of Pesach, then burn it in the morning, which
is the proper time to burn the chometz, before chatzos, noonish. By chatzos all
chometz is forbidden and automatically made ownerless by the Torah if you have
not done it yourself by then.
normal circumstances the checking at night is considered the beginning of the
mitzvah of burning and that is why the blessing is said then.
D. In both cases the checking and burning are on different days so why is the blessing said at different times?
Answer: As long as the time for burning hadn’t come yet then the checking is considered the beginning of the process of burning but once the time of burning already past and you found chometz on Yom Tov but you can’t just burn it until chol hamoed then the checking isn’t considered the beginning of the mitzvah since the time you burn has already past, so finding it is just one action and burning it is another action which just couldn’t be done earlier since it was muktzah. (See footnote 4 in Dirshu Mishna Berura 435:1:3)
Why do we apply the rule of “Trei mashehu lo amrinan” that little bits don’t
transfer twice when it comes to foods but not when it comes to vessels like a
A. The Mishna Berura (467:9:37) says, If a
ladle stirred soup that had a cracked kernel of barley found inside it on
Pesach while piping hot then you use the ladle to stir another boiling hot pot
it ruins all the food in the pot and the pot because since it can prohibit with
even a little bit then we assume even that little bit of taste went out of the
spoon and into the next pot of soup.
B. The Shaar Hatzion (67) says this
only applies by a spoon transferring from liquid to liquid but if that cracked
barley kernel fell on a piece of hot meat and then that hot meat got mixed up
with other hot solid foods like vegetables and there is a majority to nullify
its taste, then as long as you can see and take out that solid piece of meat
which had the chometz absorbed in it, then everything else is permitted at
least to get benefit from and even to eat if not eating it would detract from
the joy of Yom Tov.
C. The Taz (17) asks why the rule that little bits of taste don’t transfer twice apply to the spoon mixing two pots of soup just as it applies to the food.
D. Food has their own tastes absorbed in it but spoons don’t have their own tastes absorbed in them.
Answer: The Dirshu Mishna Berura note 41 quotes the Elya Rabba (447:1) saying that a little bit [of taste] absorbed in a spoon is different from a little bit absorbed in a solid food substance, for when it is absorbed in food the [foreign taste] clings to it and does not get spit out again from it and therefore we can apply the rule of “trei mashehu lo amrinan” but when absorbed in a spoon, since the spoon does not have its own taste, then the [chometz taste that was absorbed] does not cling to it so it then gets spit out into the other pot [the spoon was mixing.]
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.
Question: Explain the argument between Rebbe Akiva
Aiger and the Ra”n on whether nullifying chometz within a majority of
non-chometz is different from nullifying sheep wool in a majority of camel wool
to combine it with linen and not transgress shaatnez?
A. The Teshuvas HaRan
(64) says that chometz before the time of being forbidden to own is nullified
in non-chometz even though it is permitted food being mixed with permitted
food. It is just like a Mishna in Kilayim 9:1 which says that sheep wool and
camel mixed together, if the majority is camel wool than it can be interwoven
into linen and it is not shaatnez because only wool from a sheep is forbidden
to be mixed with linen and camels aren’t sheep and the sheep wool is nullified
to the majority of camel wool, even if it is permissible wool being mixed with
permissible wool since the sheep wool isn’t intertwined with the linen yet.
B. Rebbe Akiva Aiger
says the cases are incomparable because the sheep wool has a forbidden name to
it to be mixed with linen so it can be nullified in the camel wool as if it is
forbidden stuff being nullified in permitted stuff. Whereas chometz has no
connection to prohibition whatsoever before the forbidden time on the eve of
C. What is the reason for prohibition?
Answer: Rebbe Akiva Aiger holds the reason for prohibition by chometz is time so that is why it is different from shaatnez but the Ra”n holds the reason for prohibition is the item i.e. the chometz it is just restricted by time meaning it is only prohibited on Pesach just like shaatnez where the reason for prohibition is the sheep wool but only when mixed with linen.
Question:Why does the Rambam poskin you get makkos (lashes) if your flour ferments on Pesach or if you buy chometz on Pesach because it is a prohibition done through an action but the mitzvah of don’t covet, even if it leads to convincing the other to buy the object he covets is still not considered a prohibition done through an action and hence does not receive makkos?
A. The real
prohibition by chometz is owning it which is not an action (it is a state of
being) and lashes are only a punishment for prohibitive actions. However since
the ownership comes through an action of baking or buying then the prohibition
is considered an action (Rambam first chapter of halachic Chometz u’Matza)
B. The Rambam (Hilchos gezeila vi’aveida 1:10) poskins If a person forces someone to sell him something even if he paid a lot of money for it he still transgresses the sin of “Don’t covet” but does not receive lashes because it is a sin which is not done through an action, rather it is an emotion manifested in an action of a forced sale.
Answer: The forced sale only reveals how much one covets the other person’s object so the sin really is only the emotion but by chometz the sale or baking is the actual means to be in a state of ownership of chometz therefore the sin is a direct result of the action and punishable with lashes.