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Sell Your Chametz

The Disposal of the Leaven

The Bible prohibits eating chametz, leavened bread, during Passover (Exodus 12:15-20). Chametz refers to any food prepared from five species of grain: wheat, barley, oats, spelt and rye that has been allowed to leaven or ferment, meaning a gas is produced that lightens the dough. Ashkenazi tradition added rice, millet, corn and legumes.

Matzah is unleavened bread made from any of these five species of grain. It is customary, however, to make the matzah from wheat flour only. It is essential that the wheat or flour be given no chance to leaven. For this reason, the grain used for matzah must be kept perfectly dry.

The rule against leaven applies not only to its consumption, but also to enjoying any benefit from it and even to its possession. Therefore, before Pesach, all leaven must be removed from one's home nor should one have leaven in one's legal possession.

To satisfy these requirements, we search for leaven in our homes, nullify the leaven in our homes with a blessing (found in the beginning of the Haggadah), remove the leaven and sell the leaven. Any leaven we keep in our homes following the sale must be kept in one area and sealed off for the duration of the holiday.

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Thu, April 9 2020 15 Nisan 5780