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On Pesah, we are commanded to eliminate all of the hametz (leaven) from our homes. Please fill out the form below to sell your hametz by noon on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. To learn more about this custom, scroll down below form to the section "Selling Your Hametz."

I hereby authorize Rabbi Eric M. Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue to become legally responsible for the hametz in my possession. He is hereby permitted to sell my hametz to another agent on my behalf. I understand that I am not permitted to benefit from the above-mentioned hametz during Pesah. I will give a contribution to the synagogue in order to buy back this hametz.

Home - please provide complete address including apartment # (if appropriate) and city, state, and zip.

i.e., office, residence, vacation home, etc. - please provide complete address including apartment # (if appropriate) and city, state, and zip.

 (Kitchen, Pantry, Bar, etc.)

Selling Your Hametz

On Pesah, we are commanded to eliminate all of the hametz (leaven) from our homes. On the simplest level, this process is a "spring cleaning" whereby we go through our possessions to eliminate any crumbs of forbidden hametz. But, on a deeper level, this is a process of internal, soul cleaning. Hametz — the ingredient which causes bread to rise — is akin to the bloated ego.

All throughout the year, our egos are susceptible to inflation and exaggerated importance. On Pesah, we remind ourselves that we were all once slaves in the land of Egypt. By searching diligently for hametz, we are also looking inside to rid ourselves of selfishness and narcissism.

The question is: What do we do with the hametz we find? If done successfully, the Pesah sedarim, the eating of matzah, and the eight days of Pesah reflection should help us rid ourselves of our internal hametz. Through these observances, we will hopefully lower our self-focus and increase our concern for others.

As for the material hametz, the answer is clear: Tzedakah. The greatest act is to donate your hametz to charity. In fact, throwing hametz in the trash can be understood as violating the commandment of bal tashit (never wasting). All are encouraged to donate your unopened hametz to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle for our community members facing food insecurity. Or, consider giving your opened hametz products to neighbors who do not celebrate Pesah.

However, one halakhic problem remains.

What do we do when we have hametz in our possession that is needed after Pesah is over? According to Jewish law, we cannot "own" any hametz during Pesah, and yet we wish to keep it in our homes during the holiday even if it will not be consumed.

For this problem, our great Sages came up with a creative solution. Each person or family can "sell" his/her hametz to the rabbi. The rabbi, in turn, takes responsibility for the hametz and then sells off the community's leaven to a person who does not celebrate Pesah. The food remains in people's homes but is hidden away in taped-up cupboards and covered closets. Yet, during Pesah, it is as if those hidden locations are "sold" to another person. This hametz, in a legal sense, is no longer owned by the Jewish community.

One hour after Pesah concludes, the rabbi purchases the community's hametz back from the representative and all can partake in their leavened products. As a sign of one's willingness to "buy back" one's personal hametz, it is customary to send a donation to synagogue in honor of the transaction.

Tue, May 30 2023 10 Sivan 5783