Bittul Chametz

The Daily Halacha Moment - Bittul Chametz 🍞


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

What is Bittul Chametz?


Answer:

When one has completed bedikat chametz, he must recite the text for bittul chametz, which is the renunciation of ownership over chametz. This declaration is customarily recited in Aramaic, and is read as follows:

"כל חֲמִירָא דְאִיּכָא בִרְשּותִי, דְלָא חֲזִיתֵיּה ודְלָא בִיעַרְתֵיּה, לִבְטִיל וְלֶהֱוֵי כְעַפְרָא ,דארעא”


"All chametz and leavening agents that are in my possession that I did not see and did not burn are hereby nullified and should be like the dust of the earth.” Given the possibility that there is still some chametz in one’s possession that he did not discover during his search, one must recite the bittul and renounce ownership over any remaining chametz so as to avoid violating the prohibition of owning chametz during Pesach. [1]


One must understand the meaning of all the words of the bittul. Someone who does not understand it should recite the translation. [2] Nevertheless, one who recited the Aramiac text of the bittul chametz without understanding its meaning but understood the basic idea that he is declaring his chametz ownerless has fulfilled his obligation. [3] However, if one did not understand what was he was declaring at all, or even the concept of what he was reciting, he has not fulfilled his obligation. [4]


The declaration should be recited three times,[5]and in one of the three times the person should add the word hefker in the final clause — “velehevei hefker ke’afra de’ara — it should be ownerless like the dust of the earth.” [6]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 434:2.

[2]. Rama 434:2; Kaf HaChaim 434:36.

[3]. Mishnah Berurah §9. This also seems to be the view of Ben Ish Chai, Tzav 1:7. See also Yalkut Yosef, Pesach, vol. 1 p. 445.

[4]. Magen Avraham §6; Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 55.

[5]. Moreh BaEtzba §203; Ben Ish Chai, Tzav 1:7; Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 54; Yalkut Yosef, Pesach, vol. 1, p. 448.

[6]. See Mishnah Berurah §8, which states that one should do so every time of his recitation. However, Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 7:16 and Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 55 state that it is sufficients to only recite the word hefker during one of the three times that he recites the declaration. See also Yalkut Yosef, Pesach, vol. 1, pages 437 & 448.


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