Custom Behind Hiding 10 Pieces Of Bread

The Daily Halacha Moment - Custom Behind Hiding 10 Pieces Of Bread 🍞


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


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Question:

What is the custom behind hiding 10 pieces of bread for Bedikat Chametz?

How big should the pieces be?


Answer:

It is customary to place ten pieces of bread throughout the house before bedikat chametz. [1] There are various reasons given for this custom:


a. Since the house was cleaned before the bedikah, the berachah

may be considered a berachah levatalah if one were to search without finding any bread. [2]

b. If one performs a bedikah without finding chametz, one might forget to nullify one’s chametz, since there will not be any chametz to burn. [3]

c. If one is aware that chametz was placed throughout the house, he will try to perform a more meticulous bedikah. [4]

d. Kabbalistic reasons. [5]


The pieces should not be larger than a kezayit (preferably not even larger than 18 grams[6]), so that if a person fails to find one of the pieces, there will not be a kezayit of chametz remaining in the house, and this way, the bittul chametz will nullify that piece. [7] However, when all ten pieces are combined, they should equal a kezayit.[8]


One should wrap the ten pieces to ensure that no crumbs are left after the chametz is removed. [9]


One does not need to distribute the ten pieces if he is checking his home before the night of the fourteenth of Nissan. [10] However, it is praiseworthy to do so if one can. [11]


Even one who does not have ten pieces of bread to hide may nevertheless recite the berachah for bedikat chametz. [12]


Sources:

[1]. Rama 432:2. See also Be’er Hetev §8 and Mishnah Berurah §13, which mention this custom in the name of the Arizal.

[2]. Rama 432:2. See also Yechaveh Daat 5:31; Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 36; Halichot Olam, vol. 1, p. 279; Yabia Omer, vol.9, 88:12; ibid. 92:2; and Yalkut Yosef, Pesach, vol. 1, p. 358.

[3]. Mahariyu §193; Chok Yaakov §14.

[4]. Chok Yaakov §14; Kaf HaChaim 432:31. See also Hilchot Chag BeChag, Pesach, p. 64, which discusses this custom at length.

[5]. See Pri Etz Chaim, shaar 25, end of ch. 5; Moreh BaEtzba 7:200.

[6]. Yalkut Yosef, Pesach, vol. 1, p. 358.

[7]. Machazik Berachah §9; Shaarei Teshuvah 432:3; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 7:6; Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 36; Yalkut Yosef, Pesach, vol. 1, p. 358.

[8]. Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 38, footnote 9.

[9]. Ibid., p. 36; Yalkut Yosef, Pesach, vol. 1, p. 358; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 7:6. See also Mishnah Berurah §12, which says that the chametz should be hard so that it should not leave crumbs. One should also not leave the pieces in a place where an animal or child will find them and place them in a different spot.

[10]. Minchat Yitzchak 8:35; Yalkut Yosef, Pesach, vol. 1, p. 531.

[11]. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv writes in Kovetz Teshuvot 3:79, and as brought in Ashrei HaIsh vol. 3, 54:20, that according to the Chok Yaakov, which explains that the reason for placing the ten pieces of bread is to stimulate one to perform a better bedikah, even one who is performing a bedikah before the night of the fourteenth of Nissan should place ten pieces of bread. Furthermore, the Kabbalistic reasons for placing the ten pieces of bread also apply in such a situation.

[12]. Rama 432:2; Birkei Yosef §5. See also Halichot Shlomo, Pesach, 5:12.

See Laws of The Holidays - Nacson


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