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Pesachim Rif Review 1

Review of the basic obligation for checking for hametz according to the Rif and Ran.

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The Rif

  1. On the night of the 13th of Nissan (next day being the 14th) on must check for ḥametz in any place where ḥametz is brought.
  2. Any place where ḥametz is not brought, one is not required to check.
  3. Wine cellar stuff (which we’ll cover later)
  4. The תנא said אור instead of לילי to teach you to use the cleaner phrasing when speaking

The Ran

The Rationale for Checking

  1. רש״י says the obligation to check for ḥametz is to avoid a violation of בל יראה ובל ימצא.
  2. This opinion is challenged by תוספות because we hold that, in order to avoid such a violation מדאורייתא, it is enough to nullify the ḥametz you own in your heart. Later in the גמרא we will see that checking is not enough, and one is still required to nullify. As such it should be impossible to avoid a violation just by checking alone.
  3. The ר״ן defends רש״י’s opinion by claiming that the obligation to nullify even after checking for hametz is מדרבנן. One could fulfill the obligation מדאורייתא with either checking or nullifying. The reason חז״ל required one to also nullify was in case someone finds an appealing cake in a place that it normally wouldn’t be.

Ran: Further Clarification of Nullification (ביטול) and Removal (ביעור) of Ḥametz

The ר״ן then says that he see there is a lot of confusion around this topic and so, he further clarifies:

  1. The source for the nullification of ḥametz is either from תשביתו שאור מבתיכם (שמות י״ב) according to רש״י and apparent from אונקלוס, or from לא יראה לך according to תוספות based on a ספרי.
  2. Nullification is similar to הפקר but not actually the same thing, since:
    1. we see it can be done in one’s heart (without verbally saying so).
    2. Declaring one’s property “like the dust of the earth” would not be enough to actually make it הפקר.
    3. According to R’ Yossi, הפקר only leaves your possession when someone else takes it.
    4. This is because ḥametz during Pesaḥ is not really in one’s possession. As such it’s easier to rid oneself of it.
  3. Proofs that checking for and removing of ḥametz works:
    1. The גמרא later asks where we learn out that the checking should be done with a candle?
    2. There is a מחלוקת whether the ביעור must be done through burning, or if any form of destruction is enough and they compared it to נותר. This distinction and comparison only makes sense if we’re discussing a דאורייתא.
  4. The case רש״י is referring to is where one didn’t do ביטול, so בדיקה and ביעור are required מדאורייתא.
  5. The תנא of the משנה is of the opinion you can be יוצא ידי חובה even מדרבנן with בדיקה וביעור.
  6. Even though ביטול is enough מדאורייתא, our Sages saw fit to require בדיקה וביעור.
    1. Possibly because ביטול is done in one’s thoughts, and they were worried people would be lenient and not completely from their hearts, so they also required them to check and remove, which is also sufficient מדאורייתא.
    2. Possible they were worried that if someone had ḥamets lying around their house, they would come to accidentally eat it on Pesaḥ.

Limits of the Obligation to Check

  1. The obligation to check for ḥametz only applies to places where there is known ḥametz or where it is normal to bring ḥametz.
  2. It is impossible that the חשש of finding an appealing cake would cause someone to have retroactively violated בל יראה ובל ימצא because the Torah relies on חזקה. And if one has checked his property in all places where there is known or likely ḥametz, he has fulfilled his obligation.
  3. The חשש must therefore refer to the time from between his accidental finding of ḥametz during Pesaḥ and its destruction.
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