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J’lem haredim find gentile hametz buyer has taken it!

April 21, 2011 23:17

Selling hametz to a non-Jew allows observant Jews to keep products which are not kosher for Pessah. Normally, they sell the goods back.

Whiskey bottles [stock photo]

Whiskey bottles 311 (R). (photo credit:Reuters/Issei Kato)

A gentile man taught a Jerusalem haredi community an important lesson when he acted on his right to take their leavened products bestowed upon him ahead of Pessah in what was obviously more than just a symbolic act.

The tradition of selling one’s hametz to a non-Jew is what allows observant Jews to keep in their possession various products which are not kosher for Pessah. Normally, after the holiday, the non-Jew will sell the goods back.

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As reported by haredi media outlets, members of the Mishkenot Yaakov community in the capital’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood were encouraged by their Rabbi Simcha Rabinowitz to take the tradition one step further, and rather than selling the hametz, actually give it to the non-Jew, who would presumably return it after the holiday.

Many people chose to put their products – including expensive alcoholic beverages – in the room destined for the hametz, believing that such an act would be a higher degree of observing the holiday’s prohibition of not owning leavened products.

After the transaction took place and shortly before the holiday began, however, the gentile arrived with his vehicle and proceeded to take the goods, which were legally his. Objecting to his actions was not an option, since that would prove that the deal was not sincere, which would mean that the hametz would have belonged to the Jews.

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