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Is It Necessary to Have a Perutah for Every Person Selling Chometz?

Rav Ariel Ovadia

Question: When one sells his chometz to a non-Jew, the non-Jew needs to give at least a perutah. The Bais HaVaad, for example, sells chometz for thousands of people every year. How many perutos are needed for such a mechirah

Answer: Rav Yitzchok Elchonon Spector writes that technically speaking, the non-Jew should give at least one perutah for each seller because a kinyan kesef, which is one of the kinyanim used for the mechirah, needs to have at least one perutah per seller. Rav Moshe Feinstein also writes that one perutah must be given for each seller. Rav Shmuel Wosner says that there actually needs to be two perutahs, one for the chometz and one for the karkah, the land sale that goes along with the chometz sale. 

Still and all, the common custom is not to be stringent on this. Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky writes that one need not be stringent about this, and the Devar Avrohom explains at length why one need not be machmir

The bottom line is that l’chatchilah, there should be one perutah for each seller but b’dieved it is okay even if there is not.  

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