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Q&A from the Bais HaVaad Halacha Hotline

At the Leaventh Hour

March 31, 2022

Q I live in Lakewood, where I plan to be for Yom Tov, and I own an apartment in Eretz Yisrael that contains chametz. May I sell that chametz before the Lakewood zman, or do I need to do so earlier, before the zman where the chametz is located?

A This question was not discussed in earlier sources, because for most of human history it was rare that someone would own chametz in multiple time zones. As society became more peripatetic, the question was discussed by the poskim.

Some Acharonim, like the Oneg Yom Tov, held that chametz becomes a forbidden item (a cheftza de’isura) when the zman arrives in its own location, regardless of its owner’s. According to this view, as of the zman in Eretz Yisrael, you would violate the issur while sitting in New Jersey, though the local zman is yet hours away.

Most Acharonim, including R’ Tzvi Pesach Frank, who addressed the question extensively, disagreed. They maintained that because for you in Lakewood it isn’t yet the zman, you cannot yet be in violation of the issur to own chametz.

It would be best to sell your chametz early through your rav to accommodate the zman in Eretz Yisrael. (For someone in the opposite situation—in Eretz Yisrael with chametz in Lakewood—have the rav buy back the chametz after Pesach only after Yom Tov has ended in Lakewood.)

Note that with regard to Shabbos, it seems that we are lenient in both directions: You may have a non-Jew work for you on the other side of the globe when it is Shabbos in his location, because if you don’t have to be shoveis now, then you aren’t subject to the prohibition of amirah le’akum either. When it’s Shabbos where you are but not where he is, he may also work for you, because a melacha performed in a place where it isn’t Shabbos isn’t a ma’asei melacha.


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