Thursday, March 22, 2007

Passover- Is it Required To Check Every Book for Hametz

Passover- Is it Required To Check Every Book for Hametz

There was an interesting question asked in regard to the laws of Pesach. Is one obligated to check every book in one’s home library for Hametz? Many people have books opened on their tables when eating, and it could easily be that some bread crumbs might have fallen in. We know the laws say that one must check in any possible place where there might be bread. But are books included in that statement as well? Do we really have to check every book and every page for morsels of bread?

The Chazon Ish (Rabbi Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz 1878-1953) held that one does in fact have to go through all the books that might have been opened during a meal. He says that one has to check those books page by page and clean them out, and make sure that no crumbs remain when Pesach arrives.

However, Chacham Ovadia Yoseph and Chacham Ben Tzion say it is not necessary. Their reason is based on the fact that the amount of bread inside the pages are far less than a Kezayit, and are minuscule. The Rishonim say that bowl with less then a Kezayit measure of dough must be cleansed for Pesach, for tiny pieces of dough can be combined with other pieces of dough to form more a portion greater than a Kezayit. But the Rishonim’s edict does not apply to our question of bread crumbs. Tiny pieces of bread crumbs are considered Batel, (null and void). They can not be combined to form a measurable piece. And there is even no suspicion that one may come and eat these crumbs which are far less than a Kezayit.

And therefore, Halacha Lema'ase, one does not have to go out of his way and check every book and every page fro Hametz. A person may be Machmir like the Chazon Ish. But to review one more time, it is not required to go through your books and clean out the crumbs.

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