THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) BEDIKAS CHAMETZ ON PESACH AND AFTER PESACH
OPINIONS: The Mishnah says that according to Rebbi Yehudah, the time to
perform Bedikas Chametz is up until the sixth hour, when Chametz must be
destroyed. According to the Chachamim, if one did not search for Chametz
at the proper time on the fourteenth of Nisan, one may search during the
"Mo'ed" or even after the "Mo'ed." What does "Mo'ed" refer to in the
2) EXEMPTING A PERSON FROM "BEDIKAS CHAMETZ" MID'RABANAN
(a) RASHI explains that "Mo'ed" refers to the sixth hour. If one did not
check for Chametz before the sixth hour, he may check after the sixth
hour, until nightfall. (However, if one also failed to check after the
sixth hour and did not remember until nightfall, then on Pesach itself one
does not perform a Bedikah.)
QUESTION: Rashi argues with Tosfos on two points:
(b) TOSFOS and other Rishonim explain that Mo'ed means literally *during*
Pesach itself. If one did not check before Pesach began, then one must
check even once the Yom Tov has arrived. If one failed to check during
Pesach, then one must check *after* Pesach, because of the rabbinical
prohibition that forbids using Chametz after Pesach when it was in the
possession of a Jew during Pesach.
(a) First, Rashi understands that the Mishnah is teaching us that there is
no obligation to check *after* Pesach for Chametz that was in his
possession during Pesach.
(b) Secondly, according to Rashi, one does not have to check for Chametz
*on Pesach itself*, even when he did not perform a Bedikah before Pesach.
From where did Rashi learn these two Halachos?
(a) TOSFOS explains what forces Rashi to make his first point. Rashi is
consistent with his opinion elsewhere (2a), where he says that the whole
purpose of Bedikah is to prevent one from transgressing the prohibitions
of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei. After Pesach, though, the prohibitions of
Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei do not apply; it is only forbidden to *eat*
Chametz, and thus there is no reason to require the Bedikah to be done.
(According to Tosfos 2a DH Or, though, the purpose of Bedikah is to
prevent one from *eating* Chametz, and therefore it can apply after Pesach
(b) What forced Rashi to make his second point? The Gemara says clearly
that the Rabanan are *not* afraid that one will eat Chametz that he finds
while searching for it. If so, even on Pesach itself, and not just on Erev
Pesach, one should be required to perform a Bedikah to avoid transgressing
Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yematzei!
The RASHASH answers that Rashi derived this second Chidush from the text
of the Mishnah. Rashi had no choice but to say that "after the Mo'ed"
means after the sixth hour but only *until* Pesach starts. If it means
after the sixth hour up until *after* Pesach ends, why does the Mishnah
say only that one should check for Chametz "the evening of the 14th, [and
if he forgets, then] on the morning of the 14th, [and if he forgets, then]
during the sixth hour, and [and if he forgets, then] after the sixth
hour?" The Mishnah should have added that if he can, one must check for
Chametz *before* Pesach starts rather than waiting for Pesach to start!
Certainly it is better to check before Pesach starts, when there is no
Isur Kares for eating Chametz, then to check after Pesach starts when
there is an Isur Kares of eating Chametz. Why did the Mishnah leave out
this extra stage? Apparently there *are not two stages*, because one
*cannot* check on Pesach itself!
Although the Gemara tells us that the Rabanan are not concerned that one
might eat Chametz while searching for it on Pesach, the RAN explains that
this is only true before Pesach, when there is only an Isur Lav not to eat
Chametz. However, when there is an Isur Kares (i.e. on Pesach itself), the
Rabanan did not trust that if one is looking for Chametz to destroy it
then he will not eat it.
QUESTION: According to Rebbi Yehudah, one does not perform Bedikas Chametz
on Pesach itself if he failed to do so before Pesach, lest he eat the
Chametz that he finds.
We know that having Chametz in one's possession during Pesach is an Isur
d'Oraisa of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, while the fear that one might
eat Chametz if he finds it is only mid'Rabanan. How can a rabbinical
concern override an Isur d'Oraisa of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei? It
would seem that it would be better to do the Bedikah and avoid
transgressing Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei then to comply with a
This is especially difficult to understand since Rebbi Yehudah even
exempts a person from Bedikas Chametz during the sixth hour of the day,
when eating Chametz is only an Isur Lav! Why is preventing one from
possibly eating Chametz (by prohibiting him from searching for it on
Pesach) more important that the Lav of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei?
(a) The MAHARSHAL explains that the Gemara is discussing a case when one
was already Mevatel his Chametz; he merely failed to do the Bedikas
Chametz which is done after Bitul. In such a situation, there is only an
Isur d'Rabanan of owning the Chametz (lest one find it on Pesach). Rebbi
Yehudah therefore decided that it would be preferable not to perform a
Bedikah after Chametz has become prohibited, lest he find Chametz and eat
it, transgressing an Isur d'Oraisa.
(b) The MAHARSHA says that even if one was not Mevatel the Chametz before
Pesach, one may still not perform a Bedikah on Pesach according to Rebbi
Yehudah, because *even before Bitul* one will not transgress an Isur
mid'Oraisa of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, if he does not perform Bedikas
Chametz. Why is that? Because TOSFOS (21a, DH v'Iy) asserts that a person
does not transgress Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei if he is not aware that
there is Chametz in his house. Since Bedikas Chametz is done because one
does not know if there is Chametz in his house, if he fails to do Bedikas
Chametz and there is Chametz in his house which he does not know about, he
is not transgressing Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei.
Why, then, is Bedikas Chametz performed? Bedikas Chametz is performed
since without it, one may transgress an Isur d'Oraisa by allowing the
Chametz to remain in his possession *upon finding it*, if he finds it on
Pesach. If so, Rebbi Yehudah is justified in saying that one should not
search for Chametz *during* Pesach, since that will just raise the
possibility that the person will transgress another Isur d'Oraisa, by
*eating* the Chametz.
(Note: The words of Tosfos on 21a do not actually provide clear proof to
the Maharsha's principle. Tosfos may consider Chametz left in a place in
which Chametz is *normally brought* ("Makom she'Machnisim Bo Chamet,"
which has a Chezkas Chametz) to be Chametz that *is* known.)
The argument between the Maharsha and Maharshal over whether one
transgresses Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei if he does not perform Bitul is
also argued by a number of leading Poskim. In OC 433:5, the MAGEN AVRAHAM
writes that one *does* transgress an Isur d'Oraisa, like the Maharshal,
while the TAZ (433:3) sides with the Maharsha, that one does *not*
transgress an Isur d'Oraisa.
(c) Perhaps once the Rabanan enacted that Bedikah cannot be done, then
even though one did something wrong in the first place by not doing
Bedikah before Pesach, during Pesach he may not do Bedikah even though the
Isurim of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yematzei normally *do* apply to Chametz one
does not yet know about. The reason for this is that in *this particular
case* the person will certainly not transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of Bal
Yera'eh because he is forced to leave the Chametz there due to
circumstances presently beyond his control ("Ones"), since the Rabanan
prevented him from searching for Chametz.
A similar logic is expressed by TOSFOS in Shabbos (4a DH Kodem), regarding
the Rabbinic prohibition for a person who put a loaf of bread into an oven
on Shabbos to remove it before Shabbos ends. Even though leaving it there
will normally cause the person to transgress an Isur d'Oraisa and earn him
the death penalty, in this case he is exempt from punishment due to "Ones"
since the Rabanan prevent him from removing the loaf.) (M. Kornfeld)