Pesach - Biur Chametz

Must Chametz be burned - and what if burning is not an option?

According to halacha, one can get rid of chametz by: burning it; crumbling it and throwing it to the winds; crumbling it and throwing it into an ocean or river; (or even flushing it down the toilet) [Mishna Berura 445:5]. While all of these options are acceptable, it has become customary to destroy the chametz by fire [Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, 445:1]

This year, since some people may still have chametz in their possession Shabbat morning (e.g. leftovers from one of the Shabbat meals) and burning the chametz is not an option, the common practice is the flush the remaining bread crumbs down the toilet [Chazon Ish Orach Chayim 118:3]. However, if someone has a lot of chametz left over, and it is impossible to dispose of it - even in this manner, a second option is to pour a chemical (i.e. bleach) over the remaining chametz to render it completely inedible [Responsa Minchat Yitzchak 4:56; Responsa Shevet Halevi 1:137]. The chametz could then be disposed of in a normal manner.

Another option, only available where there is an eruv, and where the garbage can belong to the municipality, is to place the remaining chametz directly into garbage cans that are NOT kept on one's property, but in the alley, or the street [Minchat Yitzchak ibid.]. If the garbage cans belong to the individual, this is not an option, and chametz would have to be put out into the alley or street in disposable bags. In both of these latter cases, one must renounce all possession of the chametz.

Thu, July 27 2017 4 Av 5777