[Avodah] Hanaah from Chametz

Kenneth Miller kennethgmiller at juno.com
Thu Jan 17 15:44:57 PST 2013

Mechaber 448:6 -- "It is assur to feed one's chametz on Pesach, even to an animal belonging to someone else or to (28) hefker."

Mishne Berura 448:28 -- "Because he gets hanaah, in that he fulfills his desire to satisfy the animal. And see the Beis Yosef, that even if he finds chametz which isn't his own, it is also assur to throw it in front of a dog."

It seems clear to me, and to the others in my chabura, that the main point here has nothing to do with the ownership of the chametz. One may or may not be taking ownership of hefker chametz in the process of feeding it to an animal, but regardless, the point made here is that since he is using the chametz in a manner that he enjoys, that constitutes a forbidden form of getting hanaah from chametz on Pesach.

>From there, my mind jumped to another situation which seems very similar. Suppose one is in an ordinary non-Jewish supermarket on Chol Hamoed Pesach, and a non-Jewish shopper asks me, "Sir, I cannot reach those cookies. Could you please hand me that box of cookies?" Being a nice guy, it is my nature to want to be helpful, and so I cheerfully pass it to him. Was that mutar or assur?

The two cases seem very similar. In both, I took chametz which did not belong to a Jew, and I gave it to someone/something who is allowed to eat it, and I did so because I like doing that. The only real difference that I can see is that the dog eats it immediately, but the supermarket customer will eat it later. But I don't see why that should make a difference.

Someone suggested that this might be another example of Eivah and/or Chilul haShaym. I certainly don't want him going home and complaining, "That Jew was standing right there and wouldn't help me out!"

Any thoughts? Should I try to avoid such situations, or is it mutar?

Akiva Miller
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