[Avodah] Biur Chametz and Bitul in the morning

Kenneth Miller kennethgmiller at juno.com
Tue Mar 12 12:07:20 PDT 2013

Last year, in Avodah 30:22, I questioned part of the text which we use for Bitul Chametz in the morning:

> "which I destroyed or did not destroy". Of course I must be
> mevatel the chometz that I did not yet destroy, but I find
> it odd that I'm also being mevatel the chometz that I already
> destroyed. This seems superfluous to me, and my guess is that
> "d'viartay" is included purely to preserve the double-phrase
> symmetry of the section. If anyone can offer another reason
> to include it, I'd be interested to hear it.

No one offered any ideas at that time, but a possibility has come to my attention. I am now reading the "Pesach Guide 5773", printed by the rabbi of a certain shul (not in my community) for his congregants. It includes this line: "The final bittul should be recited after the remaining chametz has been thrown into the fire and has been at least partially consumed."

This is new to me. I had thought that the proper procedure is to first insure that *all* the chametz has been destroyed by burning, and *then* to say the bittul in order to get rid of whatever chametz he might have forgotten.

Reviewing the relevant halachos, however, I do not find the word "all" used. Rama 434:2 writes, "One should not do the daytime bittul until after he he has burned the chametz, in order to fulfill the mitzvah of burning with his own chometz." I can see room to argue that one has accomplished this as long as *some* of the chometz gets burned prior to the bittul.

In practice, I have seen *many* people who simply add their chametz to the communal fire, recite the bitul almost immediately, and walk away without insuring that it gets completely burned. (In fact, I remember one year when the pile was still smoking on Yom Tov morning.) And a quick search with Google found me this quote, though I do not have the sefer to verify it:

> Rav Yaakov Emden in Mor U-ketzia 434 says that one can say
> the bitul before burning the chametz even lechatchila.
(I'm not sure, but this might be found at the very top of page 82 in http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=7921)

Perhaps this answers my question about the text of the bittul: maybe we should translate "d'viartay ud'la viartay" as "which I began to destroy, and which I did not destroy at all."


Akiva Miller
How to Sleep Like a Rock
Obey this one natural trick to fall asleep and stay asleep all night.

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