[Avodah] Baalus and Chameitz (was: help with 2 sugyot)

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Nov 28 11:48:46 PST 2018

On 1 May 2013 (v23n74
I replied to a question by RAM with (in part):
> But I think the key here is the word "property". I suggested in the past
> that there is no such thing in halakhah. (With a probable exception of bal
> yeira'eh bal yeimatzei.) There is baalus, but that's a different concept.

> Returning to bal yeira'eh as an example... A son does not inherit chameitz
> from his father who dies while owning it on Pesach. The issuer hanaah
> means a lack of baalus. Even though it's the father's in the sense of
> being chameitz she'avar alav haPesach (for the part of Pesach the father
> was alive to own it).

> As is implied in what RAM writes, baalus is more like custodianship than
> what we think of when we hear "property". Which is born out in the word
> "baalus" as well. Baalus revolves around control and responsibility,
> not an abstract principle of how the world is divided up among people.

> My previous thoughts on baalus and qinyan, as shaped by prior conversations
> here, are at <http://www.aishdas.org/asp/qinyan-and-baalus>.

Well, Arukh haShulchan Yomi adds another data point -- CM 245:10.

Someone gives another a gift and the recipient uses a language of bitul
(bitul, mevatel, mevuteles hi, tivateil, etc..) to reject the gift after
it reached him, if it's metaltelin, the item is hefqer.

The AhS notes the connection to bitul chomeitz that renders it hefqeir.
However, he says this is no raayah because chameitz on Pesach isn't in
his reshus, it's only made "ke'ilu hi birshuso" by bal yeira'eh. And
that's why gilui daata is enough to get the chameitz out of his reshus.
But (citing the Ran, beginning of Pesachim), something that is mamash his
is different. The AhS concludes that bitul only makes the gift hefqer
because it's a gift, but if it were actually his nekhasim, it wouldn't
be sufficient.

(Now that I wrote all that, I seem to recall someone did along the years
mention that bitul chameitz only works because we're talking about
quasi-baalus, and not real baalus. But I invested too much to what to
skip sending this email now. And besides, I added another maqor.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Man wants to achieve greatness overnight,
micha at aishdas.org        and he wants to sleep well that night too."
http://www.aishdas.org         - Rav Yosef Yozel Horwitz, Alter of Novarodok
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