Shabbat Parashat Mishpatim| 5767
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - Benefit from the Ashes of Chametz - From Shaa’rei Shaul, shiur 9) - Part II
[We saw last time that some link the question of benefit from the ashes of chametz to the machloket if chametz is supposed to be burnt (R. Yehuda) or can be disposed of in any way (Rabbanan). We also saw two questions of Acharonim. R. Akiva Eiger asked why we don’t permit the ashes even according to Rabbanan since, either way, the mitzva to destroy chametz was fulfilled. The Magen Avraham asked on the Rambam that since he holds like Rabbanan that chametz doesn’t need to be burnt, it should be forbidden to be burn the chametz out of fear that one might benefit from the ashes.]
The Torah stated explicitly that chametz is asur b’hana’ah and did not leave it to us to derive it from the fact that chametz needs to be burnt, as it did regarding kila’ei hakerem. The question is: now that we have both a chiyuv to burn and an isur hana’ah, does the isur hana’ah stem from the mitzva to burn or is it an independent isur? Let us spell out two approaches to the matter within Rabbanan’s opinion, which affect the status of ashes.
Tosafot hold that the two halachot are unrelated. Therefore, the fact that the chametz was burnt does not matter. The fact that the material is now ashes, not chametz,does not help because if one benefits from the ashes, it means that he benefited from the chametz by turning it into ashes. The Rambam reasons that the halachot are related. Therefore, once one fulfills the mitzva to destroy the chametz in any way, the chametz becomes mutar b’hana’ah. Therefore, the Magen Avraham’s question on the Rambam is moot because the Rambam posits that however one destroys the chametz it is indeed mutar b’hana’ah.
The two approaches to the isur hana’ah may be linked to the matter of chametz after Pesach. R. Yehuda says that it is forbidden after Pesach from the Torah. According to R. Shimon it is only a rabbinic penalty against one who did not get rid of his chametz. Chametz after Pesach is similar to the ashes of chametz. Each has no intrinsic reason to be asur; the rationale would only be to continue the previous state of isur. If it were possible to benefit from it in a different state or at a different time, it would never have truly been asur b’hana’ah. According to R. Shimon, it turns out that the isur hana’ah is not an intrinsic one in the chametz but a temporary restriction on extracting the benefit. Thus, a change either in time or the chametz’s form can make the restriction cease.
We can understand the Rambam differently. The Magen Avraham assumed that the reason that ashes of things slated for burning are permitted is because the mitzva of their disposal was fulfilled. He felt that it should, therefore, apply only to those whose mitzva was specifically to be burnt. However, it could be that the reason is that after it is reduced to ashes, any benefit is abnormal benefit, which is permitted from the Torah. Thus, it makes no difference whether the chametz had specifically to be burnt, but whether it was reduced to something from which one does not benefit normally. Although some isurim apply even to abnormal hana’ah, the rule is that those prohibitions, like chametz,that are expressed in terms of not eating, are permitted from the Torah in abnormal benefit.
Now we can suggest one more answer to the Magen Avraham’s question. One can ask whether the rule that the ashes of those isurei hana’ah which need only to be buried (nikbarin) are forbidden is d’orayta or d’rabbanan. From the fact that there is an injunction against burning nikbarin,we see that it must be asur mid’orayta; otherwise, the injunction would be a gezeira l’gezeira. However, regarding chametz, there is no isur d’orayta when benefiting in an abnormal manner. (It seems to be a machloket Rishonim whether there is an isur d’rabbanan.)Therefore, regarding chametz, the Rambam did not forbid burning even though it is from the nikbarin because forbidding it out of concern that he might benefit from the ashes would be a gezeira l’gezeira.
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