Shabbat Parashat Yitro| 5767
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - Benefit from the Ashes of Chametz - Part I - From Shaa’rei Shaul, shiur 9
[In honor of those who are learning Pesachim in the framework of daf hayomi, we will share related material from the new sefer of Rav Yisraeli’s Torah, Sha’arei Shaul.]
The Tur (Orach Chayim 445:2) says that whether chametz that was burnt is asur b’hana’ah on Pesach depends if one holds like R. Yehuda (=RY) or Rabbanan. According to RY that one must eliminate chametz by burning it, the burnt chametz is mutar b’hana’ah. According to Rabbanan that it can be dealt with in a variety of physical ways, it is asur. This is based on the rule that the ashes of isurei hana’ah which one needs only bury (nikbarin)are asur b’hana’ah.
R. Akiva Eiger (Haghot, OC 445) asks the following question. Tosafot (Temurah 33b) explains that the reason that the ashes of isurei hana’ah that are to be burned are mutar is that undergoing a mitzva of being destroyed causes them to be permitted. If so, why can’t we say that according to Rabbanan also one performed the mitzva to destroy the chametz, even if Rabbanan’s parameters for fulfilling the mitzva are more relaxed?
Rav Chaim of Brisk (Chametz U’Matza 1:3) explains that at the heart of the machloket between RY and Rabbanan is the question of the nature of the mitzva to destroy chametz. According to RY, the mitzva is on the cheftza (object) that needs to be burnt. In other words, when the chametz that is slated for destruction is burnt, it has undergone the required process which changes its status to that of mutar b’hana’ah. According to Rabbanan, the mitzva to destroy relates to the gavra (the person). In other words, one has to ensure that he does not own chametz. As the person’s personal mitzva does not relate to the object, its fulfillment does not change the chametz’s status.
The Rambam (Chametz U’Matza 3:11) rules like Rabbanan that one can destroy chametz in any manner, including but not limited to burning. The Magen Avraham asks that there is a rule that nikbarin should not be burned, out of concern that one might think incorrectly that he can benefit from the ashes. The Kehilot Yaakov (Pesachim 12) answers, within the Rambam’s approach, that chametz is an exception and does not become mutar b’hana’ah even according to RY. In general, the isur hana’ah is an outgrowth of the mitzva to destroy the object. Thus, if it is burnt, the reason for it to be asur b’hana’ah falls off. However, chametz is different, as we see from the fact that it is asur b’ hana’ah even when it is owned by a non-Jew, even though there is no mitzva to destroy it. Thus, the two halachot are unrelated. As the ashes are forbidden no matter what one does to them, the Magen Avraham’s question does not apply.
However, the Kehilot Yaakov is difficult. Tosafot (Pesachim 21b) proves that RY permits the ashes after they are burnt, for the gemara raised the possibility that it is mutar even during the burning process. One can also deflect the Kehilot Yaakov’s proof from the non-Jew’s chametz that the isur hana’ah is unrelated to the mitzva to burn it. The non-Jew’s chametz is indeed fit to be burnt; Jews just do not have a connection to his chametz in order to be required to do so. Therefore, we must find another answer to the Magen Avraham’s question [to be discussed next week].
The Kehilot Yaakov also asks why we need a pasuk that chametz is asur b’hana’ah as, regarding kila’ei hakerem, Chazal learned the isur hana’ah from the need to burn it. He answers according to his approach that the pasuk is needed regarding a non-Jew’s chametz. However, we have to give a different answer. There is a distinction between kila’ei hakerem and chametz. The former was produced via an aveira. If the Torah requires its destruction, it must then want us not to benefit from it. In contrast, as long as one is planning to burn chametz, no aveira has taken place. Therefore, without the pasuk, we would not know there is an isur hana’ah in the meantime.
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