Question:

There was a Jew who was giving a business seminar during Chol Hamoed Pesach, afterwards he was presented with a gift in front of the whole crowd. When he felt the packaged gift, he realized that it must be indeed a whisky, what is the halacha in such a case? Could he have had negative intention so as not to acquire the object and then discard it afterwards?

Answer:

He can accept the gift with intention not to acquire it, and discard it later.

Although it is forbidden to touch chametz on Pesach, for fear that the person will come to eat it (see Orach Chaim 446:3, and Magen Avraham 5; Mishnah Berurah 10), this applies to circumstances where there is a concern for eating the chametz. Under the circumstances, where the chametz is gift-wrapped and sealed, it is possible that this concern will not apply, and there is therefore no problem.

Even if the prohibition will apply, this is not a “formal prohibition,” and under circumstances of kavod ha-briot, where rejecting the gift will certainly cause the person in question shame, one will not have to be concerned for this.

3 Responses to “Receiving Gift of Chametz on Pesach”

  1. The Rama says that one should never be ashamed to do what Hashem wants, even if other people will laugh at him.

    If the Jew already took the whiskey into his hand, without having had in mind NOT to acquire it, and afterwards discovered (by feeling it) that it is a bottle of whiskey, it is a davar pashut that he has accepted the gift and acquired ownership of it. Even though he was not aware at the time that he took it into his hand that it contained chametz, nevertheless once a person takes a gift into his hand, certainly he acquires it. Therefore, in this case, he must IMMEDIATELY proceed to the lavatory and spill the whiskey into the toilet.

    • See Tshuvos Rebbi Akiva Eiger O:C 23 towards the end of thק teshuva s”v ובתחילת ההשקפה who writes that one who acquires something thinking it is not chametz and it turns out to be chametz, does not acquire it and it is a קנין בטעות ולא זכה בו מעולם

  2. Thank you for the response. I was not aware of that. Could you please translate the Hebrew words into English so that I could understand your response better?

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