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Pesach and Crumbs

Question:

Hello,

I am learning Hilchos Pesach and am trying to determine if being worried about tiny crumbs is a chumrah or meikar hadin. From the Mishnah Berurah it sounds to me that we are not worried. In practice I see many people are machmir (covering countertops, not eating utensils off the floor) but its hard to believe its a must as I don’t see anyone washing their hands after being around lets say a book that was around chametz (they just wont place it on chametz).
Or it could be we are chosesh for tiny crumbs next to food but don’t make the “next step” ex- the MB rules one can not place a starched clothing on the table because we are concerned there are pieces that will be transferred to the table (however he does not say you can’t wear the clothes lest you touch the shirt and then food.
Thank You.

Answer:

Hello,

It says “sailas chochom chatzei teshuva, a wise person’s question already contains half of the answer. You actually alluded to the answer to your question. There are two distinct levels of who we clean for Pesach, according to halacha and for those who are doing “spring cleaning”.

There are two mitzvos which are the reasons why we clean e the house for Pesach, the first mitzva is the mitzva to rid our property of chametz (“tashbisu seor m’bateichem”), on a Biblical level we fulfill this mitzva by merely, nullifying the chametz, and declaring that whatever chametz we own that it is from now on ownerless, and that we don’t want to have anything to do with it. Chazal, however added a safeguard to this, because there are times when a person will say that he doesn’t want to keep his chometz, but he doesn’t really mean it, such as a person who own a store and has stock of chometz, a person who has an expensive whiskey collection, or even if a person has some tasty chometz, that he isn’t so happy to part with. A second pitfall is that if the chametz is physically in our house we might come to end up eating it. Therefore, in addition to nullifying the chametz, we have to clean the house, search and remove any chometz from our possession. This rule however will only apply to either a kzayis worth of chometz, or even if it smaller than that, if it is clean and something we might want to eat, i.e. a clean pretzel, or piece of super snacks. However, crumbs that are dirty, (under the radiator, or in some sort of corner), do not have to be removed, (with the exception if the crumbs are all in one kli or container). This applies to cleaning most of the house for chometz.

There is another mitzva, the prohibition to ingest even a crumb, or half a crumb of chometz. This applies even if the crumb is dirty, we may not ingest it on Pesach. Therefore, the are a lot of chumros that we do in order to prevent even the slightest amount of chometz from making it’s way into what we eat. This is why we kasher and cover all surfaces that will come in contact with the Pesach foods, etc.

Best wishes

 

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