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Hafkarat Hametz Instead of its Sale

(OH 445)

Question:
Is it permissible to perform hafkarat hametz (renunciation of ownership of the hametz in favor of whoever would take possession of it) before Pesah instead of selling it to a non-Jew?

Responsum:
According to the majority of the early and later authorities, we cannot permit hafkarat hametz. But it also seems clear that in this day and age it is distasteful to sell our hametz to non-Jews. We should rather make an effort to revive the original custom of ridding one’s home of all hametz before Pesah, thereby eliminating the need to renounce it or to sell it.

We should act as follows:
a) As Pesah approaches, we should try to use up all our hametz and ta’arovet hametz.
b) Ta’arovet hametz that is not fit for consumption (such as shoe polish), may be kept and used during Pesah.
c) Dishes that are used for hametz and have not been kashered for Pesah must be stored after a thorough cleaning and need not be sold.
d) If a quantity of hametz remains, one should give it as a present to non-Jews. This is much better that selling it or doing hafkarat hametz. In this fashion, not only will we not be dependent on the kindness of non-Jews, but we will be doing them a real kindness.

Rabbi Simchah Roth
In favor: Rabbi Gilah Dror
Rabbi David Golinkin
Rabbi Michael Graetz
Rabbi David Lazar
Rabbi Yisrael Warman
Opposed: Rabbi David Frankel

A Reaction to the Responsum on the Wearing of a Kippah by Men and Women

(OH 91:3-5)

I agree with Rabbi Frankel’s responsum, aside from the last section regarding women and girls. Inasmuch as wearing a kippah is a symbol of Fear of Heaven, of modesty, and of respect for tradition, which became a binding custom in times of sanctity, we have to require the wearing of the kippah not only of men and boys but also of women and girls. By so doing, we give women and girls the same opportunity to enrich their religious experience and to give the sacred moments in their lives the additional dimension that wearing a kippah adds.

Rabbi Gilah Dror
In favor: Rabbi Michael Graetz
Opposed: Rabbi David Frankel
Rabbi David Golinkin
Rabbi David Lazar
Rabbi Simchah Roth
Rabbi Yisrael Warman

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