Selling Chametz at Pesach

OR SHALOM 5776 (2016)


Why sell?

Divesting ourselves of chametz, the old food in our pantries, is one of the important rituals of preparing for Pesach/Passover.

On the physical level, this ritual offers us an opportunity to clean out our kitchens.

On the spiritual level, it offers us an opportunity for self-examination. We can ask ourselves what old habits we have been clinging to, and how we want to nourish ourselves spiritually in the future.

On the halakhic level, the ritual offers us the opportunity to fulfill the requirement that no Jew should own or be responsible for chametz over Pesach.

For this reason, some halakhic authorities maintain that all food which is definitely chametz must be either consumed or destroyed before Pesach.

However, others teach that because of the mitzvah of “bal tashchit” (“do not waste”), we should not throw out usable food. And for health reasons, we prefer not to give away half-eaten stores to others.

Thus, we can fulfill the halakhic mitzvah of clearing away the chametz by temporarily selling the chametz in our possession to a non-Jew.

When to sell?

All non-Passover foods or drinks must be either consumed, destroyed, or sold to a non-Jew before Passover Eve/Erev Pesach. If you wish to sell through Or Shalom, the deadline is Thursday, April 19 at 10:00 a.m.

How to sell?

For the sake of convenience and halakhic precision, it has become customary for rabbis to arrange for the sale. At Or Shalom, Rabbi Hannah Dresner has arranged for a responsible party to buy any chametz the Or Shalom community wishes to sell.

Selling your chametz as part of the Or Shalom community involves two steps:

  1. Put all of the chametz remaining in your home in a single location that is locked or taped shut and clearly labeled “chametz” so that no one accidentally eats from it.
  1. Print out the form below, fill it out, and return it to Or Shalom no later than Thursday April 19 at 10:00 a.m. You can bring it in person or fax it to 604-872-4406 or fill it out electronically and send it to with the subject line SELLING CHAMETZ.

Please note that the deadline for returning the form is firm.

What to sell?

The following foods are definitely chametz:

Bread, beer, biscuits, bran, brewers yeast, cake, cookies, crackers, dough, drinks from grains, macaroni, malt, noodles, oatmeal, puffed wheat, semolina, spaghetti, wafers, wheat germ, whiskey, and yeast extracts. Cereals and snack bars that contain one of the five following grains: wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats.

Other foods, if not specifically labeled “kosher for Passover” may contain chametz, and may be set aside for sale.




Return to Rabbi Hannah Dresner, Or Shalom, 710 E. 10th Avenue, Vancouver BC V5T 2A7, Fax: 604-872-4406; email <>. No later than THURSDAY April 21 at 10:00 a.m.

I, the undersigned, empower and permit Rabbi Hannah Dresner of the Or Shalom Spiritual Community Association to act in my place and stead, and on my behalf to sell all chametz and all products containing even the smallest percentage of chametz possessed by me knowingly or unknowingly as defined by the Torah and Rabbinic law, and to lease all places wherein the above mentioned products owned by me may be found, especially premises located at:

Name (printed):


Home Address:


Other Address (e.g., business) where Chametz may be located:


Telephone during Passover:


Rabbi Hannah Dresner has the full right to sell and to lease the above by such transactions as she deems fit and proper for such time as she chooses. The authority which is hereby given is meant to be in conformity with the Torah and Rabbinic laws and regulations, and also to be in acceptance with the laws of the Province of British Columbia and the nation of Canada.

To this I do hereby affix my signature.