Rav Schachter: Tevillat Keilim, Mechirat Chametz, Ta’anit Bekhorim
March 24, 2020
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Video Recording: Rabbi Willig on Online Mechirat Chametz

March 24, 2020


Recording of webinar with Rabbi Willig, click here
The video is available through rabbanan.org. If you do not have a password, you can register on their home page.)

Register here to participate

In this difficult time, there are many halachic challenges, one of which is executing mechiras chametz. This challenge presents itself on two levels:
1) In an ordinary year, each congregant would appoint the rabbi in person to sell his/her chametz. That is impossible this year.
2) In an ordinary year, the rabbi would then meet with the non-Jew in person and perform the six traditional kinyanim in order to effect the sale. In many places, multiple rabbanim gather to sell their chametz to a single non-Jew. This year, it is imperative that contact between people be limited as much as possible and as such, creative solutions are required.
To address this dual challenge, we arranged the following solution with Rabbi Mordechai Willig: Each rabbi interested in participating will receive a google form to email to their community to fill out. He will also receive a link to a google sheet to monitor the responses. The form will remain active until Monday, April 6, 11:59pm EDT. At that point, the responses will be compiled and sent to Rabbi Willig. Rabbi Willig (or a designee) will then sell the chametz to John Brown (or someone else) at the time specified on the form.

A sample form is available (link above – please note that this is only a test and using this form does not constitute an appointment of anyone for mechiras chametz).

You will be given two options for the appointment of the rabbi:The first option states “I, the undersigned, fully empower and permit Rabbi Your Name Here or Rabbi Mordechai Willig or either of their designees to act in my place …”

The second option states “I, the undersigned, fully empower and permit Rabbi Your Name Here or his designee to act in my place …”For a variety of reasons, choosing one of the two options above is the only customization that we are allowing. For those interested in a more customizable form, the Chicago Rabbinical Council has set up a very similar system which allows for more customization. If you are interested in registering for the cRc mechirah, please click here.We will be holding a Zoom conference, (see above video recording) where Rabbi Willig can explain this system and we can address any technical questions that you might have.

We understand that mechiras chametz is usually an opportunity for a rabbi to interact with his congregants and check in on their well being. To the extent that this is possible, we recommend a check in call to congregants symbolically representing the annual mechiras chametz meeting. At this meeting, Rabbi Willig has allowed for the rabbi to personally fill out the form for them. This is a good solution for the elderly congregants who may not be able to fill out an online form. [A friend or relative can help out as well as long as the helper reads through the form with the seller.]

Wishing you and your community good health and strength in this difficult time.

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