The Torah prohibits us from owning any chametz during the festival of Pesach. This includes baked goods, flour, cereals, bread crumbs, groceries, canned goods, medications, cosmetics, animal feed, alcohol in beverages, shares in chametz-owning companies, etc., as well as other chametz mixtures and bits of chametz which adhere to utensils.
In principle a person has the option of consuming all his chametz before Pesach, giving it away, destroying it or renouncing ownership over it. In practice it is often not possible to dispose of all the chametz before Pesach, nor can a person be relied upon genuinely to renounce ownership of a significant amount of chametz. Moreover a person may have chametz in his possession of which he is unaware.
As a response to this situation the practice of "Selling the chametz" began nearly two thousand years ago during the time of the Mishnah. Originally, each Jew would sell his own chametz to a non-Jew and there would be an exchange of goods and money.
Nowadays, in order to ensure that all the legal requirements of a contract of sale are satisfied, people normally make the Rabbi their agent for selling chametz to a non-Jew. After Pesach the Rabbi buys back the chametz, though this is not made a specific condition of the sale. It should be noted that chametz which remains in one's possession during Pesach is prohibited for use afterwards.
We’re happy to offer the sale of chametz through the shul. Sell now online or contact the office for a printed form by Tuesday, 16 April.