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  Post-Pesach Shopping

04/24/2022 01:06:03 AM

Apr24

 

As is well known, there is a prohibition after Pesach of eating Chametz SheAvar Alav HaPesach, that is, Chametz that was in the possession of a Jew (in violation of Halachah) on Pesach. One must therefore be careful after Pesach to buy Chametz either from non-Jews or from Jews who properly arranged to sell their Chametz until sufficient time has passed for the inventory that was in the store over Pesach to have turned over (approximately three weeks for boxed items and four days for bread). Note that this prohibition is limited to "actual Chametz," namely, foods that have Chametz as their main ingredient (such as bread, cereal, pasta, breadcrumbs, etc.) as opposed to foods that contain Chametz or a Chametz derivative, but not as their main ingredient (such as mayonnaise, dressings, ketchup, etc.). All Kitniyos products may be owned by a Jew on Pesach and thus can be purchased anywhere right after Pesach.

 

Some Jewish owned companies do arrange to sell their Chametz but remain open for business over Pesach. Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, held that their sale is effective nonetheless, even though the storeowners are in effect “stealing” from the non-Jew to whom the Chametz was sold when they profit from “his” Chametz over Pesach. Because the sale itself is valid, these stores may be patronized immediately after Yom Tov. Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, zt”l, however, held that a sale under such circumstances is ineffective since it is clear that the owner did not take it seriously. These stores should therefore not be patronized immediately after Yom Tov, unless an arrangement has been made, as some stores indeed do, for a non-Jew to keep the profits from any Chametz sold over Pesach.

 

Another issue of debate relates to publicly owned companies. Many Poskim define the status of ownership based on who the majority of the owners are. Some, however, are concerned even with a minority Jewish ownership when that ownership represents a portion of the upper management.

 

In light of the above, I share with you the information relating to local stores. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but rather is based on information which I have at present; I will be in touch with any further updates, if necessary.

 

  1. All stores under the Kashrus supervision of the RCBC or any other reliable Hashgachah may be shopped at immediately after Pesach., as their Chametz was properly sold.

 

  1. Aldi, BJ’s, CVS, Duane Reade, Dunkin Donuts, Lidl, Rite-Aid, Seven-Eleven, Shop-Rite in New Milford and Palisades Park, Trader Joe’s, Walgreen’s, Walmart, Wawa, and Whole Foods are all owned by non-Jews, as are their distribution companies, and there is thus no problem to shop there after Pesach.

 

  1. Shop-Rite in Englewood and in Paramus are owned by Jews, but their Chametz is sold and it is arranged for a non-Jew to receive the profits from any Chametz products sold in the store over Pesach. One may therefore shop there as well immediately after Pesach.

 

 

  1. Acme, Foodtown, Food Emporium, Key Food, Stop&Shop, and Target (among others) are owned by non-Jews, but they use a distribution company that is owned by Jews (although Target’s non-frozen foods come from a non-Jewish distributor). That company’s Chametz is sold before Pesach, but the aforementioned question regarding their businesses being open as per usual over Pesach is relevant; one who wishes to follow the more stringent view above should wait for the amount of time indicated above (depending on the product) before purchasing Chametz from these stores.

 

  1. Fairway and Costco are publicly owned companies under mostly non-Jewish ownership. There are, however, some Jews with minority interests in the upper management. The question posed above regarding the definition of ownership in this context is relevant here; again, one who wishes to follow the more stringent view above should wait for the amount of time indicated above (depending on the product) before purchasing Chametz from these stores.  

 

  1. Amazon is similarly a publicly traded company and does not use a Jewish supplier. However, they do serve as the distributor for many Jewish-owned companies. The name of the supplier is often posted on the Amazon website. Consumers should make a reasonable effort to determine if the supplier is Jewish before purchasing chametz after Pesach. This same concern applies to other on-line distributors, such as Walmart.com, and SamsClub.com.

 

  1. Fresh Direct has a significant involvement of Jews at the ownership level, but the corporate structure is presently unclear. Their Chametz was sold, but their business remained open during Pesach and hence the status of that sale is subject to the question mentioned above. Because of the uncertainty regarding the corporate structure, one who already ordered for immediate delivery after Pesach may consume that food; others should wait a week or so (because of the high demand, the turnover is more rapid) before ordering.   

 

Sun, July 3 2022 4 Tammuz 5782