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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crumb Hunting

For those with large libraries, the prospects of searching all ones books for some stray crumbs that may have gotten wedged within them is daunting.

The obligation to do a bedika or search for Chametz is only applicable to places where one is wont to use and bring Chametz. So books that were not used at the table and one didn’t use when eating definitely don’t have to be checked.

The Magen Avraham writes that crumbs don’t require specific nullification and only that which one may want to keep ( a “gluska yafeh”) requires bittul. According to this reasoning there should be no obligation to check ones seforim for crumbs either.

There are however other Poskim who dispute the assertion of the Magen Avraham and feel that one may end up eating the crumbs as well and therefore they do require bittul and bedikah. Additionally, there is a oft quoted Rosh that the Minhag of all Jews is to eradicate all Chametz from their possession, even that Chometz which one may not Halachically be required to remove from his custody. This is used often to explain customs like washing the ceilings and painting the outside of the house in advance of Pesach. It seems to be applicable here as well.

Furthermore, the Arizal says that if someone is careful about even the tiniest bit of Chametz they will be assured to be free of sin for the entire year. [I’m not sure how to understand things like this but maybe it’ll help someone else].

The best solution is for one to be careful throughout the year not to eat Chametz near their seforim and books and thus eliminate all doubt.


Posted on 03/18 at 04:01 AM • Permalink
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Meet Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch HaberRabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber is sought after by all who know him for his Halachic and practical advice. His keen ability to put complicated matters into a digestible perspective coupled with his ability to get the facts, make him the perfect blogger to help us all “Do It Right”.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber spent his childhood globetrotting with his family. His pioneering spirit first surfaced in Melbourne, Australia, where he was excited to be a member of the opening class of Mesivta Bnei Torah. From Australia the Haber family settled down in Monsey, NY. Ever the maverick, Tzvi promptly left home to study in Yeshiva Ohr Hameir in Peekskill, where he became a mainstay of the Yeshiva, and inspired his younger brothers as well as several friends from the Mesivta in Melbourne to follow him. He then joined his chaburah in Jerusalem, first at the Mir Yeshiva and then at the Bais Medrash of Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, a senior scion of the famed Brisk dynasty. As his globetrotting family returned to Jerusalem, Tzvi returned to the US, to freeze in the famed, yet comparatively chilled Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood.

 In 2004 he met his wife, Suzanne Schor, a native of the warmer Los Angeles climate, and the couple settled in Lakewood, where he focused his pioneering and independent strengths on the study of Halacha, or Jewish law. His innovative spirit and innate ability to help others seeking to clarify the finer points of Judaism and integrate them into their daily lives inspired his decision to commute daily from Lakewood to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in order to bask in the day to day exposure to the world renowned Posek, HaRav David Feinstein. The daily commute was more than compensated for when he received Semicha from Rav Feinstien and the Kollel L’Torah U’lhorah (a division of Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem) in Tamuz 5768, June 2008.

In August 2009, the Habers moved west, heading toward Los Angeles where Rabbi Haber joined the LINK-LA Kollel. After being an active member of the Kollel for several years, he joined the business world, however he is still actively involved in teaching and learning in LA.

Actively involved in all aspects of TorahLab, Tzvi has taken upon himself a quasi-role as administrator of quality control and has effectively improved and upgraded many of the smaller yet vital details involved in our site. His advice is eagerly sought and gracefully given.

Rabbi Haber is now living in the La Brea section of Los Angeles with his wonderful family. He can be contacted at