Bedikat Chametz on time

09.04.19

Question

Question:
I’m an accountant and Pesach always falls out around tax season, the busiest time of the year. I usually have to stay late hours in the office to make parnassa for the year.  I take of all the time I can for Pesach but when it comes to Leil Bedikat Chametz I can’t make it home in time for Tzeit Hakochavim. (It is either that day or a work on Chol HaMoed.) Should I make a shliach to-do the bedikah for me at the correct time, or should I just wait until I get home?

 

Answer

Answer:
If you family will be awake when you arrive home then you should wait until you arrive home to do the Bedikah. However, if you won’t arrive until everyone is sleeping, then appoint your wife or kids to do it for you.

Explanation:
The Gemara in Peahcim4a says: Wy do we check on the night of the fourteenth and not during the day? Rav Nachman says it is the time when people are home nad home and candlelight is better to check by. Abaye commented therefore a Talmid Chacham should not start learning on the afternoon of the thirteenth since he might get caught up and forget to check and lose a mitzvah.

 The Rishonim argue whether if one started learning earlier, does he have to stop or is it only if you started close to the Bedikah?
The Ritva ( and the Rabbeinu Yonah) explain, “Abaye said that is forbidden to start learning when it is already the time for Bedikat chametz. However, if you started earlier one may continue learning and need not stop exactly at Tzeit Hakochavim.
The Tur argues that he must stop at Tzeit Hakochavim no matter what since he might forget to check.

The Bach (OH 432) asks from Kriat Shema by Kriat Shema if one started early enough, he does not need to stop learning, why is here different? He answers that her we are much more worried he might forget since it is also a regular mitzvah, he might come to forget about it.
The Magen Avraham questions the Bach from Lulav. By mitzvat Lulav one also does not need to stop learning immediately even though it’s  a common mitzvah? By Bedikat chametz we are more stringent since it is saving one from Issur, unlike Lulav which is a mitzvah. Therefore, the Tur also only understood its s forbidden to start a half hour before, but before that done need not stop.
The Makor Chaim answers that Bedikat Chametz’s time is  the beginning of the night but Lulav is the whole day.
Therefore, it comes out that only the Bach and the Makor Chaim understood that according the Tur if you began leaning more than a half hour before you must stop at Tzeit. According the other opinions of the Ritva, Rabbeinu Yonah, Magen Avraham as long as you begin when you were allowed to then you can do the Bedikat later.
   According the Makor Chaim there is machloket between the Rabbeinu Yonah and the Tur when the main time for Bedikah is, at Tzeit or the whole night.

The Shulchan Aruch 431:b rules the atone must start any work or eat until he does the bedikah. If he started at a time, he couldn’t learn  he should wait but if he started then he does not need to stop. The Rema writes that he must stop .
The Magen Avraham comment so the Shulchan Aruch that he only mentions starting b’Heter by learning not by other things  like work and those you must top no matter what.
The Mishna Berura quotes other Acharonim who argue the Magen Avraham (Bigdei Yesha, Chok Yaakov, Makor Chaim. Therefore, according the Mishna Berura if one started working more than a half hour before Tzeit, he can a finish his work and then do the Bedikah.

Similarly, R’ Ovadiah Yosef writes by someone who comes home late from work on Leil Bedikat chametz and wants to take a short nap before doing the Bedikah. He writes that as long as his wife and kids are awake, he can ask them to wake him up it is permitted, however if they are asleep then it is not and he shod ask his wife to do the Bedikah.
 So too here if he will arrive late, he should have his wife or kids remind him when he gets home to do the Bedikah then you may late, but if they will not be awake then he should appoint his wife to the Bedikah for him.

 

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