Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bedikas Chameitz - hefsek? (pesachim 7)

The common practice is to not speak from the beginning of bedikas chameitz (from after the bracha) until the conclusion of the search, ostensibly to avoid a hefsek in the mitzvah performance. The Rosh (siman 10) asks why this should be so. When we fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah, says the Rosh, we say the bracha and begin our seudah, but no one would suggest there is an issur of speaking until one leaves the sukkah. If so, why is bedikas chameitz different?
How would you answer the kashe of the Rosh?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:18 PM

    My naive answer revolves on what constitutes a hefsek. A hefsek is an action that is not consistent with or necessary to the completion of the mitzvah on which one made a blessing.

    For Succah, the blessing is on the mitzvah of "dwelling" in a Succah. Eating, conversing, singing, even sleeping are actions consistent with and to some extent a necessary component of dwelling in a Succah. They are not, therefore, a hefsek.

    Searching for Chametz - is about searching. Talking, or eating a (non-chametz) snack along the way are not consistent nor necessary, so they are a hefsek.

    The line between necessary and unnecessary seems subject to debate. If you look in the mishna berurah on hilchos tefillin, you will see an opinion that one should put on the shel Rosh BEFORE winding the 7 turns on the arm. In that opinion, tightening the shel yad on the biscept is sufficient to complete putting on the shel yad and so, the turns on the arm are considered a hefsek.