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New York - Anonymous Man Becomes The Owner Of Thousands Of Closets In Brooklyn Full Of Bread

Published on: April 4, 2012 09:39 PM
By: Read full article at NY Times (blog)
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New York - Forget the Lottery. The biggest windfall in the country this Passover season might well be coming to an otherwise anonymous man named Glade who works at a Jewish funeral monument company in St. Louis.

Last Passover, Glade became the proud owner of tens of thousands of closets and cabinets full of bread, fancy pasta and alcohol from Jews around North America. He was the gentile who took official ownership of the leavened bread products that those Jews sold for the holiday via Chabad.org, the Web site run by the Brooklyn-based Lubavitcher branch of Hasidic Judiasm.

Jews can put all the chametz they own in a closet, cabinet or room, and assign a rabbi power of attorney over the space and its contents. The rabbi then sells the chametz to a gentile, and leases the gentile the space in which it is stored. At the end of the eight-day holiday, the rabbi buys it all back for the original owners.

Traditionally, a local rabbi would make the sale, but since Chabad started an online version of the service out of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, about a decade ago, an ever growing number of Jews– 56,843 last year– have pointed and clicked to give power of attorney over their chametz to Rabbi Yosef Landa, a Chabad rabbi in St. Louis.

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“Suddenly this has become the hub for the world’s chametz sales,” Rabbi Landa said on Tuesday. “It’s an interesting thing for everybody. It’s unifying.”

Rabbi Landa’s main job is to find a gentile willing to take ownership over the virtual world’s chametz, and sell it by the morning of the first Passover Seder meal. Often, he says, he has turned to Glade.

He does not know much about Glade personally. He first said that Glade was a handyman at a synagogue, then after speaking with him, said he worked at a Jewish monument company. He told City Room that Glade was not interested in being interviewed about his role as perhaps the largest owner of Jewish chametz in the world.

But Glade’s personal status — beyond the fact that he is not a Jew and is willing to participate — is not that critical, Rabbi Landa said. The transaction itself is simple. Glade signs a document, makes a down payment of, say $50, and the chametz is legally transferred to him. After the holiday, Rabbi Landa buys the chametz back for $100. “He is very happy to have me buy it back from him, especially for the profit,” Rabbi Landa said.


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Read Comments (21)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 04, 2012 at 10:21 PM HaNavon Says:

Ashrei chelko!

2

 Apr 04, 2012 at 10:46 PM joek212 Says:

It doesn't work without a kinyan so 58,843 people's chometz are not sold properly this is a tremendous michshol!!

3

 Apr 04, 2012 at 10:34 PM Anonymous Says:

He should be paids lots more than this!

4

 Apr 04, 2012 at 10:52 PM Mark Levin Says:

How can the Chabadzkers in NY use their chometz before it is bought back in STL? There's an hour difference so they have to wait longer.

5

 Apr 04, 2012 at 10:57 PM GreatGuy1 Says:

My ruv told me that his guy gets $2 per shtar
That means he would need to get over 100K

6

 Apr 04, 2012 at 11:21 PM bigwheeel Says:

Now, I don't want to appear as either a Nitpick, Spoilsport or Killjoy. But I'm wondering if online transactions involving Chametz on Passover are valid. Especially. In view of the fact that the rabbi (In St. Louis) doesn't know very much about the background of "Glade". He might possibly have Jewish ancestry (Where he is Halachically considered to be Jewish) and selling the chametz to him did not accomplish anything.

7

 Apr 04, 2012 at 11:21 PM jkier74 Says:

To No. 2.
This is not true. You can sell the Chometz by phone if necessary. You don't have to be physically there with the Rabbi.

8

 Apr 04, 2012 at 11:50 PM Briskerrav Says:

Reply to #7  
jkier74 Says:

To No. 2.
This is not true. You can sell the Chometz by phone if necessary. You don't have to be physically there with the Rabbi.

My rabbi gave me a pen to be mekabel kinyan so I'm not sure that u don't have to be there...

9

 Apr 05, 2012 at 12:10 AM Avi613 Says:

The click of the mouse is the maase kinyon..

10

 Apr 05, 2012 at 12:15 AM sgwigaman Says:

They must have some loop hole for the kinyan I'm just curious to know what it is

11

 Apr 05, 2012 at 01:05 AM TheMaven Says:

Please note, there is NO kinyan necessary. The Rov is NOT buying the Chametz from you, he is only an agent (shaliach) to sell it for you. To designate someone a shaliach NO KINYAN is necessary. However, to STRENGTHEN the appointment of the shaliach the Rov makes a "kinyan" (though it really isn't one).

12

 Apr 05, 2012 at 01:24 AM jkier74 Says:

To Number 8:
The halacha is that you can bideved sell over the phone. I had an incident where I went out of town and forgot to sell the chometz. My Rov took my info over the phone. I believe Rav Moshe paskens like this too. Many poskim hold like this too. So I speak from fact and actual cases.It is always preferable to do it in person however, but the halacha allows it.

13

 Apr 05, 2012 at 01:58 AM LiberalismIsADisease Says:

when you make a kinyan with your rov, he is allowed to make another shliach if necessary. simple!

14

 Apr 05, 2012 at 04:43 AM itsimple Says:

1 not all the halachik details have to be printed in the new york times ...
2 it is better to make a kinyan but you dont have to
3 tell all your not yet frum freinds about it - you are saving them from a BIG isur
4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5H_pQd1i8A&feature=player_embedded#!
5 have a gut yom tov

15

 Apr 05, 2012 at 07:45 AM WiseDude Says:

I don't know. I have been selling chometz via the Rav for years. I do it because that is how we do it. But I am not convinced this is a valid sale because EVERYONE knows that after Pesach, all the chometz returns to me. No matter how many times I have heard it explained why this is a real sale, I just can't buy it. It is a legal fiction.

16

 Apr 05, 2012 at 10:12 AM Anonymous Says:

This is great for those without a rabbi or a community, but for those who use this and take parnassah away from their own rov, it is a big problem. Rabbi Landa should write on his website that if you have your own rabbi, you should go to him.

17

 Apr 05, 2012 at 11:20 AM Avreich1 Says:

Reply to #14  
itsimple Says:

1 not all the halachik details have to be printed in the new york times ...
2 it is better to make a kinyan but you dont have to
3 tell all your not yet frum freinds about it - you are saving them from a BIG isur
4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5H_pQd1i8A&feature=player_embedded#!
5 have a gut yom tov

"1 not all the halachik details have to be printed in the new york times ..."

Why not? What "secrets" should we protect?

Are we proud Jews, or secretive and paranoid Freemasons!

18

 Apr 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM jkier74 Says:

To No. 16
There is no chiyuv to sell your chometz with your Rov and give him parnosoh. It might be a nice thing but I can sell it with whomever I desire. Just like I can shop in any store, I can sell my chometz with whom ever. The Rov gets a salaray and this is extra for which there is no chiyuv.

19

 Apr 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM The_Truth Says:

I love the fact that they call it "closets of bread..." makes it sound like we stockpile it, along with 'fancy' pasta (whatever that is) & alcohol!

20

 Apr 05, 2012 at 01:31 PM CSLMoish Says:

I used Rav Landa online this morning and it took about ten seconds and I did not have to go throght the useless ritual of detailing my alcohol, cereal and pasta.

21

 Apr 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM Avreich1 Says:

Reply to #15  
WiseDude Says:

I don't know. I have been selling chometz via the Rav for years. I do it because that is how we do it. But I am not convinced this is a valid sale because EVERYONE knows that after Pesach, all the chometz returns to me. No matter how many times I have heard it explained why this is a real sale, I just can't buy it. It is a legal fiction.

"I just can't buy it. It is a legal fiction."

?בוקר טוב, אליהו! רק עכשיו התעוררתה

22

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