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If one did not find the number of pieces he put out etc!
MBY 439:1-4 If one did not find the number of pieces he put out etc! (abridged) [Quoted mainly from Artscroll’s Schottenstein Edition of Talmud Bavli (Pesachim I pp. 9b3-10b1)] “The Gemara begins a series of cases discussing the need for a possible second search, which are resolved on the basis of rules set forth dealing with doubts in other areas of Torah law.” (Ed: For our purposes, we will list each of the 8 cases and give a short synopsis of each question, without going into its resolution, because each involves other complex Talmudic references and concepts. Please try your hand at figuring out a ruling for each one based on our previous lessons and your own reasoning. We can always discuss the Shulchan Aruch’s ruling at a later time. Another interesting investigation to try would be to compare these cases with the ones we just learned about in our previous lesson – you know, “The mouse in the house”!) Enjoy!

Case #1: If there were nine piles of matzah and one of chametz, and a mouse came and took a piece from one of the piles and carried it into a searched house, but we do not know if it took a piece of matzah or if it took a piece of chametz into that house… (Question: Must we re-check the house because of the 1/10 chance that the mouse took chametz in?)

Case #2: If there were two piles, one consisting of matzah and one consisting of chametz, and in front of them were two houses – one searched and one not searched – and two mice came, one of which took a piece of matzah (into one of the houses) and one of which took a piece of chametz (into the other house), and we do not know which one went into this house and which one went into that house… (Question: Must we re-check the checked house because of the 1/2 chance that the chametz was brought into it?)

Case #3: If there was one pile of chametz, and in front of it were two searched houses, and a mouse came and took some chametz, and we do not know whether it went into this house with it or whether it went into that house… (Question: Must we check each house because of the 1/2 chance that the chametz was brought into it, or need we not check either?)

Case #4: If a mouse went into a searched house with chametz and the owner searched his house (partially) and did not find the chametz… (Question: Must he continue checking until he has thoroughly checked the entire house?)

Case #5: If a mouse went into a searched house with chametz and the owner searched his house (partially) and found some chametz but he does not know if it is the same chametz that the mouse brought in… (Question: Must he continue checking, because he may still find the mouse’s chametz, or can he assume that this is it?)

Case #6: If someone put down nine pieces of chametz and found ten… (Question: Clearly at least one piece was in the house that he did not leave. Does this open up the possibility that the ten he found were not the ones he left - i.e. perhaps the ones he left were moved around by mice etc. - and that therefore he must keep checking to find the ones he left?)

Case #7: If he put down ten pieces of chametz and found nine… (Question: May he assume that the nine he found were all from among the ten he left, and only one is at large, or must he be concerned that the nine are not from among the ten that he left, and that some – or all - of his ten are still at large?)

Case #8: If someone left chametz in a particular corner of a searched house and he then found it in another corner… (Question: May he assume that the chametz he found is the same that he left, but it got moved to a different corner, without his knowledge, or must he be concerned that this is different chametz from the one he left, and therefore, his is still somewhere missing in the house?)

Note: Just to keep this interesting, please remember to ask yourself, as you consider each scenario: Is this a case where a ‘biur’ / nullification was done (and thus at least the Torah obligation for BC has been fulfilled), or would its ruling be true even where no ‘biur’ was done?

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