SECTION 439 The Laws [that Apply] to a Person Who Searched [for Chametz] and Did Not Find All the Pieces [of Chametz] He [Originally] Set Down (1-9)

סימן תלט דִּין מִי שֶׁבָּדַק וְלֹא מָצָא מִסְפַּר כִּכָּרוֹת שֶׁהִנִּיחַ וּבוֹ ט' סְעִיפִים:

1 [The following laws apply] when there are nine piles of matzah and one pile of chametz [that were] located in the presence [of people outside a house]. A mouse came and [was observed] taking a loaf from one [of the piles],1 but it is not known whether it took [a loaf] that was chametz or [one that was] matzah. [The mouse was then seen] entering a house.2 [In such a situation,] it is necessary to search [the house] again. [The principle,] “Whenever something is separated [from a group, it is assumed] to have been separated from the majority [of that group]”3 is not applied. [Thus, it is not assumed that the mouse] took matzah [and not the chametz].

[The reason for the stringency is] that [the mouse] was seen taking [the loaf from the piles]. Thus, the doubt regarding [the status of] this loaf – whether it is chametz or matzah – arose when [the loaf] was still in the place where [the status of the piles of] chametz and matzah were established, i.e., [the doubt arose] when the mouse was seen taking [the loaf. Hence, we apply the principle:] “Whenever [a doubt arises in a place where the status of the substances is] established, [the probability] is defined as “half-and-half,”4 as our Sages5 derived from the exegesis of Scriptural verses.6

Even when [the householder] already nullified [the possession of] all his chametz7 and thus, all that is involved is the possibility of a Rabbinic [prohibition being violated, the Sages ruled stringently.8 Indeed, they did so] even when the loaf taken by the [the mouse] was small and thus, it could be postulated that the mouse had eaten it, [i.e.,] there are compounded factors that raise doubts.9 [These factors] should [ostensibly] lead to a lenient ruling even if [the householder] did not nullify [his possession of the chametz]. Nevertheless, the Sages ruled stringently in this instance, even when [the householder] nullified [his possession of chametz. The rationale is that] the Sages did not rule leniently when there is one factor that raises doubt [as to whether chametz is present, i.e., in instances where the householder] nullified [his possession of chametz], and [similarly did not rule leniently] when there are two factors that raise doubt [as to whether chametz is present in instances where the householder] did not nullify [his possession of chametz], [unless] the house was previously established as having been searched.10 [In those instances, the halachic status of the house as having been searched] is upheld, and [the householder] is not required to trouble himself and search again.

[Whenever, by contrast,] a room has not been searched, even when there are several factors that raise doubt that could free [the room] from [the requirement to be] searched, [these factors] are of absolutely no consequence. [The rationale is that the Sages’] decree to search fundamentally included searching even those places which do not obviously contain chametz, but concerning which there are merely doubts and compounded doubts [regarding the presence of chametz], as explained in sec. 433[:25].11 Since a mouse was seen bringing a loaf into this house, the prevailing assumption [regarding the status] of this house is that it is one that has not been searched. [This applies] even though the status of this loaf [is undefined]; it is not known whether it is chametz or matzah. Nevertheless, since this loaf, which could be chametz, was definitely brought into this house after it was searched, [the status of the house] is downgraded, [and there is no longer a prevailing assumption that it had been searched. Accordingly,] the possibility that [the loaf] was matzah and the possibility that the mouse ate it have no effect, for this was our Sages’ ordinance – to search every place where there is no prevailing assumption that it had already been searched, even though there are several factors that [would seem to justify a more] lenient [approach].

There are authorities who differ [with the above] and maintain that if the loaf was small [enough] that one could [hypothesize] that it was eaten by the mouse, or that it will be eaten [entirely] before the time for the obliteration [of chametz] arrives, there is no need to search [the house] again12 even if [the householder] did not nullify [his possession of chametz. The rationale is that] there are two factors that raise doubt, which [could] lead to leniency – perhaps [the loaf the mouse] took was matzah and perhaps [the mouse] ate [the loaf] entirely.

The words of these authorities may be relied upon if [the householder] nullified [his possession of his chametz] or [if] there is still time for him to do so. [The rationale is that in this instance,] the obligation to search is only Rabbinic in origin,13 and a lenient perspective may be followed with regard to [questions concerning] Rabbinic Law.14

א תִּשְׁעָה צִבּוּרִים שֶׁל מַצָּה וְאֶחָד שֶׁל חָמֵץ שֶׁהָיוּ מֻנָּחִים לְפָנֵינוּ וּבָא עַכְבָּר וְנָטַל מֵהֶם כִּכָּר אֶחָד בְּפָנֵינוּ,1 וְלֹא יָדַעְנוּ אִם חָמֵץ נָטַל אוֹ מַצָּה נָטַלא וְנִכְנַס לַבַּיִת בְּפָנֵינוּב,2 – צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִים "כָּל דְּפָרִישׁ מֵרֻבָּא פָּרִישׁ"3 וּמַצָּה נָטַל, דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁרָאִינוּ שֶׁנְּטָלוֹ,ג אִם כֵּן נוֹלַד לָנוּ הַסָּפֵק עַל כִּכָּר זֶה אִם הוּא חָמֵץ אוֹ מַצָּה כְּשֶׁהָיָה עֲדַיִן בִּמְקוֹם קְבִיעוּת הֶחָמֵץ וְהַמַּצָּה, דְּהַיְנוּ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁנָּטַל הָעַכְבָּר, וְכָל הַקָּבוּעַ דִּינוֹ כְּמֶחֱצָה עַל מֶחֱצָה,ד,4 כְּמוֹ שֶׁדָּרְשׁוּ חֲכָמִיםה,5 מִמִּדְרַשׁ הַפְּסוּקִים.ו,6

וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם כְּבָר בִּטֵּל כָּל חֲמֵצוֹ,ז,7 שֶׁאֵין כָּאן אֶלָּא סְפֵק דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם הַכִּכָּר שֶׁנָּטַל הָעַכְבָּר הָיָה קָטָןח (א) שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִתְלוֹת שֶׁאֲכָלוֹ הָעַכְבָּר, וַהֲרֵי יֵשׁ כָּאן ב' סְפֵקוֹת9 לְהָקֵל וְהָיָה לָנוּ לְהָקֵל אַף אִם לֹא בִּטֵּל, אַף עַל פִּי כֵן הֶחֱמִירוּ חֲכָמִים כָּאן8 אַף אִם בִּטֵּל, לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא הֵקֵלּוּ חֲכָמִים בְּסָפֵק אֶחָד אִם בִּטֵּל וּבְב' סְפֵקוֹת אִם לֹא בִּטֵּל אֶלָּא בְּבַיִת שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד בְּחֶזְקַת בָּדוּק,ט,10 שֶׁמַּעֲמִידִין אוֹתוֹ בְּחֶזְקָתוֹ וְלֹא הִטְרִיחוּהוּ לַחֲזֹר וּלְבָדְקוֹ פַּעַם ב', אֲבָל כָּל חֶדֶר שֶׁלֹּא נִבְדַּק, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ כַּמָּה סְפֵקוֹת לְפָטְרוֹ מִן הַבְּדִיקָה – אֵין זֶה מוֹעִיל כְּלוּם, שֶׁכָּךְ הוּא עִקַּר תַּקָּנַת הַבְּדִיקָה לִבְדֹּק אֲפִלּוּ בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם חָמֵץ בָּרוּר אֶלָּא סָפֵק וּסְפֵק סְפֵקוֹת,י כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תל"ג,יא,11 וּבַיִת זֶה כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאִינוּ שֶׁהִכְנִיס עַכְבָּר כִּכָּר לְתוֹכוֹ – הֲרֵי הוּא עוֹמֵד בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּדוּק, שֶׁאַף שֶׁכִּכָּר זֶה הוּא סְפֵק חָמֵץ סְפֵק מַצָּה, מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי נִכְנַס כִּכָּר זֶה שֶׁהוּא סְפֵק חָמֵץ לְבַיִת זֶה אַחַר בְּדִיקָתוֹ – הֲרֵי נִגְרְעָה חֶזְקַת בְּדִיקָתוֹ,יב וְהַסָּפֵק שֶׁהוּא מַצָּה וְהַסָּפֵק שֶׁאֲכָלוֹ הָעַכְבָּר אֵינָם מוֹעִילִים כְּלוּם, שֶׁכָּךְ הִיא תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים לִבְדֹּק בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת בָּדוּק אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ כַּמָּה סְפֵקוֹת לְהָקֵל.

וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִיןיג עַל זֶה וְאוֹמְרִים שֶׁאִם הַכִּכָּר הָיָה קָטָן בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִתְלוֹת שֶׁאֲכָלוֹ הָעַכְבָּר אוֹ שֶׁיֹּאכְלֶנּוּ עֲדַיִן עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ זְמַן הַבִּעוּר – אֵין צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק12 אֲפִלּוּ אִם לֹא בִּטְּלוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁיֵּשׁ כָּאן ב' סְפֵקוֹת לְהָקֵל, שֶׁמָּא מַצָּה נָטַל וְשֶׁמָּא אֲכָלוֹ כֻּלּוֹ.יד וְיֵשׁ לִסְמֹךְ עַל דִּבְרֵיהֶם אִם כְּבָר בִּטֵּל אוֹ שֶׁיָּכוֹל עֲדַיִן לְבַטֵּל, שֶׁאָז הַבְּדִיקָה אֵינָהּ אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,טו,13 וּבְדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים הַלֵּךְ אַחַר הַמֵּקֵל:טז,14

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2 [A different law applies] if the loaf was separated from the place where [its status] had been established without [the incident being observed], and then the mouse [was observed] taking [the loaf] from that place and bringing it into a house that had been searched. Since the question regarding whether the loaf was chametz or matzah arose after [the loaf] was separated from the place [where its status] was established – for [the loaf] was separated [from its established location] without [being observed] – its identity [as chametz or matzah] is established based on the majority, [following the principle,] “Whenever something is separated [from a group, it is assumed] to have [been] separated from the majority [of that group].”15 [Hence, the loaf] is assumed [to be] matzah. Therefore, even if [the householder] did not nullify [his possession of chametz], and the sixth hour [of the fourteenth of Nissan] already commenced, and [thus] he can no longer nullify [it], even so, [the householder] need not search again, even if the loaf is large.

ב וְאִם פֵּרַשׁ הַכִּכָּר מִמְּקוֹם קְבִיעָתוֹיז שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנֵינוּיח וּמִשָּׁם נְטָלוֹ הָעַכְבָּר בְּפָנֵינוּ וְנִכְנַס לְבַיִת בָּדוּק, כֵּיוָן שֶׁנּוֹלַד הַסָּפֵק עַל כִּכָּר זֶה אִם הוּא חָמֵץ אוֹ מַצָּה לְאַחַר שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ מִמְּקוֹם קְבִיעוּת הֶחָמֵץ וְהַמַּצָּה, שֶׁהֲרֵי פֵּרַשׁ שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנֵינוּ – הֲרֵי אָנוּ הוֹלְכִין אַחַר הָרֹב, דְּ"כָל דְּפָרִישׁ מֵרֻבָּא פָּרִישׁ"15 וּמַצָּה הוּא, וּלְפִיכָךְ אֲפִלּוּ לֹא בִּטֵּל וּכְבָר הִגִּיעַ שָׁעָה שִׁשִּׁית וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְבַטֵּל, אַף עַל פִּי כֵן אֵין צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק אֲפִלּוּ אִם הַכִּכָּר הוּא גָּדוֹל:

3 Similarly, if the piles became mixed together in the place where [their statuses] had already been established,16 there is no need to search again. [This law applies] even if the mouse was observed taking [the loaf] from [the mixed piles. The rationale is that] this is not considered [the place where the status of the items] has been established, because the chametz is not a distinct entity, but is mixed together with the matzah.

ג וְכֵן אִם נִתְעָרְבוּ הַצִּבּוּרִים בִּמְקוֹם קְבִיעוּתָם, אֲפִלּוּ נָטַל עַכְבָּר מֵהֶם בְּפָנֵינוּ – אֵין צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק,16 שֶׁאֵין זֶה נִקְרָא קָבוּעַ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין הֶחָמֵץ עוֹמֵד בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ אֶלָּא הוּא מְעֹרָב עִם הַמַּצָּה:יט

4 [The following laws apply] when there were two piles, one of chametz and one of matzah, and two houses, one that was searched and one that was not searched, and two mice came, and one took chametz and one took matzah. Each [mouse] entered one of the houses, but it was not known which house the [mouse] that took chametz entered. If [the householder] already nullified [his possession of his chametz]17 or it is still possible for him to nullify it, in which instance, the question [whether the searched house needs to be searched again] is only one of Rabbinic Law, or it is a small loaf and thus there are two possibilities that lead to leniency,18 [in both these instances, the householder] is not required to search [the house] again.

True, at the time each loaf was brought into a house, the question arose whether each of the loaves was chametz or matzah. Thus, it was already known that a loaf that could possibly have been chametz was brought into each house. Nevertheless, [the status of the house] is not downgraded, and [the house] is not placed [in the category of] a house that was not searched. [On the contrary,] the assumption that the house was searched is not [nullified] because of the possibilitythat chametz was brought into it. That would apply] only if the doubt regarding the loaf’s [status] arose when [the loaf] was in a place where it was definitely established that chametz existed.19 [The rationale is that] since Scriptural [Law] ruled stringently when the doubt [regarding the loaf’s status] arose when [the loaf] was in a place where it was definitely established that chametz [previously] existed, and rather than [classifying the loaf] according to the majority [of the loaves in that place] – even though [in this instance], the majority was matzah – [Scriptural Law still] maintained that [its status should be] considered as half and half, [therefore,] the Sages were also stringent, and ruled that a doubtful [situation of] this [nature] eliminates the presumption that the house was searched.

In contrast, in other instances, when doubts [regarding the loaf’s status] did not arise in a place where the presence of [a loaf that was] definitely chametz was established, the Sages did not rule so stringently, [and did not downgrade] the house from the presumption that it had been searched.

ד שְׁנֵי צִבּוּרִים אֶחָד שֶׁל חָמֵץ וְאֶחָד שֶׁל מַצָּה וּשְׁנֵי בָּתִּים אֶחָד בָּדוּק וְאֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּדוּק וּבָאוּ שְׁנֵי עַכְבָּרִים זֶה נָטַל חָמֵץ וְזֶה נָטַל מַצָּה וְכָל אֶחָד נִכְנַס לְבַיִת אֶחָד וְאֵין יָדוּעַ לְאֵיזֶה בַּיִת נִכְנַס זֶה שֶׁנָּטַל חָמֵץ,כ אִם כְּבָר בִּטְּלוֹכא,17 אוֹ שֶׁיְּכוֹלִים עֲדַיִן לְבַטֵּל,כב שֶׁאֵין כָּאן אֶלָּא סְפֵק דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, אוֹ שֶׁהוּא כִּכָּר קָטָן שֶׁיֵּשׁ כָּאן ב' סְפֵקוֹת לְהָקֵלכג,18 – אֵין צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק.

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁנִּכְנַס כָּל כִּכָּר לְבַיִת אֶחָד נוֹלַד לוֹ הַסָּפֵק עַל כָּל כִּכָּר אִם הוּא חָמֵץ אוֹ מַצָּה, וְאִם כֵּן הֲרֵי יָדוּעַ לָנוּ שֶׁלְּכָל בַּיִת נִכְנַס כִּכָּר סְפֵק חָמֵץ, אַף עַל פִּי כֵן אֵין הַבַּיִת עוֹמֵד בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּדוּק, וְלֹא נִגְרְעָה חֶזְקַת בְּדִיקָתוֹ עַל יְדֵי סְפֵק חָמֵץ שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְתוֹכוֹכד אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נוֹלַד לוֹ הַסָּפֵק כְּשֶׁהָיָה הַכִּכָּר בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁקָּבוּעַ שָׁם חָמֵץ וַדַּאי,19 שֶׁהַסָּפֵק הַנּוֹלָד בִּמְקוֹם קְבִיעַת הֶחָמֵץ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֶחֱמִירָה בּוֹ תּוֹרָה שֶׁלֹּא לֵילֵךְ בּוֹ אַחַר הָרֹב, שֶׁאַף שֶׁהָרֹב הוּא מַצָּה אַף עַל פִּי כֵן נִדּוֹן כְּמֶחֱצָה עַל מֶחֱצָה – הֶחֱמִירוּ בּוֹ חֲכָמִים גַּם כֵּן וְאָמְרוּ שֶׁסָּפֵק זֶה מְגָרֵעַ חֶזְקַת בְּדִיקַת הַבַּיִת.

אֲבָל שְׁאָר סְפֵקוֹת שֶׁלֹּא נוֹלְדוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁקָּבוּעַ שָׁם חָמֵץ וַדַּאי – לֹא הֶחֱמִירוּ בָּהֶם חֲכָמִים כָּל כָּךְ שֶׁיּוֹצִיא הַבַּיִת מֵחֶזְקַת בְּדִיקָתוֹ:כה

5 [The following laws apply] when there were two houses that were searched and [there was] one pile of chametz [in front of them]. A mouse came and took [a loaf, but] it was not known which house [the mouse] entered. If the houses belonged to two people, and they inquired [about what to do] one after the other, neither of them is required to search again if they [both already] nullified [their possession of their chametz], or it is [still] possible for them to nullify it. [The rational is that] each one [of them] can postulate that the chametz was [brought into] the [other one’s] house.

If, however, [the householders] did not nullify [their possession of their chametz] and it is no longer possible for them to nullify it,20 they both must search [their home] again, even if the loaf was small.21 [It is not considered that] there are two possibilities that lead to leniency. [The rationale is that] the doubt that perhaps the mouse did not enter this house and perhaps it did not enter the other house is not considered a doubtful [situation] at all according to Scriptural Law. [There is no basis for doubt,] for [the mouse] certainly entered one of [the homes]. Since it is not known which one [the mouse entered], both [homes] must be searched. Which [home] should be freed [from the obligation to be searched]?

Even though [the householders] inquired [regarding what to do] one after the other, that is not at all effective [in alleviating the doubt] according to Scriptural Law. It is only [of consequence if the householders] nullified [their possession of chametz], for then it is only necessary to search according to Rabbinic Law. [In such an instance,] the Sages ruled leniently with regard to doubts [in matters of Rabbinic Law], stating that if [the householders] inquired one after the other, since it is possible to tell each one that he does not have to search because the chametz is in the other person’s house, [that possibility is followed].22

[Even according to Rabbinic Law, different rules apply,] however, when [the two householders] came to inquire at one time, or one of them inquired about his [own house] and [also about] the other person’s house. Since it is impossible to say that they both are not required to search, because there is certainly chametz in one house, they both must search again.23 [For] which one of them should be freed [from the obligation to search]?

ה שְׁנֵי בָּתִּים בְּדוּקִים וְצִבּוּר אֶחָד שֶׁל חָמֵץ וּבָא עַכְבָּר וְנָטַל וְאֵין יָדוּעַ לְאֵיזֶה בַּיִת נִכְנַס,כו אִם הַבָּתִּים הֵן שֶׁל שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם וּבָאִין לִשְׁאֹל זֶה אַחַר זֶה – שְׁנֵיהֶם אֵין צְרִיכִין לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּקכז אִם בִּטְּלוּםכח אוֹ יְכוֹלִין לְבַטֵּל,כט וְכָל אֶחָד יָכוֹל לִתְלוֹת הֶחָמֵץ בְּבֵית חֲבֵרוֹ.

אֲבָל אִם לֹא בִּטְּלוּ וְאֵינָן יְכוֹלִין עוֹד לְבַטְּלוֹ20 – שְׁנֵיהֶם צְרִיכִין לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק אֲפִלּוּ אִם הָיָה כִּכָּר קָטָן.21 וְאֵין כָּאן ב' סְפֵקוֹת לְהָקֵל, לְפִי שֶׁסָּפֵק זֶה שֶׁמָּא לֹא נִכְנַס לְבַיִת זֶה אוֹ שֶׁמָּא לֹא נִכְנַס לְבַיִת זֶה אֵינוֹ נֶחֶשָׁב לְסָפֵק כְּלָל מִן הַתּוֹרָה, שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי נִכְנַס לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ אֵיזֶהוּ – שְׁנֵיהֶם צְרִיכִין בְּדִיקָה, דְּהֵי מִנַּיְיהוּ מַפְּקַת.ל

וְאַף שֶׁבָּאוּ לִשְׁאֹל זֶה אַחַר זֶה – אֵין זֶה מוֹעִיל כְּלוּם מִן הַתּוֹרָה,לא אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן בִּטְּלוּ, שֶׁאָז אֵין צָרִיךְ לִבְדֹּק אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, וַחֲכָמִים הֵקֵלּוּ בִּסְפֵק דִּבְרֵיהֶם וְאָמְרוּ, שֶׁאִם בָּאוּ לִשְׁאֹל זֶה אַחַר זֶה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לוֹמַר לְכָל אֶחָד שֶׁהוּא אֵין צָרִיךְ לִבְדֹּק לְפִי שֶׁהֶחָמֵץ הוּא בְּבֵית חֲבֵרוֹלב – אוֹמְרִים כֵּן.22

אֲבָל אִם בָּאוּ לִשְׁאֹל בְּבַת אַחַת, אוֹ שֶׁאֶחָד מֵהֶם שׁוֹאֵל עָלָיו וְעַל בֵּית חֲבֵרוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹמַר לָהֶם שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם אֵין צְרִיכִין לִבְדֹּק, שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּבַיִת אֶחָד יֵשׁ וַדַּאי חָמֵץ, אִם כֵּן שְׁנֵיהֶם צְרִיכִין לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק,23 דְּהֵי מִנַּיְיהוּ מַפְּקַת:לג

6 [When] a mouse enters a house [carrying chametz], and [a person] entered following it, and searched [the house thoroughly] according to all the laws that a search [for chametz requires],24 and found no [chametz] at all, he need not search [the house] again.25 [This leniency applies] even when [the householder] did not nullify [his possession of chametz. The rationale is that] since [the person who searched] did not find anything, [it can be assumed] that the mouse certainly ate [all of the chametz] or dragged it26 to a place where it will not be revealed,27 and [thus, no one] will come to eat it on Pesach.

If [the person] searched [some] part of the house and found a loaf,28 he need not search the remainder of the house if he [already] nullified [his possession of chametz], or [if] it is still possible [for him] to [do so. In such an instance,] it is [assumed] that [the loaf the person found was] the loaf the mouse took. If, however, [the mouse brought the chametz into the house after] the sixth hour had commenced [on the day before Pesach], it is necessary to be stringent and search [the entire house, or search until the loaf is found. The rationale is that since] the person can no longer nullify [his possession of chametz], the doubt [whether chametz is present concerns a matter of] Scriptural Law.29 Even if it was a small loaf,30 [it is not considered that] there are two factors that raise doubt [and lead] to leniency, for the reason explained in sec. 438[:9].31

ו עַכְבָּר שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְבַיִת וְנִכְנַס אַחֲרָיו וּבָדַק יָפֶה כְּכָל הִלְכוֹת בְּדִיקָה24 וְלֹא מָצָא כְּלוּם,לד אֲפִלּוּ לֹא בִּטֵּללה אֵין צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק,25 כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא מְצָאוֹ, וַדַּאי אֲכָלוֹ הָעַכְבָּרלו אוֹ גְּרָרוֹלז,26 לְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין יָכוֹל לְהִתְגַּלּוֹת מִשָּׁם,27 וְלֹא יָבֹא לְאָכְלוֹ בְּפֶסַח.לח

וְאִם בָּדַק קְצָת הַבַּיִת וּמָצָא כִּכָּרלט,28 – אֵין צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק שְׁאָר הַבַּיִת אִם בִּטֵּלמ אוֹ שֶׁיָּכוֹל עֲדַיִן לְבַטֵּל,מא שֶׁאָנוּ תּוֹלִין לוֹמַר שֶׁזֶּהוּ הַכִּכָּר שֶׁנָּטַל הָעַכְבָּר. אֲבָל אִם הִגִּיעַ שָׁעָה שִׁשִּׁית יֵשׁ לְהַחֲמִירמב וְלִבְדֹּק,מג כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְבַטֵּל הֲרֵי הוּא סָפֵק שֶׁל תּוֹרָה.מד,29 וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם הָיָה כִּכָּר קָטָן30 אֵין כָּאן ב' סְפֵקוֹת לְהָקֵל,מה מִטַּעַם שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תל"ח:מו,31

7 If a person left ten loaves of chametz tied [together], and [later] found [only] nine [loaves], but he does not recognize whether these [nine loaves] are the loaves that he [originally] left, [the person] must search the entire room32 or [continue his search] until he finds ten loaves.33 [The rationale is that] it is assumed that [all ten loaves] that [the person] left were taken by children or mice, for they would be unable to undo the knot [holding the loaves together].34 Therefore, even if [the householder] had already nullified [his possession of chametz], he must search the entire house again,35 or [search] until he finds ten loaves [that are tied together]. If, however, [the loaves] were not tied together, [the person] need not search further [after] he finds one loaf if he already nullified [his possession of chametz] or [if] it is still possible for him to nullify it.36

ז אִם הִנִּיחַ עֲשָׂרָה כִּכְּרוֹת חָמֵץמז קְשׁוּרִיםמח וּמָצָא ט'מט וְאֵינוֹ מַכִּיר אִם הֵן הֵן הַכִּכָּרוֹת שֶׁהִנִּיחַ – צָרִיךְ לִבְדֹּק כָּל הַבַּיִתנ,32 אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּמְצָא עֲשָׂרָה כִּכָּרוֹת,נא,33 לְפִי שֶׁאָנוּ אוֹמְרִים מַה שֶּׁהִנִּיחַ נָטְלוּ קְטַנִּים אוֹ עַכְבָּרִים, שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לָהֶם לְהַתִּיר הַקֶּשֶׁר.נב,34 וּלְפִיכָךְ, אֲפִלּוּ בִּטֵּלנג צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק כָּל הַבַּיִת,35 אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּמְצָא עֲשָׂרָה כִּכָּרוֹת.

אֲבָל אִם לֹא הָיוּ קְשׁוּרִים יַחַד – אֵין צָרִיךְ לִבְדֹּק אֶלָּא עַד שֶׁיִּמְצָא כִּכָּר אֶחָדנד אִם בִּטֵּלנה אוֹ שֶׁיָּכוֹל לְבַטֵּל:36

8 [More stringent rules apply] if, by contrast, one left nine [loaves] and [later] found ten. Even if [the loaves] were not tied together, [the householder] must search the entire room again, or [search] until he finds nine additional loaves. [This stringency applies] even if [the householder] already nullified [his possession of] all the nine loaves that he left. [The rationale is that] it is impossible to make an assumption that leads to leniency, [i.e.,] to say that [nine of the ten loaves that were found] are the original nine loaves, and the tenth loaf was brought [into the room] by another person who left it here. [This proposition is untenable] because it is not common for people to leave their loaves together with the loaves of others. Instead, [people] designate a separate place for [their loaves], so that they will not become mixed together [with those of others].37 Therefore, we presume that another person came with ten loaves, and left them here, where there were no other [loaves, because] the nine [loaves] that were originally [there] were taken away [beforehand, i.e., either] children or mice dragged them away. Accordingly, [the householder] must search the entire house again or [search] until he finds nine additional loaves.

ח אֲבָל אִם הִנִּיחַ תֵּשַׁע וּמָצָא עֶשֶׂר,נו,25 אֲפִלּוּ לֹא הָיוּ קְשׁוּרִיןנז – צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק כָּל הַבַּיִת32, אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּמְצָא עוֹד תֵּשַׁע כִּכָּרוֹת, אֲפִלּוּ כְּבָר בִּטֵּלנח כָּל הַתֵּשַׁע כִּכָּרוֹת שֶׁהִנִּיחַ,35 לְפִי שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לִתְלוֹת לְהָקֵל וְלוֹמַר שֶׁהֵן הֵן הַתֵּשַׁע כִּכָּרוֹת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וְכִכָּר הָעֲשִׂירִי הֵבִיא אִישׁ אַחֵר וְהִנִּיחוֹ כָּאן, שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ בְּנֵי אָדָם לְהַנִּיחַ כִּכְּרוֹתֵיהֶם אֵצֶל כִּכְּרֵי חַבְרֵיהֶם, אֶלָּא מְיַחֲדִים לָהֶם מָקוֹם לְעַצְמָן שֶׁלֹּא יִתְעָרְבוּ,נט,37 לְפִיכָךְ אָנוּ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁבָּא אִישׁ אַחֵר שֶׁהָיוּ בְּיָדוֹ עֲשָׂרָה כִּכָּרוֹת וְהִנִּיחָן כָּאן שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה מֻנָּח כָּאן כְּלוּם, כִּי הַט' הָרִאשׁוֹנִים כְּבָר לָקְחוּ מִכָּאן, שֶׁגְּרָרוּם קְטַנִּים אוֹ עַכְבָּרִים,ס וּלְכָךְ צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּק כָּל הַבַּיִת,סא אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּמְצָא עוֹד תִּשְׁעָה כִּכָּרוֹת:

9 When a person left loaves in one corner [of a room] and found them in another corner, he is required to search the entire room again.38 Since [the person] found [the loaves] in another place, it is possible that these are different [loaves], and the first [loaves] were taken by children or mice and [left] elsewhere in that room.

When does the above apply? When [the householder] does not know the number of loaves he left. If, however, [the person] knows the number [of loaves] he left, and finds the [exact] same number [of loaves] in another corner [of the room], he need not search [again] if he already nullified [his possession of chametz] or it is still possible for him to nullify [it. The rationale is that] since the [obligation to] search [for chametz] is only a Rabbinic [obligation], we make a lenient [assumption], postulating that presumably [the loaves that were found] are the loaves that were [originally] left, since there are the same amount [of loaves].39

ט הִנִּיחַ כִּכָּרוֹת בְּזָוִית זוֹ וּמָצָא בְּזָוִית אַחֶרֶתסב – צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִבְדֹּקסג כָּל הַבַּיִת,סד,38 שֶׁמָּא אֵלּוּ אֲחֵרִים הֵן כֵּיוָן שֶׁמְּצָאָן בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר, וְהָרִאשׁוֹנִים נְטָלוּם קְטַנִּים אוֹ עַכְבָּרִים וְהִנִּיחוּם בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר בְּאוֹתוֹ הַבַּיִת.סה

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ מִנְיַן הַכִּכָּרוֹת שֶׁהִנִּיחַ, אֲבָל אִם יוֹדֵעַ מִנְיַן הַכִּכָּרוֹת וּמָצָא בְּזָוִית אַחֶרֶת כַּמִּנְיָן שֶׁהִנִּיחַ – אֵין צָרִיךְ לִבְדֹּקסו אִם בִּטֵּלסז אוֹ שֶׁיָּכוֹל עֲדַיִן לְבַטֵּל, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַבְּדִיקָה אֵינָהּ אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים – אָנוּ תּוֹלִין לְהָקֵל שֶׁמִּן הַסְּתָם הֵן הֵן הַכִּכָּרוֹת שֶׁהִנִּיחַ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֵן שָׁוִין בְּמִנְיָנָם:39