Need to quickly rid your home of leavened bread this Passover? There’s an app for that.
Williamsburg mensch Baruch Herzfeld and his rabbi brother, Shmuel, have launched a mobile phone application that helps Jews keep their households flour-free during Passover.
Before the holiday starts Monday evening, observant Jews must remove all pasta, flour and grain-based liquor (known as “chametz”) from their homes because Jewish law bans it during Passover — the holiday commemorating the Jews chametz-free exodus from Egypt.
But to some Jews, there’s a loophole in the law that allows them to “sell” their leavened foodstuffs to non-Jews for safekeeping during the holiday, only to buy it back afterwards. The problem is a rabbi is needed sign off on the transaction.
Enter the app.
“During Passover, everyone’s so busy shopping and preparing meals, you don’t have time to handle your chametz,” Herzfeld explained. “This is faster and more efficient.”
Just download the Herzfeld’s free “i$ellChametz” to your iPhone or Droid, and your mobile device can play rabbi for your.
Here’s how it works: launch the app and follow the on-screen instructions, entering your name, the places where your grains are stored, and its approximate value, then, press the “Sell Chametz” button.
A screen shot of your information will be sent to Rabbi Herzfeld, who will quickly authorize the “sale.”
The whole thing takes about three minutes — you don’t even need to move your food out of your house.
That will come as a relief for Jews who hate throwing out their rice and pasta — not to mention their expensive vodka and single malt scotch.
“You don’t want to drink all your scotch before Passover,” Herzfeld said. “That would be pretty stupid.”
It’ll also save you a few shekels (that’s dollars) in rabbinical fees, not to mention the time it would take to meet a rabbi and have him sign off on all your grains.