With Purim firmly behind us, we turn our attention to Pesach.With many seasoned travelers amongst us a question that regularly crops up is one of time differences: When does the prohibition of owning Chametz begin for a North American visiting Israel during Pesach? Is it the Israeli time where the person is or the American time where his Chametz is situated? In short do we follow the person or the object in question? (Cheftza or Gavra?)
One would immediately assume that there is great controversy concerning this subject. Rabbi Tukatchensky in his book writes that we follow the location of where the Chametz is. The person should, according to him, sell his Chametz in the place where he lives and not in the place where he is traveling to. The “Oneg yom tov” seems to hold the same way.
The “Chesed le’Avraham” in his famous response disagrees with the above opinion. He says that ownership of Chametz is a prohibition of the individual. Just as wearing Tefillin is a requirement of the individual which does not allow for Shlichoot (one can not fulfill his obligation by getting someone else to wear them for him) so too the individual is prohibited in ownership of Chametz. It therefore follows that we are only concerned with where the person is NOW and not where he came from. According to this a North American traveler would sell his Chamatz he has at home, in Israel.
Rav Pesach Zvi Frank comments that perhaps the two above opinions do not really differ. Concerning the ownership of Chametz we follow the individual wherever he may be. Concerning the prohibition of deriving benefit from Chametz we go according to the place where the Chametz is situated. Therefore a Canadian in Israel need only sell his Chametz in Israel. However if the Chamatz in question relates to business materials of which he will be enjoying material benefit, he would need to sell it in both places: In Israel as the prohibition begins there earlier, and also in Canada where the prohibition continues an extra day.