||Legal contract for the sale of hamez to the Arab gentile Nasser Alden Leviv by R. Ovadia Yosef. The disposal of all hamez which is in the possession of a Jew is carried out after the bedikat hamez ("search for leaven") has taken place on the eve of the 14th of Nisan. According to the halakhah, the hamez may be disposed of in three ways. It may be burnt (which must be done before 10 o'clock on the morning of the 14th of Nisan). It may be annulled by declaring, "May all leaven in my possession, whether I have seen it or not, whether I have removed it or not, be annulled and considered as the dust of the earth." It may also be sold. Since the first method might involve hardship, especially where large quantities of foodstuffs are involved, or where the hamez is used for business purposes, the hamez is sold to a non-Jew. This applies only to foodstuffs; utensils which have been used for hamez need only be washed and stored separately.
The transaction by which the hamez is sold must be of a legal character, carried out by means of a bill of sale. The purchaser must both lease the place in which the hamez is stored, and buy the hamez itself. The gentile thus becomes the legal owner of the hamez which the Jew, if he so desires, may buy back after Passover. The completion of the sale is effected by the signing of the contract and by the transfer of money, usually in the form of a down payment. The rabbinic insistence that such a bill of sale be in accordance with the requirements of the halakhah, and the inconvenience which would result were every Jew to attempt to sell his own hamez gave rise to the formal sale of the hamez. The Jewish vendor merely appends his signature to a composite document which grants power of attorney to sell his hamez to an agent (usually the local rabbi) who, in turn, arranges the contract with the non-Jewish buyer. The agent buys the hamez back after Passover, and restores it to its original owners. All the contracts are written in Hebrew although it has been suggested that the vernacular be used for the bill of sale so as to ensure the Gentile's understanding of the contract.