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Chapter 111:2
The Search and Nullification of Chometz

2. [When searching for chometz on the night of the fourteenth] one should use only a single-wick beeswax candle for the search (1). One should not use a braided candle, because it is considered like a torch ("avukah") (2). In a pressing situation, when there is no beeswax candle available, one may use a tallow ("cheilev") candle (3).


(1) The sages of the Talmud enacted that a candle should be used for the search, because daylight is insufficient for searching in holes and crevices. Nowadays, a flashlight may be used, however, in order not to deviate from the traditional custom, many begin the search with a candle and then use the flashlight for places where the candle would be inadequate or dangerous ("Halachos of Pesach" by Rav Shimon Eider VII D7).

(2) A torch is too large to be brought into holes and crevices. Alternatively, the light produced by a multi-wick candle is not conducive for this type of search. If one conducted the search using only a multi- wick candle, the search is invalid and must be conducted again (See Pesachim 8 and Mishna Berura 433:8 and 10).

(3) When other types of candles are available, one is not permitted to use a tallow candle because people would be concerned that the fat would drip on the dishes and render them non-kosher. Consequently, one would not search properly in cabinets containing dishes (Mishna Berura 433:9)


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