Omaha rabbi symbolically sells chametz to Warren Buffett

(JTA) – A Nebraska rabbi symbolically sold some leavened bread products to the iconic investor Warren Buffet.

Rabbi Jonathan Gross of Omaha had reached out to Buffet proposing that the billionaire buy his community’s chametz, the stash of leavened bread products that Jews traditionally sell to a non-Jew prior to Passover only to buy it back after the festival.

While Buffet was receptive, he was unavailable to meet with the rabbi immediately before the holiday.

So the sale of the rabbi’s community’s chametz — generally conducted on the day before Passover — to Buffett could not proceed. But a smaller, symbolic sale of some leavened products went forward anyway last month, partly to generate publicity for a local food bank, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

On Feb. 23, Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and the world’s third-richest man, greeted Gross and two other rabbis at his offices in Omaha.

In exchange for four 50-cent coins, Buffet received a bottle of scotch, a challah and a bag of (non-kosher) Cheetos, reportedly the investor’s favorite snack. The sale also included a box of chametz in the rabbi’s home and three large containers of chametz in his synagogue that were being donated to the Food Bank of the Heartland.

Buffet joked that next year he would bargain down the price.

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