JERUSALEM (JTA) — A non-Jewish man who took possession of the chametz given to him by a haredi Orthodox community just before the start of Passover returned the goods shortly after the end of the holiday.
The return of the chametz, including expensive liquor, was reported in haredi newspapers and The Jerusalem Post, and picked up by several Israel-themed blogs.
The non-Jewish recipient of the goods, a Muslim resident of the Shuafat neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, reportedly called Rabbi Simcha Rabinowitz of the Ramat Shlomo community shortly after Passover ended to say that he would return the goods. Rabinowitz had encouraged his followers to gift the chametz this year instead of selling it.
The Life in Israel blog suggested that "the rabbi probably told the non-Jew to do this whole thing, just to impress upon the people that their ‘gift’ or ‘sale’ is a real business transaction and change of ownership and not just a fictitious loophole."