Shut SMS #14

Rabbi Aviner answers hundreds of text message questions a week. Some appear in the parashah sheets "Ma'ayanei Ha-Yeshu'ah" and "Olam Ha-Katan." Here's a sample:

Q: Does someone who will be away from his house all of Pesach have to clean his house?
A: No. He should include everything in the sale of chametz and fulfill the mitzvah of searching for chametz in the place he will be for Pesach.
Q: Do we have to check every book, page by page, for chametz?
A: No, since the crumbs are smaller than a ke-zayit (volume of olive), but you should not place them on the table where you eat.
Q: Is quinoa considered kitniyot and forbidden for Ashkenazim?
A: Some authorities permit it, but one should not be lenient. It is permissible for Sefardim.
Q: Is Canola oil permissible for Ashkenazim?
A: It is permissible.
Q: Is it permissible to make a siyum for the Fast of the First-Born on one of the books of the Tanach?
A: Yes, with the condition that you learned it seriously.
Q: Can an Ashkenzic Jew be a guest at a Sefardic Jew's home on Pesach?
A: Yes, but he should not eat kitniyot. If some kitniyot fall into a dish and they are unrecognizable, it is nullified by the majority.
Q: If an Ashenazic Jew marries a Sefardic Jew, whose family custom is followed regarding kitniyot?
A: The husband, and the same applies for other matters.
Q: I am a soldier in Tzahal and there is no chametz for a few days before Pesach. What should I do about placing the pieces of bread around for Bedikat Chametz?
A: There is no need. The blessing is on the search (and not the finding).
Q: Is it permissible to search for chametz with a flashlight?
A: Yes, but a candle is preferable. Do not do so in a car.
Q: Is it permissible to sell chametz on the phone? What about the "kinyan" (act of acquisition)?
A: Yes, appointing an agent does not require a "kinyan." It can also be done by letter, internet or text message.
Q: Is the Redemption coming since "Birchat Ha-Chama" (the blessing for the sun returning to its original location during Creation at the same day of the week it was created, which is only recited every 28 years) is occurring on Erev Pesach?
A: This is not a unique occurrence, and no one knows the future.
Q: Is it permissible for Ashkenazim to eat the soft matzah made by the Sefardim?
A: Yes, it is not chametz or kitniyot.
Q: Can one fulfill the mitzvah of eating matzah if it is wet?
A: Yes, but not (re-)cooked.
Q: Is there something special this year since we are reciting "Birchat Ha-Chama"?
A: No, we should always thank Hashem for the sun even if it is not a special year.
Q: Is it permissible to remove bottles from the recycle bins that the city puts out and return them for the deposit?
A: No, it belongs to the municipality.
Q: Can a Rabbi promise me that if I donate to an organization which aids people with certain illness, I will not be stricken with that illness?
A: He can give you a blessing, but only a prophet knows the future.