NY TIMES - Forget the Lottery. The biggest windfall in the country this Passover season might well be coming to an otherwise anonymous man named Glade who works at a Jewish funeral monument company in St. Louis.
Last Passover, Glade became the proud owner of tens of thousands of closets and cabinets full of bread, fancy pasta and alcohol from Jews around North America. He was the gentile who took official ownership of the leavened bread products that those Jews sold for the holiday via Chabad.org, the Web site run by the Brooklyn-based Lubavitcher branch of Hasidic Judiasm.
The Web site puts a modern spin on a tradition that is centuries old. In accordance with their beliefs, Orthodox Jews must not possess even a crumb of leavened bread — known in Hebrew as chametz — for the duration of Passover. But to save them from having to throw the prohibited products away, rabbinic authorities long ago came up with a solution.
Jews can put all the chametz they own in a closet, cabinet or room, and assign a rabbi power of attorney over the space and its contents. The rabbi then sells the chametz to a gentile, and leases the gentile the space in which it is stored. At the end of the eight-day holiday, the rabbi buys it all back for the original owners. CONTINUE READING...