Q. One who is in a liquor store on Pesach (for buying needed kosher wine, he was trying to get to the kosher wine by pushing with the back of his hand and arm the chometz bottle) and accidentally knocked over a bottle of whiskey, may he catch it midair or does he need to let it fall and spill, as otherwise he will be handling chometz (see question above) or he may be transgressing on “Rotze Bekiyumo” since “he desires its existence”?
Would that apply even if the bottle is expensive, since liquor is only a distillate and not entirely chametz gamur?
A. In question 1308 regarding being in a store on Chol Hamoed and being asked by another customer to pass her the bagels on the top shelf because she can’t reach, and in question 63 in regards to a nurse serving during Chol-Hamoed Pesach meals that contain chometz to non-Jewish patients and in on question 65 in regards to a Jewish patient transferring a tray of chometz food to another non-Jewish patient, laying in the next bed, during Pesach, we wrote; Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit”a opinion is that it is prohibited, as the customer or the non-Jewish patient will remain grateful for the favor done, and that constitutes a prohibited benefit of chometz. He may also transgress in the desire of the existence and being (Roitze Bekiyumoi) of this particular chometz, since he will be careful not to tip the tray and spill the food. (See Also O.H. 450, –Igros Moishe C.M. 4, Yesodei Yeshurun 6, p. 207, Chashukei Chemed, Pesochim p. 190, Teshuvos Vehanhogos O.H. 299).
In this particular question, although there may be some grounds to be lenient if he is able to catch the bottle or stop it from falling with a shinui or in an uncommon way, Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is to be stringent.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a