Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Adar 5766 - March 22, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Home and Family

Tatty's Invention
by Yehuda Foner

Raizel's sick, so I'm writing. Flu. Overdid it Pesach cleaning. She's usually good about pacing herself, but this time she got nervous due to her brother-in-law coming from Monsey for Pesach. He's a Kashrus Mashgiach. If a house is Kosher L'Pesach for one's own family, it's Kosher L'Pesach for guests, but when a Mashgiach visits...and he didn't say if he would eat by us, either. I guess anyone would go a little nuts.

The children and I figured we'd finish the Pesach cleaning, but Raizel was still worried, afraid we wouldn't do a perfect job. To spare her nerves, I invented a Chometz Detector. Works kind of on the same principle as a Geiger counter. Can set it to either pick up all Chometz, just Chometz the size of a Kezayis or larger or only Chometz that's not nullified from achilas kelev. Got a switch to include / exclude kitniyos, like rice cake crumbs, too.

Here's how it works: When the room is clear of Chometz, the machine is quiet. Any Chometz present, the detector starts clicking. The closer the operator moves toward the Chometz the faster it clicks. 'Course, we clean each room thoroughly and we'll be doing our usual eight hour Bedikas Chometz. The machine is just so Raizel will know we did a good job.

We did a trial run for Raizel in the hallway, and were surprised when the machine started clicking. Who keeps Chometz in the HALLWAY ? Pivoted until we located the source. When we had moved, our former neighbors gave us a wall decoration with the shivas haminim: including wheat. Removed the wall decoration and all quiet again.

One of the older children came over to see how the machine was working, and it started clicking. We hadn't served any actual Chometz for the past two days, so it took all of us wracking our brains to remember that she had gotten stitches the week before. The Vitamin E we'd been putting on to promote healing was Chometzdik (comes from wheat germ).

Future refinements would be to add a display screen that specifies the amount of Chometz present to make it easier to locate. If I can get it to go down to the molecular level, it would be useful for institution or hotel use, if they find one of the hundreds of utensils lying around and want to determine if it's Chometzdik or Pesachdik. Once it's at the molecular level, I could put in a milchig / fleishig / treif indicator, too. Also have to find a way to exclude areas being sold to a goy.

Naturally, the machine isn't to be used as a substitute for Pesach cleaning. If I end up mass producing and marketing them, I bet I could put in a sensor that doesn't allow the detector to work if a certain level of dust of grime is nearby. I envision it being used after cleaning each room, then again after Bedikas Chometz to make sure all ten pieces of bread were found and to locate any Chometz that somehow crept into the house after the rooms were cleaned.

Anyway, Raizel is calm, and her brother-in-law thought the detector was so gevaldig that he'll be eating by us all the meals of Pesach.

Chag Kosher V'samayach.

Editor's note: Perhaps Yehuda could invent the Shaatnez Detector which all clothing gemachs have been dreaming about . . . Though I must report progress in this area: Many shaatnez testers (try the Meah Shearim one) will give a reduction on testing used clothing, especially if you say it was bought in a gemach. Gevaldig!


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