From the Rav’s Desk: Chaburah Matzah-What is it & should one purchase it?

  • Question: [Tuesday, 26th Adar 2, 5782]

Can you explain to me the meaning of Chaburah matzah and as to it’s advantage over regular Matzah that is sold from the bakery?



There are two possible advantages involved in purchasing Chaburah matzah. The first is in the event that one is able to actually participate in the actual baking of the Matzah. It is a great mitzvah for one to be personally involved in the baking of the Matzahs that he will eat, and to be present to witness their baking. The reason for this is because it is greater for a Mitzvah to be fulfilled personally than to be fulfilled through a messenger.

The second possible advantage is the amount of extra Hiddurim that a Chaburah can afford to do, which may not be available to the regular matzah bakery. A Chaburah, however, should only be trusted as extra scrupulous if the participants of the Chabura are familiar with the laws of Matzah baking and are experienced with protocol in a Matzah bakery. Having inexperienced, or ignorant, participants can cause Kashrus issues with the Matzos and be counterproductive to the entire reason of having a Chabura.  [For example, in a Chabura that I once supervised, which contained many inexperienced participants, one individual was sitting on a sack of flour in the flour room while sifting another sack of flour. Another was drinking a soda can in the flour room. Another opened the window in the baking room due to the heat and allowed falling snow to enter through the window and contact some of the baked Matzahs in the rack. All the above occurs when people who lack the proper knowledge and experience participate in the baking.] Accordingly, each Rosh Chabura [head of the Matzah baking group] is to instruct and oversee each participant in all the procedures involved in Matzah baking.]

Sources: See regarding being involved and witnessing the baking process: Admur 460:3-4; 453:33 regarding grinding; See Avnei Nezer O.C. 372 who wanted to nullify the custom of buying Matzahs from a bakery and that rather each individual is to bake his own Matzahs as it diminishes in the personal performance of the Mitzvah and one is unable to ensure that proper Kashrus standards are followed. However, today, the opposite is true. If every individual made their own Matzahs many would stumble on the laws due to lack of knowledge and experience, and hence it should only be done under Rabbinical supervision, who are expert in this field of Halacha.

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