Machine made Matzah

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer


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Machine made Matzah:[1]

Machine made Matzah which came out in Europe in the mid 1800’s carried a fierce and famous debate regarding its Kashrus status and if one fulfills the Mitzvah of Matzah with eating it. One of the main concerns were regarding the issue of Lishma, which cannot be done by a machine, and invalidates the Matzah for being eligible to fulfill the Mitzvah of eating Matzah on the first night of Pesach. Another concern was that the machinery was not able to be properly cleaned, and hence had Chametz remaining in the line. Another concern is that the metal of the machinery can heat up the dough and cause it to become Chametz in less than 18 minutes. Another concern is based on Kabala, that Matzos must be specifically rounded.[2] Practically, the great Rabbanim in those times took different positions, with some[3] permitting and others[4] forbidding. In general, the G-d fearing populace avoid using it for the night of the Seder, making sure to use only handmade Matzah and many avoid eating it at all throughout the entire Pesach.

The Chabad custom: The Chabad custom is not to eat machine made Matzah at all throughout all the days of Pesach. One should not give this Matzah even to children to eat.[5] Likewise, one is to endeavor that friends and relatives all receive Kosher handmade Shmura Matzah to eat on Pesach.[6] Nonetheless, we do not consider the Matzahs as Chametz, and in a time of need one may use machine Matzah.[7]

 

Q&A

Are Matzahs which are rolled with a mechanical rolling pin [below] considered handmade?

Some Rabbanim[8] rule it is permitted to do so and the Matzos retain their handmade status. Other Rabbanim[9], however, rule doing so is similar to the machine-made Matzah under the original controversy, and hence those who are stringent not to eat machine made Matzah are to be stringent by this as well. The Matzah bakery under the Hashgacha of Rav Y.Y. Hendel of Migdal Eimek uses such a mechanism to roll the Matzos.

 

May one who is stringent not to eat machine Matzah, own it over Pesach?

Some[10] are stringent not to even own machine-made Matzah over Pesach. However, from the letter of the law, there is no issue to do so.

 

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[1] See Sdei Chemed Chametz Umatzah 13; Piskeiy Teshuvos 460:1

[2] See Mahariy Asad 157

[3] Rav Natonson of Lvov; Kesav Sofer 12; Aruch Laner; Toferes Yisrael; Beis Shearim 178

[4] Chidushei Harim; Divrei Chaim 23; Rav Shlomo Kluger; Avnei Nezer 537; Darkei Teshuvah;

[5] Toras Menachem 3:7

The reason: As by matters of Emunah one cannot be lenient. [Rebbe ibid]

[6] Sefer Haminhagim p. 37; Likkutei Sichos 1:243

[7] See Otzer Minhagei Chabad; The Rebbe’s grandfather permitted machine made Matzah, and the Rebbe Rashab would send it out to people for Pesach.

[8] Rav Hendel of Migdal Eimek; Rav Simcha Ginzberg of Omer

[9] Rav Ashkenazi of Kfar Chabad; Rav Yeruslavsky of Kiryat Malachi; Rav Wozner, and many other Rabbanim of Bnei Brak

[10] See Ketzos Hashulchan 105 footnote 20

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