Matzah Ashira

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Matzah Ashira: “Rich mans Matzah”:[1]

What is Matzah Ashira?

The Halachic ramifications: Matzah Ashira literally means rich man’s bread. Matzah which contains certain qualities [to be enumerated] receives the Halachic definition of rich man’s bread. Such Matzah has two Halachic ramifications; one regarding eating it on Pesach, and the second regarding eating it on the night of the 15th for the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of eating Matzah. All types of Halachically defined Matzah Ashira are invalid to eat for the sake of the Mitzvah on the Seder night, as will be explained in B while fruit juice Matzah Ashira is not allowed to be eaten anytime on Pesach, as will be explained in C.

The definition: The following features define a Matzah as Matzah Ashira:

  1. Fruit Juice Matzah:[2] Any dough which is kneaded with a liquid that is defined as fruit juice is considered Matzah Ashira. Any liquid which does not derive from water is considered fruit juice in this regard. For example, dough that is kneaded with wine, oil, milk, honey, eggs, fat, or other juices [to the point that the juice can be tasted as it was not nullified in 60x], is considered Matzah Ashira. If, however, it was kneaded with water and fruit juice and there is 60x in the water versus the fruit juice, thus nullifying the taste of the fruit juice, then it is not defined as Matzah Ashirah with regards to fulfilling the Mitzvah on the night of Pesach.[3] Nonetheless, the Ashkenazi custom is not to eat it on Pesach as explained in C.
  2. Matzah dipped in fruit juice:[4] Matzah which is dipped in fruit juice is disputed if it is similar Matzah Ashira even if it was made with 100% water, and practically the main ruling follows the stringent opinion.
  3. Seeds or spices:[5] Matzahs that contain seeds or spices are debated if they are defined as Matzah Ashira, and practically we are stringent. Salt does not make Matzah into Matzah Ashira[6], although it is not added to the kneading of the dough due to other reasons.[7]
  4. Size:[8] If the Matzah is very large, which is 1/6th of an Eifa [4,147 grams] it is considered Matzah Ashira, even if it had only water kneaded into it.

Fine flour:[9] Even if one uses very fine flour, if it is kneaded with water and is not large, it is not considered Matzah Ashira

 

The law-Eating Matzah Ashira by the Seder for the Mitzvah of Matzah?[10]

On the first night of Pesach, one is Biblically obligated to eat poor man’s bread, otherwise known as Lechem Oni. Thus, all Matzah which is defined as Matzah Ashira [as explained above] is invalid for fulfilling the Mitzvah and obligation of eating Matzah on the first night of Pesach [on the 15th] or the [seder of the] second night in the Diaspora [on the 16th].[11] One who does so must repeat the eating of the Matzah, with Matzah that is defined as “Lechem Oni.”

Dipping Matzah in wine:[12] As stated above, Matzah dipped in fruit juice is disputed if it is defined as Matzah Ashira, and the main ruling follows the stringent opinion. Nevertheless, an old or sick person who cannot eat regular Matzah even if dipped in water, and needs to dip it in fruit juice, may do so in order to fulfill the Mitzvah, at least in accordance to one opinion.

 

The Law-Eating/owning Fruit Juice Matzah during Pesach?

Background-Can fruit juice Matzah become Chametz? As explained in Chapter 2 Halacha 1B, dough that is mixed with 100% fruit juice cannot become Chametz.[13] However, dough that is mixed with water and fruit juice, even if it is only a minute amount of water or fruit juice[14], can instantly become complete Biblical Chametz, in even less than 18/24 minutes[15], and even while being worked on after the kneading.[16] Thus, foods which are made of five grain flours and 100% fruit juice are not Chametz and from the letter of the law may be eaten on Pesach. Furthermore, even foods that are made of five grain flour and a mixture of fruit juice and water is not Chametz if it was baked immediately and did not wait at all prior to baking.[17]

Matzah baked with fruit juice and water:[18] It is forbidden to initially bake Matzah with a mixture of fruit juice and water, lest one not be careful to bake it immediately. In the event that one kneaded flour with a mixture of water and fruit juice it must be baked immediately in order to prevent it from becoming Chametz. From the letter of the law, if the Matzah was baked immediately after the kneading, it is permitted to be eaten over Pesach. [Nevertheless, the Ashkenazi custom is to forbid eating such Matzah, as explained next, and in this case, it may not be eaten even by an old or sick person.[19]] It, however, may be owned over Pesach even if it was not baked immediately, so long as it did not stay 18 minutes without being worked on.[20]

Matzah baked with 100% fruit juice:[21] The custom of Ashkenazi Jewry is not to make/eat Matzah Ashira of even 100% fruit juice throughout Pesach. This applies even if the Matzah was baked immediately after the kneading.[22] [Thus, Ashkenazim may not eat egg Matzah or any Pesach product that states “Matzah Ashira” on them. Such foods may only be eaten by Sephardim, under a reliable Hashgacha.]

Old or sick person:[23] An old or sick person [who cannot eat other Matzah or foods], may be lenient to eat Matzah Ashira during Pesach. [This refers to Matzah kneaded with 100% fruit juice. It is, however, forbidden for even a sick or old person to eat Matzah that was kneaded with a mixture of fruit juice and water.[24]]

May an Ashkenazi own Matzah Ashira over Pesach:[25] It is permitted for Ashkenazim to own Matzah Ashira products during Pesach, as the above adherence is only with regards to eating it, and not regarding owning.

 

Summary:

It is forbidden due to custom for Ashkenazim to eat Matzah Ashira throughout Pesach. It is thus forbidden for Ashkenazim to eat egg Matzah or any other Matzah which contains any liquid other than water. However, an old or sick person who cannot eat other Matzah or foods, may be lenient. It is permitted even for Ashkenazim to own such Matzah over Pesach. According to all, one cannot fulfill his obligation of Matzah on the first night of Pesach using Matzah Ashira.

 

Q&A

At what time must Ashkenazim stop eating Matzah Ashira [egg Matzah]?[26]

It is forbidden to eat Matzah Ashira starting from the time that it is forbidden to eat Chametz, which is from the 5th hour of the day on Erev Pesach.

 

May one eat egg Matzah?

Based on above, it is forbidden for Ashkenazim to eat egg Matzah, or any other Matzah which contains any liquid other than water. However, an old or sick person who cannot eat other Matzah or foods, may be lenient.

 

May one eat “Papushato” cookies?

Based on the above, it is forbidden for an Ashkenazi to eat the “Papushato” company Kosher for Pesach Mezonos cookies which is made using fruit juice. The same would apply for any Mezonos cookies that is made using fruit juice, that it is forbidden for Ashkenazim to eat it. Many leading Sephardic Rabbis forbid the eating of such cookies for any person, as they claim it is not possible to supervise in such companies that not even one drop of water mix within the fruit juice that is used. Furthermore, it was discovered that in such cookies there is water placed in the wine, and other chemicals and spices, and hence they rule that the above cookies are absolute Chametz, and may not be eaten even after Pesach if they were not included in the Mechiras Chametz.  

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[1] Admur 462:3; Rama 462:4 and 6

[2] Admur 454:4; 462:1

[3] Admur 462:6

[4] Admur 461:13

[5] Admur 455:33

[6] Admur 455:33

[7] Admur 455:29; 462:18

[8] Admur 454:5

[9] Admur 454:4

[10] Admur 462:1 and 6; 444:2; 454:4; 471:4; Michaber 262:1; Pesachim 36a

[11] The reason: As the Torah says to eat “Lechem Oini” which is poor man’s bread and not Matzah Ashira, which is “rich man’s bread”. Furthermore, regarding Matzah kneaded with 100% fruit juice, it is additionally invalid due to that can only fulfill his obligation with Matzah that will become Chametz if it is not baked on time, [and flour that is mixed with 100% fruit juice cannot become Chametz, as explained next]. [Admur ibid]

[12] Admur 461:13

[13] Admur 462:1; Michaber 462:1; Rambam 5:2; Pesachim 35a

Other opinions: There is an opinion who rules that from the letter of the law fruit juice makes flour into Chametz. Furthermore, they hold that it causes dough to become Chametz even quicker than water, in even less than 18/24 minutes. In their opinion, dough kneaded with 100% fruit juice has the same status as dough that was kneaded with a mixture of flour and water. [Raavad 5:2; Rashi Pesachim 36a; opinion brought in Admur 462:7] Nevertheless, even according to this opinion this dough is considered Chametz Nuksha and not Chametz Gamur, and is thus only Rabbinically forbidden. [Admur ibid; Peri Chadash 462:1] Practically, the main Halachic opinion is like the lenient opinion, and thus from the letter of the law it is permitted to eat bread made of 100% fruit juice even if it was baked after 18/24 minutes. Nevertheless, the Ashkenazi custom is not to eat any Matzah made of fruit juice due to suspicion that perhaps a drop of water became mixed. One may not swerve from this custom, as we suspect for the above opinions that even 100% fruit juice makes dough into Chametz instantly. [Admur ibid]

[14] Admur 462:3 regarding water and 462:6 regarding fruit juice, even if there is 60x against it!

[15] Admur 462:3 and 466:3; Michaber 462:2; Rambam 5:2 based on Pesachim ibid

[16] Admur 462:3; Michaber 462:2; Pesachim 36a

[17] Admur 462:3; Michaber 462:2; Pesachim 36a

[18] Admur 462:3 and 466:3; Michaber 462:2; Rambam 5:2 based on Pesachim 36a

[19] Elya Raba 461:4; Kaf Hachaim 461:48

[20] Admur 462:3 “If he transgressed and kneaded it with fruit juice and water and did not bake it immediately, it is forbidden to be eaten, but may be owned, so long as it did not stay a Shiur Mil without being worked on.”

[21] Admur 462:7; Rama 462:4; Maharil p. 57

[22] Admur ibid; Olas Shabbos 462:7

The reason: If one adds 100% fruit juice, without any water, into the flour, then the dough cannot become Chametz, even if the dough rises and remains un-worked for over 18 minutes. However, there are opinions who say that not only does fruit juice make flour into Chametz Nuksha, but it does so much quicker than water, in less than 18 minutes. [Raavad 5:2; Rashi Pesachim 36a; opinion brought in Admur 462:7] Practically, the main Halachic opinion is like the former/lenient opinion, however according to all, if the fruit juice is mixed with even a minute amount of water, then the dough can become instant Chametz, in even less than 18 minutes. Due to this, the Ashkenazi custom is to be stringent to not knead flour with any fruit juices, even if no water is added, as perhaps a drop of water will fall in which case according to all it can become Chametz instantly. Furthermore, even Bedieved if one already made the Matzahs with 100% fruit juice, it is not to be eaten in order to be stringent like the latter opinion. [Admur ibid]

[23] Admur ibid; Rama ibid

[24] Elya Raba 461:4; Kaf Hachaim 461:48

[25] Admur 462:3 “If he transgressed and kneaded it with fruit juice and water and did not bake it immediately, it is forbidden to be eaten, but may be owned, so long as it did not stay a Shiur Mil without being worked on.” Admur 462:7 “One does not eat it on Pesach”

[26] Admur 444:3; 471:6

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even according to Ashkenazim one may eat Matzah Ashira [egg Matzah] until midday. [Noda Beyehuda 21 brought in Kaf Hachaim 443:7] However, practically, the custom is to avoid eating Matzah Ashira beginning from the time that one must stop eating Chametz, which is the beginning of the 5th hour. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 444:3]

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