Matzah on Erev Pesach

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Not to eat Matzah on Erev Pesach:[1]

It is Rabbinically forbidden to eat Matzah on Erev Pesach.[2] This prohibition begins starting from daybreak [Alos Hashachar].[3] One who transgresses and eats Matzah on this day receives Rabbinical lashes.[4] [Practically, the Chabad custom is to avoid eating Matzah beginning thirty days before Pesach, as explained in Chapter 1 Halacha 3!]

May a child eat Matzah on Erev Pesach?[5] A child who is not old enough to understand the story of the exodus that is told to him [on the Seder night], may be fed Matzah throughout Erev Pesach, as well as on Pesach even prior to Kiddush, if needed.[6] However, a child who can understand the story of the exodus that is told to him [on the Seder night] is forbidden to be fed Matzah on Erev Pesach. This law applies whether the child is a boy or a girl.[7] It is possible that it is forbidden for [such] children to be fed even a small amount of Matzah that is Lechem Oni, prior to saying the Haggadah, even after nightfall.[8]

The types of Matzah to avoid-Ashira; Kefula; Nefucha; Machine; Non-Shmurah: The prohibition against eating Matzah on Erev Pesach is limited only to Matzahs with which one can possibly fulfill his Mitzvah of eating Matzah. However, those Matzahs that are invalid on the night of Pesach to fulfill the Mitzvah of eating Matzah, may be eaten on Erev Pesach.[9] The following is it of Matzahs and their status regarding Erev Pesach:

  1. Matzah Ashira:[10] It is permitted to eat Matzah Ashira [i.e. egg Matzah, or any Matzah which has a taste of fruit juice[11]] on Erev Pesach, up until to the 5th hour of the day.[12]
  2. Matzah Brie:[13] One may eat Matzah that was cooked or fried in liquid [Matzah Brie; Matzah balls] on Erev Pesach.[14] If the Matzah has remained Hamotzi even after the cooking/frying[15], then it may only be eaten up until the 10th hour of the day. If the Matzah has become Mezonos due to the cooking, then it may be eaten up until Pesach begins. [Nonetheless, those who avoid eating Gebrochts, as is the Chabad and Chassidic custom, are to avoid eating such products starting from the 5th hour of the day.]
  3. Gebrochts:[16] One may not eat Matzah dipped in water, oil or fruit juice starting from daybreak.[17]
  4. Kefula/Nefucha/Non-Shmurah/machine:[18] It is forbidden to eat Matzah even if it is a Kefula or Nefucha starting from daybreak.[19] [Certainly, one may not eat non-Shmurah, or machine-made Matzah starting from daybreak.[20]]

*According to Chabad custom to avoid eating Matzahs from thirty days before Pesach, all the above forbidden form of Matzahs are avoided beginning from them.



It is forbidden to eat Matzah on Erev Pesach [and the Chabad custom is to avoid doing so from thirty days before Pesach]. It is forbidden to eat Matzah even if it is a Kefula, Nefucha, non-Shmurah, or machine-made Matzah. Egg Matzah which has a strong taste of egg or fruit juice may be eaten up until the end time of eating Chametz. One may eat cooked Matzah, such as Matzah balls and the like up until the end time of eating Chametz.


May one eat Chametz Matzah on Erev Pesach, prior to Sof Zman Achilas Chametz?

Some Poskim[21] rule that one may eat machine made Chametz Matzah up until the start of the 5th hour of Erev Pesach.[22] Other Poskim[23] rule that one is to avoid even machine made Chametz Matzah on Erev Pesach.[24]


May one eat Matzah which was baked not Lishma?[25]

No, and so is the widespread custom.[26] Nonetheless, some Poskim[27] rule that in a time of need one may be lenient.



[1] Admur 471:4

[2] Admur 471:4; Rama 471:2; Tur 471; Rambam Chametz 6:12; Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:1; See “Kuntrus Erev Pesach Shechal Beshabbos” by Rav Raitpart for an extensive research on this ruling.

The reason: The Sages stated that one who eats Matzah on Erev Pesach is similar to a Chasan who was intimate with his Kallah on the day of the wedding, prior to the Chuppah and Sheva Brachos. [Admur ibid; Yerushalmi ibid] A Chasan who is intimate prior to the wedding shows that he is obsessed with lust and control his desires. Similarly, one who eats Matzah on Erev Pesach shows that he cannot control his desires. [Levush 471:2; Chok Yaakov 471] Thus, one is required to recite an equivalent of Sheva Brachos prior to eating the Matzah, and therefore there is a total of seven blessings said on the night of the Seder prior to eating the Matzah. [Levush 471:2; Perisha 471:3; Chok Yaakov 471; Maharil p. 80; Mahariy Viyaal 193; Kol Bo; Abudarham; Kaf Hachaim 471:19] Alternatively, the reason is because is because included in the Haggadah is the verse “For this sake [of us fulfilling the Mitzvah of eating Matzah and Maror-Rashi] did Hashem remove you from Egypt”. Now, if one has already filled himself with Matzah how can he say that it is for this sake, [as the Matzah is no longer a novelty for him-Machatziz Hashekel]. [Admur 471:10 regarding a child and 483:2 in parentheses regarding even adults; M”A 471:7; Terumos Hadeshen 125; Vetzaruch Iyun why this reason was not mentioned earlier.]

[3] Admur ibid; Perisha 471:3; Levush 471:2; Maggid Mishneh on Rambam ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the prohibition only begins from the 5th hour of the day. [Rosh Pesachim 3:7, brought in Beis Yosef 471; Maor Terumos Hadeshen, brought in Bach 471; Ritva Pesachim 50a] Others abstain from eating Matzah from the night before the Seder, which is the night of the 14th. [M”A 471:6 in name of Ran; So rules Igros Moshe 1:155; Rav Poalim 3:27]

[4] Admur ibid; Rambam ibid; Yerushalmi ibid; See Rambam ibid in some versions that he is hit until his soul leaves his body. This is based on the Tosefta in Makos 4:17 that Makas Mardus is given until one accepts upon himself to do Teshuvah, or until death. See Tashbatz 2:51. Nonetheless, in truth many versions of the Rambam do not include the above statement at all, and so writes Rav Kapach that in all the manuscripts it is omitted

[5] Admur 471:10; Rama 471:2; Terumos Hadeshen 125;

[6] The reason: As Kosher foods which are time forbidden may be fed to a child if he is in need of them. [Admur ibid; See Admur 343:6]

[7] The reason: The reason for this is because once the child is old enough to understand the story of the Exodus there is a Mitzvah for his father to teach him the story as written in the Haggadah, and included in this story is the verse “For this sake [of us fulfilling the Mitzvah of eating Matzah and Maror-Rashi] did Hashem remove you from Egypt”. Now, if the child has already filled himself with Matzah how can he be told that it is for this sake, [as the Matzah is no longer a novelty for him-Machatziz Hashekel]. [Admur ibid; M”A 471:7; Terumos Hadeshen 125; Vetzaruch Iyun: 1) The reason given for why an adult cannot eat Matzah on Erev Pesach is because it is similar to having relations with ones bride in her father’s house prior to the wedding [Admur 471:4]. Why then is a different reason mentioned here regarding why a child cannot eat Matzah on Erev Pesach? So too vice versa why was the reason mentioned by the child not also mentioned by the adult? 2) Why does Admur/Magen Avraham emphasize the words “the child became full with Matzah”, does this mean if the child just eats a mere piece on Erev Pesach that it does not contradict the “Bavur Zeh”? 3) What is the logic of the reasoning mentioned above; how does the child becoming full from Matzah contradict the statement that it is for the Matzahs sake that we were removed from Egypt?

[8] Admur 472:23 in parentheses

[9] Admur 471:4

[10] Admur 471:4 and 6

[11] In this regard it is only defined as Matzah Ashira if the eggs or other fruit juices added to these Matzos have altered the taste of the Matzah. If, however the fruit juice is nullified in 60x, then although the Ashkenazi custom is not to eat such Matzah on Pesach, nonetheless it may not be eaten on Erev Pesach starting from daybreak. [See Admur 462:6]

[12] However, past the 5th hour of the day we no longer eat Matzah Ashira, as according to Ashkenazi custom, we do not eat Matzah Ashira on Pesach. [Admur 471:6; See Halacha 4 in Q&A!] Sephardim, however, may eat Matzah Ashira up until the 10th hour of the day. [Admur 471:1 and 4]

[13] Admur 471:8

[14] The reason: As one cannot fulfill his obligation with cooked Matzah, and the prohibition from eating Matzah on Erev Pesach only applies to Matzah that one can fulfill his obligation with. [Admur ibid]

[15] How much oil is one to use, and does the frying affect the blessing of the Matzah?

If the Matzah is a Kezayis in size when fried: Then regardless of the amount of oil used, even if the Matzah is deep fried it remains Hamotzi. [Seder 2:12]

If the Matzahs are less than a Kezayis in size prior to frying: If the Matzah was less than a Kezayis in size from the start of the frying, then a very minute amount of oil is to be used for the frying, but enough so that the taste of the Matzah changes, for when a very minute amount of oil is used, simply to keep the dough from sticking to the pan, the Matzah remains Hamotzi according to all. [Seder 2:11]. If, however, one uses a larger amount of oil, then there is a dispute as to its blessing, and the main ruling holds that it is Mezonos and Al Hamichyah. [See Seder 2:12-13, that there are two disputes in this matter, one regarding if frying is considered cooking or baking [Seder 2:12], and another as to whether cooking less-than-Kezayis breads makes them Mezonos [Seder 2:13]. Thus, in order to avoid turning the Matzah into Mezonos, one should use a minute amount of oil if the Matzah pieces are less than a Kezayis. However, one must still use enough oil to change the taste of the Matzah so that the Matzah is now considered Matzah Ashira, and one can no longer fulfill his Pesach obligation with it.

If the Matzah started off as a Kezayis, but became less than a Kezayis through the frying: The Matzah is Mezonos unless a very small amount of oil was used (simply so the dough does not stick,) in which case it remains Hamotzi. [See Seder 2:12-13]

[16] Admur 471:9

[17] It is disputed amongst Poskim as to whether Matzah dipped in wine is defined as Matzah Ashira, and hence may be eaten on Erev Pesach. Practically, one may not do so. [Admur 471:9 and 461:13]

[18] Admur 471:7

[19] The reason: As such Matzah is only forbidden to be eaten due to doubt, and is hence perhaps valid for the Mitzvah of Matzah. [Admur ibid]

[20] As both Non-Shmurah and machine-made Matzahs are valid, or possibly valid, from the letter of the law for fulfilling the Mitzvah of eating Matzah. [See Chapter 8 Halacha 2-3]

[21] Mishneh Halachos 6:102; Mishnas Yaakov 3:471

[22] The reason: As one is only forbidden from eating Matzahs on Erev Pesach if they are possibly Kosher for Pesach, as is evident from the ruling of Admur ibid regarding eating Kefula and Nefucha on Erev Pesach and regarding the allowance to eat Kneidlach. Furthermore, such Matzos are not made Lishma and are thus invalid on the first night of Pesach. [See Admur 453:15]

[23] Matzahs Mitzvah 12 footnote 29; Mikraeiy Kodesh Pesach 2:25; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 471:4; Chikreiy Minhagim p. 151

[24] The reason: As although the packaging of these Matzahs state they are Chametz, this is not for certain, as it is possible that some of the Matzahs were indeed baked within 18 minutes. Furthermore, even if the Matzahs are Chametz since they have the taste of Matzah they are to be avoided. [See Maharsha Pesachim 99b]

[25] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 444:3

[26] Rivash 402; Tashbetz 3:260; Minchas Yitzchak 8:37; Kinyan Torah 3:56; Lehoros Nasan 4:40; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:211

The reason: As some Poskim rule one is Yotzei with Matzah even if not made Lishma. [See Poskim ibid; Oneg Yom Tov 42] Alternatively, because it retains the same taste as regular Matzah.

[27] Yechaveh Daas 3:26; Az Nidbaru 11:37

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