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Chapter 8: Matzah
One of the basic Pesach foods that we all eat and enjoy is Matzah. It is a command to eat Matzah on the first night of Pesach and it is customarily eaten throughout Pesach in exchange for the staple of bread. There are several subjects relevant to Matzah, such as: a) What qualifies as Matzah versus Chametz? b) What type of Matzah may be eaten on Pesach? c) Which Matzah is Kosher for fulfilling the Mitzvah of eating Matzah on the Seder night? d) How, practically, are Matzahs to be baked? The general background of the difference between Chametz and Matzah was already explained in Chapter 2 Halacha 1. It is beyond the scope of this book or chapter to delve into all the intricate details involved in the practical baking of Matzahs, as mandated in Halacha, and this is the job of the Matzah bakery, and its supervising agency to be expert in and ensure. Due to its many detailed laws, the average individual cannot simply bake his own Matzahs at home, and thus must rely on the aforementioned Matzah bakery and its Hashgacha. Thus, the above-mentioned detailed laws do not find relevance to the average individual. Nonetheless, what the average individual does require guidance and clarification in, is the differences between the varieties of Matzahs offered in the market, and what type of Matzah may be eaten on Pesach or for the night of the Seder. Thus, this chapter will serve as a basic guideline to the Matzah consumer and guide him through his purchase. On the market, there are several types of Matzahs that are sold, such as egg Matzah or Matzah Ashira; Shmura Matzah versus non-Shmura Matzah; Machine Matzah versus handmade Matzah; Matzahs Rasham versus Matzahs Rashi; Matzahs of 18 minutes from table versus Matzahs of 18 minutes from kneading; Matzahs Tanur Rishon; Matzahs Chaburah; spelt/rye/oat/barley Matzahs; Matzahs Erev Pesach; Cracker Matzahs versus Yemenite Lafa Matzahs. There are certain Matzahs that may not, or should not, be eaten during Pesach, and there are Halachic differences between the Matzah required to be eaten on the night of Pesach, and that which one can eat throughout the remainder of the days.
1. The Mitzvah of eating Matzah:
On the first night of Pesach: It is a positive command in the Torah to eat a Kezayis of Matzah [within Kdei Achilas Peras] on the night of the 15th of Nissan. [In the Diaspora, one is Rabbinically obligated to eat Matzah also on the night of the 16th.] There are several conditions associated with the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of eating Matzah on the first night of Pesach, such as:
- The Matzah must be Shmura and made Lishma. [Halacha 2-3]
- It cannot be Matzah Ashira. [Halacha 5]
- It cannot be Gebrochts. [Halacha 6]
- It must be eaten by a certain time. [Halacha 13]
- One must eat a certain amount. [Halacha 14]
- The required amount must be eaten within a certain amount of time. [Halacha 15]
The status of the Matzahs eaten on the first night of Pesach are referred to as Matzos Mitzvah.
Eating Matzah on the remaining days of Pesach: The obligation of eating Matzah only applies on the first night of Pesach. On all the other nights and days of Pesach, there is no obligation to eat Matzah, and one is simply warned against eating Chametz. Meaning, that if one desires to eat bread, then he must supervise it, and bake it in a way that is not Chametz. If, however, he does not care to eat bread, then he is not required to eat Matzah and may choose to eat other foods throughout Pesach. Nonetheless, on Shabbos and Yom Tov one must eat Matzah due to the obligation of having a meal on these days. Even so, one is not required to eat specifically Matzah that is valid for fulfillment of the Mitzvah on the night of the 15th, but rather all Matzah is valid. [Accordingly, there is no Mitzvah at all to eat Matzah on Pesach other than on the first night. Nonetheless, this only means that there is no obligation, however, one who eats Matzah on the other days also fulfills a slight Mitzvah. Furthermore, eating Matzah on the other days has ability of drawing down a higher form of G-dliness, which can only be drawn through a voluntary Mitzvah as oppose to an actual obligation.]
2. Shmura Matzah and Matzos Mitzvah:
Shmura Matzah refers to Matzah that is guarded from water beginning from the time of harvest, or at the very least from the time of grinding. Matzos Mitzvah refers to guarding the grain for the sake of the Mitzvah of eating Matzah. The following are the details regarding Shmura Matzah, and the concept of Matzos Mitzvah. Today, all handmade Matzahs have the status of Shmura Matzah and Matzos Mitzvah.
Matzos Mitzvah-Guarding the grains for the sake of Pesach: On the first night of Pesach, one only fulfills the Mitzvah of eating Matzah, with Matzah that had its grains supervised from becoming Chametz for the sake of Pesach, for the sake of Matzos Mitzvah [i.e. Lishma]. [Meaning, that in addition to the fact that all Matzahs eaten over Pesach must be guarded from Chametz, the Matzahs eaten on the night of the 15th/16th must also be guarded Lishma, for the sake of the Mitzvah.] Some Poskim rule it must be guarded for the sake of the Mitzvah to eat Matzah on the night of the 15th of Pesach. However, other Poskim rule that it suffices to guard it for the sake of the Mitzvah of eating Matzah throughout the seven days of Pesach. Practically, the main opinion follows this latter approach. Any Matzah which was not made Lisheim Matzos Mitzvah may not be eaten on the first night of Pesach for the sake of the Mitzvah, even if it was guarded from the time of harvest from becoming Chametz.
Shmura Matzah-Beginning the guarding from the harvest: The grains of all Matzos eaten on Pesach must be supervised from becoming Chametz. From the letter of the law, the grains must only be supervised when the flour is mixed with water. However, the custom of all Jewry is to supervise the wheat used for all the Matzos Mitzvah eaten on the night of the 15th and 16th, from water, beginning from the time that it is ground into flour. Furthermore, it is proper for one to be stringent if possible and supervise the grains beginning from the time of harvest. Practically, the Jewish people are holy and are accustomed to guard the grinding of the grains used for all the Matzahs eaten on Pesach, and not just of the first night. [This form of Matzah is known as Shmura Matzah, as its grains have been guarded from the time of harvest.]
Must a Jew grind the kernels? The grinding of the kernels for Matzos Mitzvah may be done by a gentile, as long as there is a Jew who is supervising him, and thus guarding the grains from becoming Chametz.
The kneading: The kneading, rolling and baking of the Matzos Mitzvah eaten on the first night of Pesach, is disputed amongst the Poskim if it must be performed by an adult Jew for it to carry the status of Lishma, and practically we are initially stringent. The person doing the kneading recites Lesheim Matzos Mitzvah when place the flour into the bowl and when he places the water into the flour.
Should one eat Shmura Matzah on all days of Pesach? The Jewish people are holy and are accustomed to eat Shmura Matzah all the days of Pesach, and not just for Matzos Mitzvah of the first night.
Consumer information for various types of Matzahs on market
Understanding Rasham versus Rashi Matzahs:
Some Matzah bakeries offer two different types of Matzah; one called Rasham and the second called Rashi. The Rashi Matzahs are traditionally more expensive. To the unaware, this may seem like Matzahs which follow two different opinions of Rishonim, however, in truth it does not refer to any person or opinion but rather to the form of grinding. Rashi means “Reichaim Shel Yad” or hand ground Matzah. Some opinions require that the grains be made into flour by a Jew. Rasham means “Reichaim Shel Mechona”, or machine ground flour. Admur rules that there is no need for a Jew to grind the Matzahs, as stated above, and hence, in his opinion, there is no need to purchase the more expensive Matzah called Rashi. Other Poskim concord with this view and negate the stringency of Rashi Matzahs.
Understanding 18 minutes from table Matzahs versus 18 minutes from kneading Matzahs:
Some Matzah bakeries [such as Kfar Chabad] offer two different types of Matzah, one being 18 minutes from the table and the second being 18 minutes from the kneading. The 18 minutes from kneading Matzahs are traditionally more expensive. To the unaware, this matter seems puzzling as how can the Matzah bakery sell Matzahs that have passed 18 minutes? The explanation is as follows: From the letter of the law so long as 18 consecutive minutes did not pass without the dough being worked on then it is not Chametz, even if many hours pass by. Furthermore, when one works on the dough, the 18 minutes restart. For example, if after the dough was mixed with water it remained 17 minutes without work, and it was then worked on, then the 18 minutes restart. This is the meaning of “18 minutes from the table” Matzahs, as these Matzahs have had a total of 18 minutes pass from the time of kneading with water, although have not had 18 minutes pass from the time of rolling the dough on the table, and are hence not Chametz. Nevertheless, the custom of all Jewry for some generations is to only eat Matzahs that did not pass 18 minutes total from the time of it being kneaded with water even though the dough is being worked on in the interim. This is the meaning of the “18 minutes from the kneading” Matzahs, as these Matzahs did not pass 18 minutes from the time water was added until they were baked. Practically, one should try to purchase only the 18 minutes from kneading Matzah, as was the old age custom, however in a time of need one may purchase the 18 minutes from table Matzahs. Due to the above reason, many Mehadrin bakeries only sell Matzos that are 18 minutes from the kneading, although some offer both, and hence the consumer is to be aware of what he is purchasing.
Yemenite Matzos or Lafa Matzos:
The custom of a number of generations, dating to approximately the late 1700’s, is to bake thin cracker like Matzos. This is done as an extra Hiddur, to ensure the Matzah is finely and quickly baked. In previous times, however, Matzos had the same consistency as bread, and were soft and foldable. These today are known as Yemenite Matzahs, who until this very day keep to the original tradition. An Ashkenazi may not purchase such Matzahs, as in addition to it being a break of the current tradition, the Yemenites who bake these Matzos follow the rulings of the Rambam and permit many matters which for an Ashkenazi defines the Matzah as Chametz, such as Kefulos and Nefuchos, of which they are not careful.
3. Machine made Matzah:
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. Practically, the great Rabbanim in those times took different positions, with some permitting and others 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. Likewise, one is to endeavor that friends and relatives all receive Kosher handmade Shmura Matzah to eat on Pesach. Nonetheless, we do not consider the Matzahs as Chametz, and in a time of need one may use machine Matzah.
Are Matzahs which are rolled with a mechanical rolling pin [below] considered handmade?
Some Rabbanim rule it is permitted to do so and the Matzos retain their handmade status. Other Rabbanim, 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 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.
4. Chabura Matzahs-Being involved in the baking process:
It is proper for each individual to be present while his Matzahs are baked. He is to help oversee the process and encourage the workers. [This Halacha created the concept called Chaburah Matzahs, in which a group of people rent the bakery, or are added to the line of current workers, and help bake the Matzahs that they will then take home that day. This, however, should only be done 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. 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.]
5. Matzah Ashira: “Rich mans Matzah”:
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:
- Fruit Juice Matzah: 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. Nonetheless, the Ashkenazi custom is not to eat it on Pesach as explained in C.
- Matzah dipped in fruit juice: 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.
- Seeds or spices: 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, although it is not added to the kneading of the dough due to other reasons.
- Size: 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: 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?
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]. One who does so must repeat the eating of the Matzah, with Matzah that is defined as “Lechem Oni.”
Dipping Matzah in wine: 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. However, dough that is mixed with water and fruit juice, even if it is only a minute amount of water or fruit juice, can instantly become complete Biblical Chametz, in even less than 18/24 minutes, and even while being worked on after the kneading. 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.
Matzah baked with fruit juice and water: 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.] 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.
Matzah baked with 100% fruit juice: 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. [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: 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.]
May an Ashkenazi own Matzah Ashira over Pesach: 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.
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.
At what time must Ashkenazim stop eating Matzah Ashira [egg Matzah]?
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.
6. Gebrochts: Matzah balls, Matzah dipped in liquids:
On the night of the Seder: On the night of the Seder, one does not fulfill his obligation of eating Matzah, with Matzah that is cooked in water being that its taste has been nullified. Furthermore, Lechatchilah one may not even fulfill his obligation with Matzah that is dipped in water, as the Matzah must be eaten plain. However, Bedieved if one did so, he fulfills his obligation. Furthermore, a sick or old person may be lenient to do so even initially if they cannot eat the Matzah otherwise. One however does not fulfill his obligation with Matzah dipped in fruit juice, even Bedieved, being that it removes the taste of the Matzah.
The rest of Pesach: The Chassidic custom is not to eat any Matzah dipped in water due to a suspicion that part of the flour may not have been kneaded into the dough and thus now when it will come into contact with the water it will become Chametz. On the last day of Pesach in the Diaspora, one who is lenient to eat Matzah with water for the purpose of Yom Tov joy, is not losing out on keeping of the above-mentioned stringencies of the Arizal. Regarding dipping Matzah in fruit juice, it’s obvious that one need not be stringent against doing it throughout the entire Pesach. See Chapter 7 Halacha 3 for further details on this matter!
What does an old or sick person do if he cannot eat hard Matzah?
He may be lenient to eat Matzah dipped in water for the Seder night. One needs to dip a Kezayis in the water, and needs to make sure that the Matzah is not cooked and has not stayed 24 hours in water, otherwise he does not fulfill his obligation.
7. The Grain-Spelt, rye, barley and oat Matzah:
From the letter of the law, any of the five grains may be used to make Matzah, which include wheat, rye, oats, barley, and spelt. Nonetheless, it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to Lechatchilah use [i.e. buy] only wheat flour to make the Matzahs, and so is the custom. [Practically, some Poskim negate using any flour other than wheat for the Matzahs due to several Kashrus concerns involved in preventing other grain flour from becoming Chametz. However, one who has a medical condition which prevents him from being able to eat wheat, may eat Matzah made of other flours due to lack of choice.]
8. Kefulos and Nefuchos:
The following stringencies regarding Matzah are accustomed amongst Ashkenazi Jewry, to suspect for Chametz, even though they do not have any Talmudic source. One must abide by this custom.
Kefula: A Kefula is when a Matzah contains a fold which is touching on both ends without any interval of air in-between the fold and the Matzah. If one finds such a fold on his Matzah, then one must remove the folded area and the worth of a thumbs width that surrounds the area of the fold. If this fold was found on Pesach, from the 5th hour of Erev Pesach and onwards, it is proper to be stringent to burn this area of Matzah that must be removed. If the fold is not touching the Matzah at both ends, even if there is only a tiny space of air in-between them, the Matzah is Kosher, unless one sees that the area under the fold has not changed color. If the Kefula area of the Matzah became mixed with other food, there is no need to be stringent and forbid the mixture. If one discovered the Kefula in one’s Matzah after Pesach, it is permitted to be eaten.
Nefucha: A Nefucha is if there is a hollow vacuum with an air bubble the size of an average thumb top, on the Matzah. If a Nefucha of this size was discovered on the Matzah, the entire Matzah is forbidden to be eaten, as the air bubble reveals that the entire Matzah is Chametz. [Practically, the custom today regarding our Matzahs which are very thin and cracker like, is to permit eating Matzahs that contain Nefuchos air bubbles, and hence they may even initially be eaten on Pesach. However, regarding Kefulos, one must be stringent even regarding Matzahs of today.]
Found a Kefulah on Shabbos or Yom Tov: If one found a Kefula Matzah on Shabbos or Yom Tov, one may break off the Kefula area and immediately discard it in the toilet and destroy it.
9. Erev Pesach Matzah:
The custom of all Jews used to be to knead and bake the Matzahs for the seder on Erev Pesach after midday. Due to the nature of the baking today, which does not take place at home, but in the local Matzah bakery, this is no longer practical. Nevertheless, bakeries do have limited groups of people who bake on Erev Pesach after midday, and usually these Matzos sell for a very expensive price, and are known as Erev Pesach Matzahs.
10. Matzah that is a year old:
It is permitted to eat Matzah that that was baked the previous year, or years, and it remains valid for the Mitzvah of eating Matzah on the first night of Pesach. [Nevertheless, it is proper to inspect such Matzah for insects prior to eating.]
11. Hafrashas Challah:
Each dough that is rolled for Matzah baking customarily contains less than Shiur Challah. Practically, due to this, Hafrashas Challah is never done prior to baking. After the baking, some Hashgachas join a required amount of baked Matzah into a vessel and then separate Challah with a blessing. Others, leave this Mitzvah for the buyer to perform. It is incumbent upon the buyer to check the box of Matzahs that he purchased to verify their status of Hafrashas Challah.
How to remove Challah from the Matzahs: If one’s Matzahs did not have Challah removed from them by the bakery, then one is to enter all the Matzahs into a single vessel [such as a single bag], for a total of Shiur Challah [approximately 2 kilo] of Matzahs. One says a blessing and then breaks off a Kezayis piece of Matzah on behalf of all the Matzahs in the vessel. One then says Harei Zu Challah and wraps up the piece and discards it into the garbage. If all the Matzahs cannot fit into one bag/box, then one is to repeat Hafrashas Challah for each bag/box, making sure they each have Shiur Challah [at least 2 kilo] in each one.
Forgot to remove Challah from the Matzahs: If it is already Shabbos or Yom Tov and one forgot to remove Challah from his Matzahs, then if they were baked in the Diaspora, one may eat the Matzahs. He is to leave a little piece from each Matzah remaining, and then after Yom Tov he is to separate Challah from all the pieces together. [If, however, the Matzahs were baked in Eretz Yisrael, then he may not eat the Matzahs, or separate Challah, until after Shabbos or Yom Tov. Rather, he should borrow Matzah from a neighbor.]
12. Owning the Matzah which one eats on the night of the 15th:
One only fulfills the Mitzvah of eating Matzah on the night of the 15th with Matzah that he owns. If one wants to eat his friend’s Matzah, he must ask him permission beforehand, and have him give it to him as a present. If one borrows Matzah, then it is as if it was given to him as a present and he fulfills his obligation.
13. When on the night of the 15th must the Matzah be eaten?
Not before Tzeis: One does not fulfill the Mitzvah of eating Matzah prior to nightfall [i.e. Tzeis Hakochavim].
Before midnight: One is required to fulfill the Mitzvah of eating Matzah prior to midnight. [If one eats the Matzah only after midnight, some Poskim rule he does not fulfill his obligation and has thus lost the Mitzvah. Other Poskim rule he can nevertheless fulfill the Biblical Mitzvah up until Alos Hashachar. Other Poskim rule that this matter is left in question, and hence one is to be stringent like both opinions, and eat Matzah without a blessing. Practically, if one did not yet eat the Matzah and it is already after midnight, he is to eat the Matzah without the blessing of “Al Achilas Matzah.” If it is already close to midnight and one did not yet eat the Matzah, he is to skip from wherever he is holding and perform Motzie Matzah before midnight. The same applies to a person who awoke from sleep, moments before midnight that he should say Kadesh and immediately afterwards recite Motzie Matzah. This applies for both the first and second Seder.]
14. The amount of Matzah required to be eaten on the first night of Pesach:
On the first night of Pesach one is Biblically obligated to eat a Kezayis of Matzah [within Kdei Achilas Peras]. [Likewise, in order to be obligated to recite Birchas Hamazon throughout Pesach, one must eat a Kezayis of Matzah within Achilas Peras.]
How much is a Kezayis? It is disputed amongst Poskim as to whether the Kezayis is ½ of a Kebeitza or 1/3 of a Kebeitza. Practically, regarding the Biblical Mitzvah of eating Matzah, and regarding Safek Brachos, we are stringent like the opinion that it contains ½ of a Beitza. This is measured in volume and not weight. [This amounts to 26cc in volume. Some Poskim rule that this amounts to 28.8 grams of Matzah. However, a more thorough measurement of the amount of crushed Matzah that can fit in a 30cc volume cup, reaches only 20 grams. Thus, while it is accustomed to eat close to thirty grams of Matzah for the Biblical Kezayis, one may be lenient with 20 grams if he so chooses.]
15. Within how much time is the Matzah to be eaten?
The entire Kezayis of Matzah must be eaten within the amount of time called “Kdei Achilas Peras.” [This is approximately within 3-4 minutes.]
16. Intending to fulfill the Mitzvah:
Upon eating the Matzah on the night of the 15th, one is to have in mind to fulfill the Biblical command of eating Matzah. One is to publicize this matter to the attendants of the Seder, especially if they have little Jewish background. If one ate Matzah without intent to fulfill the Mitzvah, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation so long as one knows of the Mitzvah to eat Matzah on Pesach, and knows that the night is Pesach.
 See Avnei Nezer O.C. 372 that the old custom always was for every individual to bake his own Matzahs. He wanted to nullify the custom of buying Matzahs from a bakery 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.
 Admur 475:15; 32; Mitzvah 7 in Minyan Hamitzvos of Admur
 Admur 475:32; Michaber 475:7; Pesachim 120a; See Admur 453:14; Igros Kodesh 19:234
 Rebbe in Igros Kodesh ibid;
 Likkutei Sichos 22:276; 7:275; Biur Hazohar Tzemach Tzedek p. 96; Sefer Hamamarim 5668 p. 171; See Admur 455:15-16 “The Matzahs not of Mitzvah are Karov Ledavar Reshus”
 See Sefer Hamamarim 5668 ibid; Likkutei Sichos ibid
 Admur 453:14
 Admur ibid and 460:1; Or Zarua 2:249; Rikanti
The source: This is learned from the verse “Ushmartam Es Hamatzos”, which means that the Matzahs are to be guarded for the sake of the Mitzvah of Matzah. [Admur ibid]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one fulfills the command of eating Matzah on the night of the 15th even if the Matzah was not made Lishma, and as the Mitzvah of Ushmartem Es Hamatzos is an indepednet detail to the Mitzvah. [Oneg Yom Tov 42; Eretz Tzevi, brought in Yechaveh Daas Yechaveh Daas 1:14; 3:26; See Rivash 402; Tashbetz 3:260; Az Nidbaru 11:37; Minchas Yitzchak 8:37; Kinyan Torah 3:56; Lehoros Nasan 4:40; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:211]
 M”B 453:21
 See Admur 477:10
 Admur 453:15
 Admur ibid; See Yechaveh Daas 3:26
The reason: The reason for this is because the guarding is only required from a time that the flour is close to becoming chameitz, which is when it comes into contact with water. [Admur ibid]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that Matza’s Mitzvah must be guarded from the time of harvest in order to fulfill one’s Mitzvah of eating Matzah. [Peri Chadash 453] We do not rule like this opinion. [Makor Chaim 453; Noda Beyehuda 79; See Yechaveh Daas ibid]
 The reason: The reason for this is because from the time of grinding and onwards, the kernels can become chameitz, as many times there is water used in the grinding process. [Admur ibid]
 The reason: The reason for this is because from the harvest and onwards it is possible for the grain to become chameitz, and there are opinions who say that Rabbinically one only fulfills his obligation with Matzah if the grains was supervised from the time that it can become chameitz, which is from the time that it is harvested. However, prior to harvest there is no need to guard the grains, as so long as the grain is still attached to the ground, it cannot become chameitz. [Admur 453:19] However, if the stalks of grain have become ripe enough to have dried, and thus no longer have a need for the nurture of the ground, then they need to be guarded from water even prior to the harvest. [M”B 453]
 Admur 453:16; Taz 460:1; Chok Yaakov; Chasam Sofer 128; Shaareiy Teshuvah 453:8; The grinding, unlike the kneading, may be done by a gentile, as long as there is a sane Jew who is supervising him, and thus guarding the grains from becoming chameitz.
Other opinions: The Bach rules that this is dependent on the dispute in 460 regarding kneading. Practically, the P”M 460 and Biur Halacha 460 rules that due to this, if possible it is proper to get Matzahs that were ground by hand and not machine. However, clearly according to Admur there is no need for this stringency. These two forms of grinding have found their difference in the names Rasham and Rashi, which mean Reichaim Shel Yad Or Mechona [hand ground or machine ground].
 Admur 460:1
 Bach 453; P”M 460; Biur Halacha 460 “Ein Lashin”; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 450:6; Regarding the custom of the Chabad Rabbeim, and the original custom in Lubavitch-see Otzer Minhagei Chabad 11 that a hand mill was used.
 Admur 453:16; Taz 460:1; Chok Yaakov; Chasam Sofer 128; Shaareiy Teshuvah 453:8
 Beir Moshe 7 Kuntrus Elektri 49; Az Nidbaru 5:34
 Admur 459:9; Michaber 459:2; Pesachim 48b
 Admur ibid; M”A 459:4; Terumos Hadeshen 123
Other opinions: Some Poskim suspect that perhaps the total amount of 18/24 minutes without working on the dough does make the dough become Chametz, even it never remained a consecutive 18/24 minutes without being worked on. [Rama 459:2; Maharil 51; Aruch Hashulchan 459:7; See M”B 459:16] Furthermore, some Poskim rule that the working on the Matzah does not interrupt the 18 minutes, and hence all Matzahs must be baked within 18 minutes of the start of kneading. [Bach 459 in name of Riaz[
 See Aruch Hashulchan 459:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 459:2
The reason: To suspect for the stringent opinions above, that Matzah becomes Chametz after 18 minutes even if work was done to it in the interim. [Poskim ibid]
 See Admur Shut 6; Shaareiy Teshuvah 461; Ashel Avraham Butchach 461; M”B 461:10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 461:10
 See Sdei Chemed Chametz Umatzah 13; Piskeiy Teshuvos 460:1
 See Mahariy Asad 157
 Rav Natonson of Lvov; Kesav Sofer 12; Aruch Laner; Toferes Yisrael; Beis Shearim 178
 Chidushei Harim; Divrei Chaim 23; Rav Shlomo Kluger; Avnei Nezer 537; Darkei Teshuvah;
 Toras Menachem 3:7
The reason: As by matters of Emunah one cannot be lenient. [Rebbe ibid]
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 37; Likkutei Sichos 1:243
 See Otzer Minhagei Chabad; The Rebbe’s grandfather permitted machine made Matzah, and the Rebbe Rashab would send it out to people for Pesach.
 Rav Hendel of Migdal Eimek; Rav Simcha Ginzberg of Omer
 Rav Ashkenazi of Kfar Chabad; Rav Yeruslavsky of Kiryat Malachi; Rav Wozner, and many other Rabbanim of Bnei Brak
 See Ketzos Hashulchan 105 footnote 20
 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.
 The reason: As a) It is a greater Mitzvah when one fulfills the Mitzvah himself rather than have another do so in his place. [Admur 460:3] b) As many of the workers today are not careful in all the detailed Halachas involved in Matzah baking, and they are thus not to be trusted, unless supervised. [Admur 460:4]
 For example, in a Chabura that I, the author, was part of, which contained many ignorant and inexperienced participants from the Yeshiva, 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 may not be done, and occurs when people who lack the proper knowledge and experience participate in the baking.
 Admur 462:3; Rama 462:4 and 6
 Admur 454:4; 462:1
 Admur 462:6
 Admur 461:13
 Admur 455:33
 Admur 455:33
 Admur 455:29; 462:18
 Admur 454:5
 Admur 454:4
 Admur 462:1 and 6; 444:2; 454:4; 471:4; Michaber 262:1; Pesachim 36a
 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]
 Admur 461:13
 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]
 Admur 462:3 regarding water and 462:6 regarding fruit juice, even if there is 60x against it!
 Admur 462:3 and 466:3; Michaber 462:2; Rambam 5:2 based on Pesachim ibid
 Admur 462:3; Michaber 462:2; Pesachim 36a
 Admur 462:3; Michaber 462:2; Pesachim 36a
 Admur 462:3 and 466:3; Michaber 462:2; Rambam 5:2 based on Pesachim 36a
 Elya Raba 461:4; Kaf Hachaim 461:48
 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; Rama 462:4; Maharil p. 57
 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]
 Admur ibid; Rama ibid
 Elya Raba 461:4; Kaf Hachaim 461:48
 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”
 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]
 Admur 461:14
 Admur 461:12-14
 Admur 453:1-2
 Admur ibid; Rama 453/1; Cheshev Haeifod 3:9; Shraga Hameir 5:8; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 453:1
The reason: The reason for this is because it is the most beloved to a person, and thus has Hiddur Mitzvah. [M”B 453]
Spelt: The Chok Yaakov rules that spelt is similar to wheat and may be used even Lechatchilah.
 Minchas Yitzchak 9:49
 Admur 461:16-28; Rama 461:5; Terumos Hadeshen 127
 Admur 461:27
 Admur 461:16
The reason: As we suspect that the area in between the fold did not bake very well, and has hence become Chametz. [Admur ibid]
 Admur 461:21
The reason: It is not an obligation to destroy being that the Matzah only contains a suspicion of Chametz, and is not actual Chametz. Nonetheless, it is proper to do so. [Admur ibid]
 Admur 461:22
 Admur 461:27
 Admur 461:29
 Admur 461:23-27; Rama 461:5; Maharil p. 77
 Admur 461:25
 Shaareiy Teshuvah 461:15 in name of Dvar Shmuel 234; Ashel Avraham Butchach 461; M”B 461:10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 461:10
 See Admur 500:18
 Once the piece is in one’s hand it may be discarded. However, if one put it down, it is now Muktzah and may no longer be moved.
 Admur 458:2
 Igros Kodesh 11:23; 40; See Admur 366:10
 See Admur 456:3 for a dispute and final ruling and custom
The reason: The reason for this is because dough which is larger than Shiur Challah cannot be completely kneaded at the same time. [Admur ibid]
 See Admur 457:2 and 6
 Admur 457:6
 In general we measure the flour alone, which is 1666.6 kilo for removing Challah with a blessing. [Shiurei Torah 3:1] However, baked Matzah, which contains also water, is not 100% flour, and hence one must add to the Shiur. However, see Piskeiy Teshuvos 457 footnote 1 and 27
 Admur 457:6
 Rama Y.D. 322:5
 See Admur 457:11-12; Piskeiy Teshuvos 457:5
 Admur 457:11
 Admur 260:5; 339:7; 524:1
 Admur 454:9
 Admur 454:14
 Admur 472:2
 Admur 458:2 “One is required to eat the Matzah prior to midnight, just like the law regarding the Karban Pesach which may only be eaten until midnight,”; Admur 639:20 “And one is to beware to eat in the Sukkah prior to midnight, just as is required regarding eating Matzah”; 477:6 regarding Afikoman; See 472:2 regarding the Hekesh being used to obligate eating Matzah after Tzeis Hakochavim [Vetzaruch Iyun why the end time was not mentioned in this Hekesh, and why we make the Hekesh for the end time only regarding Matzah and not the four cups, also Tzaruch Iyun why in 475:20-23 no mention of Chatzos was made; See here: http:::shulchanharav.com:text.asp?index=128712&arc_id=138425]; Michaber 477:1 and Beis Yosef 477 regarding Afikoman; Degul Merivava 477; Shaareiy Teshuvah 477:1; M”B 477:6 “One must be very careful”; Biur Halacha 477; Kaf Hachaim 477; Piskeiy Teshuvos
 The reason: As just like the Karban Pesach may only be eaten until midnight, so too the Matzah may only be eaten until midnight, as the verse states Al Matzos Umerorim Yochluhu, thus teaching us that the eating of Matzah is connected, and follows similar laws, to the Pesach [Admur 458:2] This follows the opinion of Rebbe Elazar Ben Azaria, brought next.
 Reb Elazar Ben Azaria in Pesachim 120b; Zevachim 57b; Tosafos Zevachim ibid; Megillah 21a; Piskeiy Tosafos Pesachim 334; Zevachim 33; Rabbeinu Chananel in Arvei Pesachim; Semag in name of Riy; Mordechai end of Pesachim; Rabbeinu Yerucham 5:4; Conclusion of Or Zarua; Hapardes 9:16-26 “It is forbidden to eat Matzah after midnight”; See Biur Halacha 477:1 “Viyihei Zahir”
 Rebbe Akiva in Pesachim and Zevachim ibid; Rambam Karban Pesach 8:15; Chametz Umatzah 6; Rif [brought in Mishkanos Yaakov 139] Rav Hamaggid; Baal Haitur; Or Zarua in name of Rav Yaakov of Krubil; Kol Bo 90; See Biur Halacha 477:1 “Viyihei Zahir”
 Rosh; Rashba; Ran end of Megillah chapter 2; Rokeiach
 Degul Merivava 477; Shaareiy Teshuvah 477:1; P”M 477 M”Z 1; Derech Hachaim; Tov Ayin 38:87; Ikarei Hadat 19:14; Misgeres Hashulchan 119:11; Aruch Hashulchan 477:5; M”B 477:6; Biur Halacha ibid; Kaf Hachaim 473:16; 475:64; Beis Halevi 1:34; Nitei Gavriel 91:1
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the final ruling of the Talmud is like Rebbe Akiva that the Mitzvah of Matzah applies throughout the night, until Alos Hashachar. [Mishkanos Yaakov 139; Or Yisrael 475; Or Sameiach 6:1; Sdei Chemed Mareches Chametz Umatzah 14:11; See Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 1]
 Degul Merivava 477; Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid; M”B 477:6; Ashel Avraham Butchach 477; Kaf Hachaim 477:10
 Admur 481:1 “There is no difference between the first and second night in any other matter”; Nitei Gavriel 91:5
Other opinions: Some Poskim defend the practice of those who recite a blessing over the Matzah even after midday. [Darkei Chaim Veshalom 605; See Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 6]
 Admur 475:32; Michaber 475:5; Rambam 6:1
 Admur 486:1
 Admur 486:2
 Shiurei Torah 3:13
 Shiurei Torah 3:13 [p. 184 and 191; Vetzaruch Iyun as explained next
 Heard from Rav Eli Landau Shlita based on his measurement; Koveitz Beis Ahron Viyisrael 51:86; See also Shiureiy Torah in footnote 18 who writes that he managed to enter 20 grams of crushed Matzah in a 35 cc cup which would make a Kezayis be only 17 grams.
 Admur 475:8 and 14; Michaber 475:6; Pesachim 114b
 Four minutes: Shiurei Torah 3:15 [p. 303]; Aruch Hashulchan 202:8; Kaf Hachaim 210:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 210:1 that so is the widespread custom
Three minutes-Chabad custom: See Sefer Haminhagim ibid and footnotes 342-344 for a quote of various opinions of Achilas Peras, and for a tradition from the Tzemach Tzedek, in name of Rav Hillel Miparitch, that differs from the response of the Tzemach Tzedek which placed Achilas Peras as 6-7 minutes and rather places Achilas Peras as minimum 3 minutes and maximum 7 minutes. The Rebbe concludes there in the footnote that one is required to suspect for the above tradition. So also rules Igros Moshe 4:41 that Achilas Peras is 3 minutes regarding Bracha Achrona. Accordingly, one should try to eat the Kezayis within three minutes. However, if one ate it within four minutes, and perhaps even within 6-7 minutes, one can rely on the Tzemach Tzedek’s other rulings. Vetzaruch Iyun, as perhaps Safek Brachos Lihakel. In any event one is to be very careful in the above.
Other opinions: See Shiurei Torah 3:15; Sefer Haminhagim ibid and footnotes 342-344; Piskeiy Teshuvos 158:7 and 210:1; 475:10
 See Admur 475:28-29
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