Summary of the laws of Matzah-Part 2:
* For the full details and sources, please visit our website or see our Sefer “The laws and customs of Pesach” in the corresponding chapter!
- One only fulfills the Mitzvah 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 he also fulfills his obligation.
- What is Matzah Ashira? Any dough kneaded with wine or other juices [to the point that the juice can be tasted], is considered Matzah Ashira. Any liquid which does not derive from water is considered fruit juice. This includes wine, oil, milk, honey, eggs etc. [fat, milk and sweat are all considered fruit juice]. As well if the Matzah is very thick, it is also considered Matzah Ashira, even if it had only water kneaded into it. However even if one uses very fine flour, if it is kneaded with water and is not thick, it is not considered Ashira
- May one eat Matzah Ashira by the Seder for the Mitzvah of Matzah? According to all opinions one does not fulfill the obligation of eating Matzah on the night of the 15th, with eating Matzah Ashira, as we learn from the term “Lechem Oini” that the Matzah must be similar to that of a poor man. Furthermore, one can only fulfill his obligation with Matzah that can become Chametz and thus needs to be guarded against becoming Chametz, and flour that is mixed with 100% fruit juice cannot become Chametz, as explained next.
- May one eat Matzah Ashira on other days of Pesach? It is forbidden for Ashkenazim to eat Matzah Ashira throughout Pesach. The explanation is as follows: 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 which say that not only does fruit juice make flour into Chametz, but it does so much quicker than water, in less than 18 minutes. 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 Matzas with 100% fruit juice, it is not to be eaten in order to be stringent like the latter opinion. However, an old or sick person who cannot eat other Matzah or foods, may be lenient. 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.
- 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.
- At what time must Ashkenazim stop eating Matzah Ashira [egg Matzah]?
- Some Poskim rule that even according to Ashkenazim one may eat Matzah Ashira [egg Matzah] until midday. 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
- May one eat egg Matzah or other forms of Matzah Ashira?
- 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 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. Furthermore, many leading Sephardi 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.
- The Chabad custom is not to eat machine made Matzah at all throughout all the days of Pesach. One should not give this Matzah to even his children to eat as by matters of Emunah one cannot be lenient. The reason behind why we do not eat machine Matzah is based on both Halacha and Kabala. In a time of need however one may use such Matzah. The Rebbe’s grandfather permitted machine made Matzah, and the Rebbe Rashab would send it out to people for Pesach.
- May one eat Matzas which are rolled with a machine like item?
- Some Poskim rule it is permitted to do so. Other’s rule doing so is similar to machine made Matzah, and hence those stringent by machine made are to be stringent by this as well.
- Kefula: A Kefula is when a Matzah contains a fold which is touching the Matzah 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.
- 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 as 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 Matzas which are very thin and cracker like, is to permit eating Matzas that contain Nefuchos air bubbles, and hence they may even initially be eaten on Pesach. However, regarding Kefulos, one must be stringent even regarding Matzas of today.
- On the night of the Seder: On the night of the Seder one does not fulfill his obligation of eating Matzah, with Matzas which are cooked, being that their taste have 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 does fulfill 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 Halacha 11A for further details on this matter!
- What does an old or sick person do if he cannot eat hard Matzah?
- Then one may be lenient and let him 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.