Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Matzah Ashira Part II

As mentioned we are not allowed to eat matzah on Erev Pesach. However, this only applies to matzah that one can eat by the seder. What is the status of matzah ashira-matzah made from fruit juice.

The gemara in Pesachim 35a:b has a machlokes whether "mei peiros", fruit juices make something chametz. L'halacha it is a machlokes rishonim. Rashi holds that matzah ashira (matzah made with mei peiros) is chametz nuksha while Tosafos (35b) holds it is matzah. Everyone agrees that one can not use matzah ashira for the seder. Rashi obviously holds you can't use it because it is chametz and can't be eaten at all on Pesach. Tosafos holds (based on the gemara) that it is not "lechem oni" and therefore is pasul for the seder. In fact Tosafos writes that Rabbeinu Tam would eat matzah ashira on Erev Pesach since the only matzah one can not eat Erev Pesach is matzah that you can eat by the seder.

Shittas Rema

Halacha l'Ma'aseh the Mechabeir paskens that one can eat matzah ashira on Pesach while the Rema says it is not our minhag unless you are sick or old. The Rema doesn't indicate if he is being choshesh for Rashi or if it is for a different reason. However, the Aruch Hashulchan writes that the reason for the Rema is that we are afraid some water might have gotten mixed in and matzah ashira with water becomes chamtez very quickly.

Being that the Rema says that we don't eat matzah ashira on Pesach, he also says that one should not eat it after chatzos on Erev Pesach. In other words we should treat it as chametz and it is only muttar to eat as long as one can eat chametz.

Noda B'Yehuda

The Noda B'Yehuda has an interesting teshuva where he focuses on Rashi. He says that according to Rashi matzah ashira is chametz nukshah. The Noda B'Yehuda proves that chametz nukshah is only m'd'rabanan and being that is the case it is only assur to eat when Pesach starts. It is muttar to eat the whole day of Erev Pesach. According to the Noda B'Yehuda, both Rashi and Tosafos will allow you to eat matzah ahsira the whoel Erev Pesach and one can even use it for seudah shlishis in the afternoon. L'maskana the Noda B'Yehuda paskens that he doesn't want to go against the Rema but b'shas hadchak one can eat it all day Erev Pesach

Reasons to be machmir

There are a few reasons to be machmir, specifically with regard to egg matzah.

1) The Rambam does not count eggs as mei peiros and therefore egg matzah would not be matzah ashira

2) The Bach and Maharal hold one could use matzah ashira for the seder

3) If the matzah ashira has water in it it might be considered real chametz

4) The beracha is mezonos and it is not lechem for a seudah

Rav Moshe

Rav Moshe (chelek 1 siman 155) holds one can use matzah ashira, even egg matzah made with water. He says most Rishonim and Poskim hold eggs are mei peiros. Also, based on a Magan Avraham he understands that matzah ashira with water is still matzah ashira. Finally, although the beracha is mezonos if you are koveia seudah it is hamotzi and you can use it for a seudah.

One final note: I noticed in the sefer Erev Pesach Sh'Chal B'Shabbos that he quotes from the journals in HaPardes and HaMaor various discussions that took place in 1950's on this topic. In fact Rav Moshe's teshuva appears in HaPardes Shevat 5718/Feb 1958. The other issue of HaPardes is Nissan 5714/April 1954 where Rav Moshe Rozen says you can't use egg matzah. Both journals are available at

Monday, April 14, 2008

Parshas Metzora:Matzah Ashira on Erev Pesach

I know I have not written anything in a while and I am sure all my fans have been suffering from withdrawel. I don't know how much I will be posting over the next few weeks because of Pesach but here is my chaburah from this past week.

I spoke about eating matzah on Erev Pesach and whether one can use egg matzah. As a side note there are a number of interesting options of what type of matzah one can eat on Erev Pesach, that are discussed in the achronim. I had actualy originally intended to talk about matzah mevusheles, cooked matzah and matzah baked shelo lishma but I wasn't able to look into it. I guess I'll save it for the next time this happens which according to our calandar is in 13 years. However, I am sure Moshiach will be here before then so it might occur even earlier. (Interestingly, Erev Pesach is either a Monday or a Friday in the next 12 out of 14 years.) Also, Rav Asher Weiss in his haggadah has a nice summary of the various options of what matzah one could possibly eat on Erev Pesach.

Zman of the Issur

The Ba'al Hameor holds it is only asssur to eat matzah from the 6th hour onward which is the time when one can no longer eat chametz. The Ramban disagrees and says it is assur the whole day. According to both shittos one could eat matzah at night i.e. Friday night. However the Magan Avraham says that we don't eat matzah even the night of the 14th.

Rav Moshe zt"l (Igros Moshe chelek 1 siman 155) explains that the machlokes between the Ba'al HaMeor and Ramban is based on how you understand the reason for the issur. The Yerushalmi (Pesachim perek 10) says if you eat matzah on Erev Pesach it is as if you had relations with the woman you were engaged to in your father in laws house, meaning you lived with her before you did nisuin and were fully married. Rav Moshe says there are 2 reasons why this is assur, either because she is a p'nuyah, unmarried lady, and there is an issur to live with a p'nuyah. Or it is because before marriage it is a reshus and after marriage it is a mitzvah (of onah) and since you din't wait untilit was a mitzvah there is an issur.

According to the reason of p'nuyah, there really is no comparison to matzah. Rather they are only alike in metziyus, by arusa there are dinei ishus yet she is still assur so too by Erev Pesach there exists dinei Pesach yet matzah is still assur. The dinei Pesach that exist is the fact youmust get rid of your chametz. However, these dinim do not start until the 6th hour and therefore, there would be no reason to assur matzah until the 6th hour. However, according to the 2nd reason it is a perfect comparison-you are eating matzah in a z'man shel reshus and not waiting until the z'man chiyuv. This is why the Ramban holds it is assur the whole day. In fact Rav Moshe says this is the basis fort not eating chametz from Rosh Chodesh. An arguement can be made not to eat it 30 days before Pesach since that is when preperations for Yom Yov start but chazal weren't matriach everyone so early.

Matzah Ashira

to be continued ...