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Egg Matzah for Pesach

 

In preparing for Pesach our concern is the elimination of Chametz in any of the foods that we may purchase.  May we use egg matza, since there seems to be a question about being able to eat this product during Pesach?  

The controversy about this matza is based on the Talmudic statement (Pesachim 35A) that “mei peirot einom machmitzim” meaning that fruit juices mixed with flour do not cause fermentation.  According to Rashi, it means that although normal fermentation does not occur as it would with water, nevertheless, even without water it becomes Chametz “nukshe”, a lesser form of Chametz, but still Chametz. 

Therefore, according to this view, any flour mixed with any kind of fruit derivative would be considered Chametz.  

The Baalei Tosfos and others disagree and only consider this Chametz if water is added.  Otherwise it is permissible. They quote Rabbenu Tam who used egg matza on erev Pesach in order not to violate the prohibition of eating regular matza on erev Pesach.  

The author of the Shulchan Aruch, R. Yosef Karo, (Orach Chaim 462) permits the use of egg matza during Pesach as long as no water has been used in the baking process.  However R. Moses Isserles or R’Ma writes that would be permitted only for someone who is ill or for an elderly individual.  Thus, those who follow Ashkenazic tradition will not eat egg matza except for the above two cases.  

The general term for these matzas mixed with fruit derivatives is “matza ashira” or enriched matza.  Therefore, even those who are permitted to eat this type of matza cannot fulfill the mitzva of “achilat matza” at the Seder with this matza.  This is because regular Seder matza is required to be in the category of “lechem ani”, poor man’s bread, rather than “matza ashira”, rich man's bread.

 

HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Shlit"a
Rosh Beth Din

HaRav Yona Reiss, Shlit"a
Av Beth Din

 

Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
Kashruth Administrator

Rabbi Levi Mostofsky
Executive Director

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