Halacha for Sunday 6 Nissan 5777 April 2 2017

Magid-Motzi Matzah

The order of the night of Pesach printed in Haggadot is as follows: Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah.

Magid
Upon reaching the point of the Seder entitled “Magid,” the entire household should read the Haggadah with enthusiasm and concentration. The custom of Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l was that each member of the household (in the order they were seated around the table) would read a paragraph of the Haggadah out loud while everyone else read along in an undertone. Every so often Maran zt”l would offer some beautiful insights on the text of the Haggadah based on Midrashim and other teachings of our Sages.

One should not spend too much time on “Magid,” for one must take care to eat the “Afikomen” before halachic midnight (at approximately 12:40 AM in Jerusalem and at approximately 12:56 AM in New York) and because there are those who are quite hungry by this point and wish to eat. One should therefore be organized and not let “Magid” become too drawn out and the majority of the Torah thoughts and insights should be left for during the meal, while people are eating.

Motzi Matzah
The Matzah used to fulfill one’s obligation on the Seder night must be made of wheat that was guarded from leavening from the time it was harvested. This is what we call “Shmura Matzah” or Matzah made from wheat which was guarded from coming in contact with even a drop of water from the time it was harvested. It is especially worthy that this Matzah be hand-made for the purpose of this Mitzvah of eating Matzah on the first night of Pesach. Since there are many serious questions that can arise about the Kashrut of Matzah quite easily, it is imperative that one purchase Matzah made under the strict supervision of reliable Kashrut agency. Nowadays, thank G-d, hand-made (round) Shmura Matzah with a respectable Kashrut certification is readily available and one should use these for the Mitzvot of the Seder night.

The “Al Achilat Matzah” Blessing
One may only recite the “Al Achilat Matzah” blessing before eating Matzah on the Seder night (both Seder nights outside of Israel). However, on all subsequent days of Pesach, eating Matzah is not compulsory and this blessing may therefore not be recited.

The Amount of Time During Which One Must Eat the Matzah
The Matzah must be eaten within an allotted amount of time called “Achilat Peras.” Preferably, one should eat the entire “Kezayit” of Matzah within a maximum of four minutes. (If one cannot eat the entire portion of Matzah during this amount of time, one should make sure to eat it within a maximum of seven-and-a-half minutes.) In the next Halacha, we shall discuss how much Matzah one must eat on the Seder night.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

If One Must Rise Before a Rabbi Every Time He Enters the Room

Question: The custom in our community is to rise every time the rabbi of the synagogue enters the sanctuary. Even if the rabbi enters the synagogue several times, we rise for him every time. Recently though, one of the members of the synagogue raised issue with this and said that the more observant ......

Read Halacha

Pausing Silently in the Middle of the Amida Prayer

The Amida prayer must be recited with continuity. One may not interrupt one’s Amida prayer for any reason. In the previous Halacha, we have written that if one begins reciting the Amida prayer and senses a foul odor emanating from a baby and the like, one must stop praying immediately, for......

Read Halacha

Question: What should one do if one senses a foul odor, such as from a baby and the like, while one is standing and reciting the Amida prayer?

Answer: The Torah states, “And your camp shall be holy.” We derive from this verse that one may not pray, recite a blessing, or any other words of holiness when there is something repulsive, such as excrement or a foul odor in the area. Thus, one may not pray when a child is running a......

Read Halacha

Cooking by Non-Jews in Restaurants or Hotels

Question: We have written in the past regarding a restaurant where a Jew ignites the flame in the morning that although a non-Jewish cook places the foods on the fire, it is nevertheless permissible to eat in such restaurants and this does not constitute a prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew. R......

Read Halacha


Prayer Texts

The various texts of the prayer found among the various communities of the Jewish nation all have strong and holy roots. Therefore, one should not deviate from the prayer text that one’s forefathers were accustomed to. Hence, a Sephardic individual should not adopt the prayer text of Ashkenazi......

Read Halacha

The Obligation to Stand While Kaddish and Barechu are Recited

Question: When the Chazzan or an individual receiving an Aliya to the Torah recites “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach” and the congregation replies “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed,” must the congregation rise completely or partially or is there n......

Read Halacha

Praying in Pajamas

Question: Can one pray while wearing pajamas? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have established that before praying, one must prepare a fitting place, proper attire, and cleanse one’s body and thoughts, as the verse in the book of Amos states, “Prepare yourself before your G-d, Isra......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b)......

Read Halacha