Halacha for Sunday 9 Nissan 5779 April 14 2019

Motzi-Matzah

Shemura Matzah
The Matzah one uses to fulfill one’s obligation on the night of the Seder must be made from wheat which was guarded from the time of harvest. This is what is commonly referred to a “Shemura Matzah,” i.e. Matzah made from wheat guarded from the time of its harvest to make sure not even a drop of water came in contact with it. It is especially preferable that these Matzot be hand-made for the sake of Matzah being used for the Mitzvah. Since there are many issues that can easily arise and bring the Kashrut of the Matzah into question, one should take care to purchase Matzah only from a bakery that is under the supervision of a reputable Kashrut organization. Nowadays, thank-G-d, there hand-made (round) Matzah that are made especially for the Seder under strict rabbinical supervision are readily available and one should try to purchase such Matzah for the Pesach Seder.

“Al Achilat Matzah”
The blessing of “Al Achilat Matzah” should only be recited on the Seder night (both nights outside of Israel). Nevertheless, on the rest of the days of Pesach when eating Matzah is not obligatory, this blessing is not recited, as the verse states, “On the fourteenth day of the month in the evening shall you eat Matzot.”

The Amount of Time to Eat
The Matzah must be eaten within the amount of time it takes “to eat half a loaf of bread.” One should therefore preferably eat the Kezayit of Matzah within four minutes. If one cannot do so, one should eat it within no more than seven-and-a-half minutes.

If One Ate Without Reclining
We have already discussed that the Matzah eaten on the Seder night must be eaten while reclining to one’s left side. If one ate Matzah without reclining, one must eat more Matzah while reclining. Nevertheless, one should not recite the “Al Achilat Matzah” blessing again. (Yalkut Yosef- Pesach, page 462)

We have also explained that women are just as obligated to recline during the Seder as men are. Nevertheless, if a woman mistakenly ate Matzah without reclining, she may rely on the Poskim who rule that women are not required to recline and she need not eat again. (Yalkut Yosef- Pesach, Volume 3, page 470)

Not Speaking Until One Has Eaten a Kezayit
Since the Mitzvah of eating Matzah on the Seder night refers to eating a Kezayit, as we have explained above, the “Al Achilat Matzah” blessing refers to eating a complete Kezayit of Matzah. One should therefore not speak at all until one has eaten the entire Kezayit while reclining. Nevertheless, if one spoke after eating some of the Matzah, one should not repeat the blessing since one has already begun the Mitzvah. (Chazon Ovadia- Pesach, page 68)

Warming the Matzah
One may warm up the Matzot before eating them on the Seder night. There is no distinction hard or soft Matzot regarding this law.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Affixing a Mezuzah to One’s Porch

Question: Where should one affix the Mezuzah to the doorpost of one’s porch: On the right of the entrance from the house to the porch or on the right of the entrance from the porch to the house? Answer: The Gemara (Yoma 11b) states that our Sages derived from the verse “On the doorpos......

Read Halacha

Kissing the Mezuzah and Wearing a Mezuzah for Protection

Question: May one place a Mezuzah on a necklace and wear it around one’s neck as an amulet? Similarly, is it proper to kiss the Mezuzah and Sefer Torah? Answer: The Mitzvah of Mezuzah has a special property in that in its merit, Hashem protects the doorways of the houses of the Jewish natio......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Mezuzah

There is a positive Torah commandment to write the two paragraphs of “Shema Yisrael” and “Ve’Haya Im Shamo’a” on parchment and affix this parchment on the doorpost of one’s home, as the verse states, “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your h......

Read Halacha

The Proper Time to Affix One’s Mezuzot

Question: We are moving into a brand new house which we just purchased in approximately one month and we have already affixed the Mezuzot. Was it correct to do so? Answer: The obligation of the Mitzvah of Mezuzah rests upon one who resides in the house. However, if one has a completely empty hous......

Read Halacha


Opening a Faucet and Soaking Seeds in Water on Shabbat

Soaking Seeds on Shabbat We have been asked regarding people who have a pet parrot at home and they must soak different kinds of seeds in order to feed them to the parrot. Is this permissible on Shabbat or not? At first glance, it would seem that this should be prohibited based on what the Ramba......

Read Halacha

Personal Modesty

The Gemara (Yoma 47a) states: “Our Sages taught: Kimchit had seven sons, all of whom served as Kohanim Gedolim (High Priests). The Sages asked her, ‘What have you done to merit this?’ She replied, ‘The beams of my house have never seen the braids of my hair.’” Ras......

Read Halacha

Placing Flowers in a Vase on Shabbat

Question: Is one permitted to place a bouquet of flowers into a vase filled with water on Shabbat or is this forbidden? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that one of the forbidden works on Shabbat is planting. We have also quoted the Gemara which states that water trees or seeds o......

Read Halacha

The Forbidden Work of Planting on Shabbat

The Torah (Shemot 20) states: “Remember the day of Shabbat to sanctify it. Six days you shall work and perform all of your labor and the seventh day shall be a Shabbat for Hashem, your G-d etc. For in six days Hashem created the Heavens and the earth and on He rested on the seventh day. Thus, ......

Read Halacha