Halacha for Thursday 3 Nissan 5784 April 11 2024

Motzi-Matzah and Gluten Sensitivity

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 as “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 (twenty-seven grams) 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.

Gluten Sensitivity
The obligation to eat Matzah on the Seder night is a positive Torah commandment and thus, even those with gluten sensitivities (such as those suffering from celiac disease) must eat Matzah on this night. Nevertheless, since eating regular Matzah may cause them great pain and discomfort, they should prepare reduced-gluten or gluten-free Matzot (such as spelt or oat Matzah) ahead of time for use during the Seder.

8 Halachot Most Popular

Parashat Ki Tetze

Gathered from the teachings of Maran Rebbeinu Ovadia Yosef ztzvk”l (from the years 5744-5772) (written by his grandson HaRav Yaakov Sasson Shlit”a) (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) Ellul is the Time to Engage in Battle Against the Yetzer Hara, ......

Read Halacha

Eating Cake on Shabbat Morning

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of All Our Dear Soldiers May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy. May Hashem protect all the captives and have mercy upon them so that no harm befalls......

Read Halacha

 The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing

Our Sages teach us (Eruvin 40b) that one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon seeing a new fruit that renews once a year. Even if one sees this fruit in the hands of another person or on the tree, one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. Nevertheless, the P......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Blood Found in Eggs

Blood in Eggs Blood found in eggs is forbidden for consumption, for this blood indicates the beginning of the embryotic development of the chick and this chick has the halachic status of “fowl” whose blood is forbidden for consumption by Torah law; thus, the opinion of the Rosh and Tosa......

Read Halacha


Parashat Terumah

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Difference Between Moshe and Betzalel [Understanding Why Betzalel Was Able to Make the Menorah, Whilst Moshe Couldn’t] This Sh......

Read Halacha

The Proper Method for Reciting Blessings

During the days preceding Tu Bishvat, we have discussed some laws of blessings. We shall now discuss the law that the food must be in front of the individual before reciting a blessing, for this is the first law in reference to the laws of blessings. Waiting Until the Food is Brought Before the I......

Read Halacha

The Scent of Lemon

Question: If one smells the pleasant scent of a lemon, which blessing should one recite? Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 43b) states: “Mor Zutra said: One who smells the fragrance of an Etrog  (citron), or a quince recites the blessing of ‘Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’......

Read Halacha

Parashat Vayechi

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Power of a Good Word In the weekly Parashah, Yaakov Avinu gathered his sons and blessed them before he passed away, as the Torah sta......

Read Halacha