Halacha for Tuesday 10 Nissan 5781 March 23 2021

A Good Idea and Maran zt”l’s Custom for Erev Pesach on a Year Like This

This year (5781), Erev Pesach coincides with Shabbat. We shall therefore continue our discussion of the proper protocol for this upcoming Shabbat.

Our Sages prohibited eating Matzah during the Shabbat morning meal so that one may eat Matzah on the Seder night with a hearty appetite. Nevertheless, according to Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l, one may eat cooked Matzah on Erev Pesach since one does not fulfill one’s obligation to eat Matzah on the Seder night with cooked Matzah as it has already lost its original Matzah taste (see Pesachim 41a). It is therefore to eat this kind of Matzah on Erev Pesach, similar to Egg Matzah. It is likewise permissible to eat fried Matzah on Erev Pesach.

Based on the above, the following is a wonderful idea for whomever wishes to take advantage of it and it bears the advantages that one need not leave over Chametz for Shabbat and in doing so, have concerns of Chametz crumbs that may be leftover, and that one need not leave Chametz dishes from the Shabbat meals unwashed until after Pesach because doing so after eating would be forbidden (as it is prohibited to prepare on Shabbat for any other day). It is therefore advisable to completely eliminate all Chametz on Friday and to recite the text for renunciation of Chametz before the onset of Shabbat. One should put all Chametz dishes away before Shabbat, as usual, and use only dishes and foods that are kosher for Pesach throughout Shabbat, as though the Pesach holiday had already begun. Matzah cooked in a chicken or meat soup should be used for the Shabbat meals.

Cooked Matzah should be prepared in the following manner: After the soup is done cooking, one should take the pot off the fire and while it is still boiling hot, one should place as many whole squares of Matzah as one needs in the pot, such that each Matzah will absorb the flavor of the soup. The Matzah can even be immersed in the soup half at a time. Such cooked Matzah can be used for each of the three Shabbat meals since the blessing on such Matzah is “Hamotzi” in addition to the fact that the prohibition to consume Matzah on Erev Pesach does not apply to Matzah prepared in this manner.

It is preferable to keep the Matzah immersed in the soup until the soup cools down wherever possible. In any event though, at least a Kezayit of the Matzah must remain intact when removed from the soup for it to be eligible for the “Hamotzi” blessing and Birkat Hamazon and for it to be fit for use during the Shabbat meals.

One may likewise fry Matzah in oil and use these Matzot for all three Shabbat meals.

On Shabbat night, one may use even regular Matzah that has not been fried or cooked since the prohibition to eat regular Matzah only begins on Shabbat morning.

The aforementioned was indeed the custom of Maran zt”l in the year 5768 (2008), the last time Erev Pesach coincided with Shabbat, when we had the opportunity to spend Pesach with Maran zt”l. Maran zt”l used cooked Matzah for all the Shabbat meals because he did not want people walking around with actual Chametz on this Shabbat. Only those who wished to specifically eat bread were instructed to do so in a designated room but not with everyone else.

In the next Halacha, we shall explain the proper procedure for the third Shabbat meal for this coming Shabbat.

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