Erev Pesach that Falls out on Shabbat Part 2: The First Two Shabbat Meals

  • Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon

On Shabbat, we are required to eat lechem mishne (two loaves of bread) at each meal. Theoretically, when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat, we can fulfill this requirement in two different ways: with regular chametz bread, or with matza.

We shall first examine the halakhic problems associated with each option, and afterwards suggest ways to overcome these problems.

EATING MATZA

The Yerushalmi (Pesachim 10:1) writes that one is forbidden to eat matza on Erev Pesach:

One who eats matza on Erev Pesach is likened to one who has relations with his fiancee in his father-in-law's house [i.e., he cannot restrain his desire for matza until the evening]. And one who has relations with his fiancee in his father-in-law's house is liable for flogging.

This Yerushalmi is codified by the Rishonim,[1] and brought down as the halakha by the Rambam (Hilkhot Chametz u-Matza 2:12) and the Shulchan Arukh (471). The Rishonim explain the prohibition in various ways. The Meiri (Pesachim 13a) writes that the Sages prohibited the eating of matza on Erev Pesach in order to ensure that a person will eat the obligatory matza later that night with an appetite. The Rambam (ibid.) writes that the prohibition was intended to make the eating of matza at night more distinctive. The Roke'ach explains that matza is likened to the paschal offering, which could only be eaten at night.

The Rishonim disagree when precisely one is forbidden to eat matza: According to the Orchot Chayyim (Chametz u-Matza 114, citing an anonymous source; and so also is it implied by the Ramban, Milkhamot Ha-Shem, Pesachim, end of chap. 3), eating matza is forbidden already on the night of Erev Pesach, the fourteenth of Nisan. Most of the Rishonim (Rif, Rambam, Ramban [elsewhere], and others), however, understand that the prohibition does not begin at night, but only on the morning of Erev Pesach.

An interesting proof supporting the majority position is brought in the name of Rav Chayyim Brisker (cited in the book Eish Tamid)[2]: The Mishna states that "on all other nights we eat chametz and matza," implying that on no night of the year is the eating of matza forbidden.

What time in the morning does the prohibition begin? According to the Ramban (Pesachim 50a), the prohibition begins at alot ha-shachar (the morning dawn). The Ba'al ha-Ma'or, on the other hand, maintains that the prohibition only begins at the time that chametz is forbidden (a similar position is found in the Rosh, chap. 3, sec. 7). The Rema (471:2) rules that the prohibition begins at dawn. The Mishna Berura (471, no. 12) accepts this ruling, and adds that there are those who are accustomed to refrain from eating matza already from Rosh Chodesh Nisan. In light of this prohibition, it is clearly problematic to eat matza at the Shabbat meal[3] when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat.[4]

EATING CHAMETZ

Eating chametz on this Shabbat raises several problems, some halakhic in nature, others purely practical:

  1. If a person fails to finish all of his chametz, he must find a way to dispose of what is left over. Similarly, utmost care is required to ensure that no crumbs are left anywhere in the house.
  2. If a person cooked food for Shabbat in a chametz utensil, he must find a way to warm it up without rendering the stove or hotplate chametz.
  3. Rinsing the chametz pots on Shabbat is forbidden, for they are no longer needed for Shabbat (see Mishna Berura 444:11).
  4. The dishes cannot be washed, for the sink has already been made kosher for Pesach.
  5. A particular problem arises regarding se'uda shelishit, the third meal eaten on Shabbat, for many authorities maintain that one cannot fulfill this requirement before mincha time, by which point the prohibition against the consumption of chametz has already begun.

In light of the various problems mentioned above, it is preferable that when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat, one not prepare food in or eat on chametz utensils (MaharilMishna Berura 444, no. 12). It is best to use disposable utensils, especially disposable cooking tins (we shall mention this again below in the context of the solutions). If someone insists on eating on chametz utensils, he may do as follows:

Warming the food: One should try to heat up the food on a stovetop or hotplate that will not be used for Pesach. If this is impossible, the hotplate should be covered with thick aluminum foil (or several layers of regular foil), and care should be taken that no liquids spill onto the hotplate itself.

Washing the pots and the dishes: There is no permissible way to wash dishes that will no longer be needed on Shabbat. However, the level of cleaning that is necessary to avoid violating the prohibition against chametz is permitted (Mishna Berura 444, no. 14). Hence, the dishes may be wiped with a paper towel, and whatever does not come off may be removed with a small amount of water (Rema 444:3). The utensils that are still needed for Shabbat itself may be washed. It goes without saying that this may not be done in a sink that was made kosher for Pesach, but only in a sink that will not be used to wash Pesach utensils, e.g., the bathroom sink.

Chametz leftovers: We shall deal with this problem below.

THE SOLUTIONS

As stated above, it is preferable not to eat a chametz meal when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat. In order to overcome the problem of lechem mishne, one may chose one of the following two solutions:

SOLUTION #1: EGG MATZA

The first option calls for the destruction of all chametz before Shabbat and using only Pesach dishes on Shabbat. The requirement of "lechem mishne" may be fulfilled with egg matza. (We shall use the term "egg matza" interchangeably with the Hebrew expression, "matza ashira," which refers to matza kneaded with wine, fruit juice, oil, honey or eggs.) To understand this option, we must first examine the status of matza ashira.

The Gemara in Pesachim (35a-36a) deals with matza kneaded with wine, oil, or honey. (The same law applies to matza needed with other fruit juices [Rambam, Hilkhot Chametz u-Matza 5:2] or eggs [Rabbenu Tam in Tosafot, ad loc.; Rosh and Ran, ad loc.; and others].) The Rishonim take two opposite views as to whether or not fruit juice renders dough chametz. Rabbenu Tam (Tosafot, Pesachim 35b), the Rosh (ad loc.), the Rambam (Hilkhot Chametz u-Matza 5:2), and others write that fruit juice without water does not render dough chametz at all. Even if the dough rises, it may still be eaten. Rashi (Pesachim 36a, s.v. ein lashin) and Ra'avad (Hilkhot Chametz u-Matza 5:2), on the other hand, rule that fruit juice does in fact render dough chametz, and therefore matza kneaded with it is forbidden.[5]

The Shulchan Arukh (462:1) rules leniently that fruit juice without water does not turn dough into chametz at all.

Fruit juice without water does not render dough chametz at all. One is, therefore, permitted to eat matza kneaded with fruit juice on Pesach, even if the dough sat [unbaked] all day long.

The Rema (462:4) disagrees, ruling that matza should not be kneaded with fruit juice:

In these countries, we are not accustomed to knead [matza] with fruit juice…. One should not deviate [from common practice], unless there is a dire need, for the sake of a sick or elderly person who needs it.

Ideally (lekhatchila), we take into account the position of those posekim who maintain that fruit juice alone renders dough chametz, and even hastens the process. And we are also concerned that perhaps a small amount of water may have become mixed into the fruit juice, and all agree that [such a mixture] turns dough into chametz.[6]

The Bet Yosef (462) brings in the name of the Kolbo another reason for the prohibition of egg matza, even though he himself does not accept the stringency:

The Kolbo (no. 48, p. 10c) writes that it is customary not to prepare matza ashira at all on the first two days [of Pesach], so that one not confuse it [with regular matza], and eat of it for the obligatory portion of matza [eaten at the seder].

The Levush (ad loc.) also cites this reason that one may not eat egg matza, so as not to come by mistake to eat of it for the obligatory portion of matza.

In any event, it is clearly permissible to eat egg matza on the fourteenth of Nisan before the end of the fourth hour, for at that time, even full-fledged chametz may be eaten.[7] Whether or not one is permitted to eat egg matza even after the fourth hour seems to depend on the aforementioned reasons: If the prohibition to eat egg matza on Pesach stems from the concern that a person will come to eat of it for the obligatory portion of matza, there is no room to forbid the eating of egg matza before Pesach, even on the afternoon of the fourteenth of Nisan. If, however, the concern is that such matza is regarded as chametz – whether because of a concern that water may have become mixed into the fruit juice, or because of a concern for Rashi's position – there is room to forbid egg matza from the time of bi'ur chametz.

The Noda Biyehuda (Responsa, mahadura kama, Orach Chayyim, no. 21) writes that even if we are concerned about the position of Rashi – the eating of egg matza should not be forbidden before Pesach, for even according to him, egg matza is only chametz nukshe (lit., "hardened chametz"), which does not carry the penalty of excision (karet), and therefore there is no room for stringency except on Pesach itself (thus also writes Responsa Avnei Nezer, Orach Chayyim, II, no. 377). And indeed, the simple reading of the Shulchan Arukh and the Rema implies that egg matza may be eaten on the fourteenth of Nisan, even after the time of bi'ur chametz. The Shulchan Arukh writes that it is permissible to eat egg matza on the fourteenth of Nisan until the beginning of the tenth hour.[8] The Rema implies that he too agrees with this ruling:

And before the tenth hour, one is permitted to eat of matza ashira.

Rema: But the matza with which one fulfills his obligation at night, may not be eaten the entire day of the fourteenth.

According to the Shulchan Arukh, one is certainly permitted to eat egg matza on Erev Pesach, for he permits it even on Pesach itself. Even according to the Rema, it would seem that the prohibition is limited to Pesach itself, for only then is there concern that a person will mistakenly eat of it for his obligatory portion of matza, and only then is there room for concern about the position of Rashi, as argued by the Noda Biyehuda.

The Shulchan Arukh (444:1) writes that se'uda shelishit should be eaten after mincha time (because se'uda shelishit cannot be eaten earlier), but before the tenth hour, for the eating of pat (i.e., any bread-like food) is forbidden from the tenth hour (so as to eat the matza at the seder with appetite). The Rema notes that we are not accustomed to eat egg matza:

When the fourteenth [of Nisan] falls out on Shabbat… The time [to eat] se'uda shelishit is after mincha. At that time one may eat neither matza nor chametz, but [only] matza ashira. The meal must be eaten before the tenth hour.

Rema: In these countries, where we are not accustomed to eat matza ashira, (as is explained below 462:4 in the Rema) - one should fulfill se'uda shelishit with fruits or meat and fish.

If the Rema permits the eating of egg matza until the tenth hour (as he implies in 461), why does he forbid eating it at se'uda shelishit? The Arukh ha-Shulchan tries to reconcile this contradiction (444:5):

It seems that [the Rema] does not mean that even on Erev Pesach one should not eat matza ashira in accordance with the custom, for there is no reason in that. Rather, he means that since we are accustomed not to eat matza ashira on Pesach, we do not bake matza ashira. And to bake it only for se'uda shelishit, people do not exert themselves for such a small amount….

According to the Arukh ha-Shulchan, even the Rema allows the eating of egg matza until the tenth hour, for "there is no reason" for stringency. The Rema rules that one should fulfill se'uda shelishit with fruits or meat for a purely technical reason: As a rule, Ashkenazi Jews do not have matza ashira in their houses, for they are accustomed not to eat it on Pesach. Thus, it follows that if a person has egg matza in his house, he is permitted to eat of it at se'uda shelishit, even according to the Rema (this is also the position of Chok Ya'akov, 444, 1).

According to the Noda Biyehuda, the Rema disagrees with the Shulchan Arukh and permits matza ashira only until midday (an hour after the end of the time of bi'ur chametz):[9]

In truth, I am very astonished by the Rema, for in any event, nobody maintains that there is a biblical prohibition with respect to chametz nukshe on Erev Pesach. Why then was he concerned in a matter that is forbidden only by rabbinic decree for an opinion of a single authority, i.e., Rashi, against the majority of early posekim? Were it not for the fact that the leading halakhic authority, that is, the Rema, already issued a prohibition even on Erev Pesach, I would allow matza ashira all day long on Erev Pesach. In any case, I rule that until midday, even the Rema agrees that matza ashira is permitted… According to what I have written, it is understandable, for the time of se'uda shelishit is after midday; therefore, the Rema ruled stringently even about matza ashira… In my humble opinion, therefore, the conclusion seems to be that until midday, it is certainly permissible to eat matza ashira on Erev Pesach. Any authority who issues an allowance for the entire day – has not lost anything if it is for some need, even if not for the sake of a sick or elderly person.

The Shulchan Aruch ha-Rav writes that we are accustomed not to eat matza ashira after the beginning of the fifth hour. The Sha'ar ha-Tziyun (444, 1) also implies that matza ashira should not be eaten even before the tenth hour (the fact that he does not specify otherwise implies that the prohibition begins at the beginning of the fifth hour). A similar ruling is found in Responsa Iggerot Moshe (Orach Chayyim, I, 155), that it is our custom not to eat matza ashira once the time has arrived that chametz may no longer be eaten.

In practice, since many Acharonim forbid the eating of matza ashira once the time has arrived that chametz may no longer be eaten, it would seem to be preferable to use egg matza for lechem mishne only for the first two Shabbat meals.

THE BERAKHA FOR MATZA ASHIRA

Matza ashira falls into the category of "pat ha-ba be-kisnin" - bread made from dough kneaded with ingredients other than just flour and water. The Shulchan Arukh (168:7) rules that the ha-motzi berakha is recited over pat ha-ba be-kisnin, only if one appoints a meal over it (kevi'at se'uda). There are various different opinions regarding how much food constitutes an appointed meal. Some write that it is food in the amount of three or four eggs (224 cc). Others rule that it is food in the amount that people regularly eat at a meal (see Mishna Berura 168, no. 24). The Magen Avraham (168, no. 13, cited in the aforementioned Mishna Berura) maintains that even if a person eats of pat ha-ba be-kisnin less than the amount required for an appointed meal, but together with the rest of the food eaten at the meal, he eats enough for kevi'at se'uda, he recites ha-motzi and birkat ha-mazon.

In compliance with the ruling of the Shulchan Arukh, it seems that a person should eat enough egg matza for kevi'at se'uda (according to the Magen Avraham, it suffices if the egg matza together with the rest of the food eaten at the meal satisfy that amount). The Maharach Or Zaru'a, however, writes as follows (Responsa Maharach Or Zaru'a, no. 71):

Shabbat fixes a meal, for [on Shabbat] even incidental eating is considered a fixed meal with respect to tithes. It seems then that the same applies to pat ha-ba be-kisnin… any amount eaten on Shabbat is considered a fixed meal, as with respect to tithes.

In other words, even if a person eats produce on Shabbat in a merely incidental manner, he must set aside terumot and ma'asrot, for Shabbat gives his eating importance and turns it into a fixed meal which obligates the setting aside of terumot and ma'asrot. Similarly, writes the Maharach Or Zaru'a, if a person eats pat ha-ba be-kisnin on Shabbat, he must recite ha-motzi and birkat ha-mazon, because Shabbat gives the eating special importance and establishes it as an appointed meal.

The Sha'arei Teshuva (168, 9) cites Responsa Ginat Veradim (kelal 2, no. 11), which disagrees with the Maharach Or Zaru'a:

There is no difference between Shabbat and the rest of the week. The Birkei Yosef agrees with me, and he writes that this is the common practice.

It would seem that when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat, the berakha recited over the matza ashira should depend on this dispute: "ha-motzi" according to the Maharach Or Zaru'a, and "borei minei mezonot" according to the Ginat Veradim. Rav Moshe Feinstein argues that in any event, one should recite the ha-motzi blessing over the matza ashira eaten at one of the obligatory Shabbat meals (Responsa Iggerot Moshe, Orach Chayyim, I, no. 155):

Even though the Halakha is not in accordance with them when there is no appointed meal, nevertheless when there is an appointed meal as in the case of the obligatory Shabbat meals, one must certainly recite ha-motzi and the three blessings, as it is explicitly stated that this is the way one should act.

Yet another argument may be advanced: Many Acharonim imply that the definition of bread depends on common custom (see the formulation of the Bet Yosef in sec. 168, "the matter does not depend on what is called 'bread'"; Ma'amar Mordekhai cited in the Bei'ur Halakha, 168; and Arukh ha-Shulchan 168, 5). For this reason, some Sefardim recite the ha-motzi blessing on matza only on Pesach, for only then does it substitute for bread, but not during the rest of the year.[10] According to this argument, it may very well be that when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat, and it is the common practice to eat matza ashira in place of bread – the ha-motzi blessing should be recited (a similar argument was put forward by Rav Chayyim Palagi, in his Responsa Lev Chayyim, II, no. 88).

As for the Halakha, it follows from Minhagei Maharil (Hilkhot Shabbat ha-Gadol ve-Erev Pesach) that one should recite the "bore minei mezonot" blessing on matza ashira even when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat. This is also the opinion of Rav Ovadia Yosef (Responsa Yechave Da'at, I, no. 91). On the other hand, Responsa ha-Radbaz (I, no. 489) states explicitly that one who eats matza ashira on this Shabbat recites the ha-motzi blessing. This is also the ruling of Responsa Iggerot Moshe (Orach Chayyim, I, 155), and thus it also follows from the Mishna Berura (471, no. 21).[11] It should be added that together with the other foods served at the meal, we generally eat in the amount of an appointed meal. Thus there is an additional reason for reciting the ha-motzi blessing, and this seems to be correct way to act.

In practice, when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat, there are those who are accustomed to eat matza ashira in place of bread for lechem mishne during the first two meals. This is suggested by the Iggerot Moshe (Orach Chayyim, I, 155), and thus it is explicit already in the Maggid Mishne (Hilkhot Chametz u-Matza 3:3):

There are those who practice a stringency not to leave over [any chametz], but rather to eat matza ashira….

The Iggerot Moshe explains that even the Bet Yosef implies that this is the preferred solution, so as not to come to any mishaps by leaving over chametz on Shabbat, but it is impossible to require people to exert themselves and bake matza ashira:

It is therefore recommended for those who do not wish to leave over chametz on Shabbat, because they are concerned about the mishaps that may result, that they fulfill the mitzva of the [first] two meals with matza ashira. Since a person appoints Shabbat meals over them, he must recite the ha-motzi blessing and birkat ha-mazon. As it is explicit in the Bet Yosef (Orach Chayyim 444) that it is proper to do so. For he writes: "And one should not ask: Let him destroy all [his chametz] before Shabbat, and not leave over any [chametz], and on Shabbat he can eat matza ashira! Since not everyone is capable of preparing matza ashira for all three meals, the Rabbis did not require them to do so." We see that it would have been right to enact or to impose by custom to destroy all [the chametz] before Shabbat so as not to come to a mishap if any chametz should remain, and to fulfill the mitzva of [the Shabbat] meals with matza ashira, only the Rabbis did not require us to do so. Therefore, those who wish and are able to bake matza ashira for the two meals, that is preferable. Even though the Shabbat meal requires bread over which we recite ha-motzi and birkat ha-mazon, since he eats it for the Shabbat meals which require bread, there is no appointment greater than that.

Rav Feinstein's suggestion to use matza ashira when Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbat has been accepted in many communities. One should make sure that the matza was kneaded without any water at all, or alternatively, that it was baked with all the stringencies of regular matza. One must, therefore, pay careful attention and purchase matza ashira with a very reliable hekhsher (in light of the above, it is preferable to buy matza ashira that was baked with all the stringencies of regular matza, and without letting it rise (see Sha'ar ha-Tziyun 462, no. 25, regarding Pesach itself)!

It should be noted that ideally (lekhatchila) the matza ashira should not come into contact with the Pesach dishes (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, cited in Erev Pesach she-Chal be-Shabbat, chap. 8, note 4). There is no question, however, that after the fact (bedi'eved) the dishes do not become forbidden for use on Pesach, even for those who wish to adopt stringency, for the matza ashira was cold when it came into contact with the dishes.

To summarize Solution #1: For lechem mishne we use matza ashira and recite the ha-motzi blessing. (One should be careful to buy matza ashira with a reliable hekhsher.) It is important to finish eating the matza ashira by the time that eating chametz is no longer permitted. Ideally, the matza ashira should not come into contact with Pesach utensils. One who conducts himself in this manner, may nullify his chametz already on Friday.[12]

As for the utensils, the Shabbat meal may be eaten off of Pesach dishes. Practically speaking, it would seem to be more convenient to use disposable baking tins, and the like, as explained above.

SOLUTION #2: REGULAR BREAD

Some authorities preferred not to make use of the solution of eating matza ashira. They argued that the commonly accepted practice is not to eat matza ashira on the fourteenth of Nisan (see Kovetz mi-Beit Levi, no. 5), or that the blessing recited over matza ashira is not ha-motzi (Responsa Yechave Da'at, I, no. 91, note 12). According to these authorities, one should follow the simple reading of the Shulchan Arukh (444) that we leave over enough chametz for the two Shabbat meals, or in other words, we use bread for lechem mishne. Even if one follows this practice, it is recommended to cook all the other food in Pesach utensils. The practice of eating bread while using Pesach pots is mentioned by many posekim (Minhagei Maharil, Hilkhot Shabbat ha-Gadol; Magen Avraham 444, no. 4; Peri Megadim ad loc.; Responsa Orach Mishpat, Orach Chayyim no. 128, letter 58; Lu'ach Eretz Yisrael; see also Mishna Berura 444, no. 14). But as we wrote above, practically speaking, it is more convenient to use disposable baking tins.

It is important to make sure that the bread does not come into contact with the Pesach dishes on the table. One should therefore adopt one of the following alternatives:

  1. Bread may be eaten at the beginning of the meal (ideally, bread in the size of an egg – on account of the Shabbat meal (Shulchan Arukh 291:1), but after the fact the size of an olive suffices (Mishna Berura 639, no. 23). The table should then be cleared, with all crumbs being removed. Only then should the Pesach dishes be brought to the table. In this way, one can eat off of Pesach dishes.[13]

    If one wishes to follow this practice, it is preferable that he cover the table with a disposable tablecloth, eat the bread, roll up the tablecloth, thoroughly clean himself of all crumbs, and only then bring the Pesach dishes and the food to the table. For birkat ha-mazon, it is preferable that there be bread on the table. For this, one may bring to the table a small piece of bread in a plastic bag, or else part of a piece of matza. (It is preferable not to bring a whole piece of matza to the table, for lekhatchila we do not bring a whole loaf of bread to the table for birkat ha-mazon.)[14]

  2. One may eat off of disposable dishes, and in that way, eat chametz throughout the meal. In the morning it is recommended to eat chametz only at the beginning of the meal, so that the rest of the meal contribute to the cleaning of one's teeth (for those who do not use a toothbrush on Shabbat).
  3. One may eat off of chametz dishes. This option is the least preferred, but someone who wishes to make use of it is permitted to do so. Even in this case, it is preferable to heat the food in Pesach pots, for the pots may not be washed on Shabbat. Food should not be dished out directly from the Pesach pots to the chametz plates, but rather by way of another Pesach utensil between them.[15] As for washing the dishes, see above. One should make sure to cover the table on Friday in such a way that the tablecloth can be removed on Shabbat. (That is, he should not place the candlesticks on the table, or else he should put them on a tray on which there is some other article that is needed for Shabbat).

Leftover Chametz: If a person is left with chametz after his Shabbat morning meal, he must crumble it and throw it into the toilet (Mishna Berura 444, no. 21), or else douse it with bleach or some other agent that makes it inedible, or alternatively, give it to an animal which he is responsible to feed.[16] One should remember to rinse his mouth after eating chametz and also to shake out his clothing (or change them). After the meal, one should sweep the floor and also clean the broom. It is preferable to put the broom away with the chametz dishes, and use a different broom over Pesach.

It is recommended that small challot be bought for this Shabbat, so that they can be finished during the meal. It is also recommended that one buy bread that leaves a minimum of crumbs, e.g., pitas.[17]

To summarize Solution #2: For lechem mishne, we eat bread (following the plain sense of the Shulchan Arukh). Even in such a case, it is preferable to cook in Pesach pots (or in disposable baking pans), and not in chametz pots.

One may eat off of disposable dishes and thus eat chametz throughout the meal (today, when attractive disposable dishes are readily available, it is recommended to use this option, for in any event, the dishes cannot be washed on Shabbat for the seder}.

Alternatively, one may eat off of Pesach dishes. In such a case, the bread should be eaten at the beginning of the meal. For birkat ha-mazon, one should place on the table a small piece of bread in a plastic bag, or else part of a piece of matza. (In such a case, it is preferable to eat the bread on a disposable tablecloth, throw out the tablecloth, shake out one's clothing, and afterwards continue with the meal. Alternatively, one may eat the bread in one room, and continue the meal in another room, and recite birkat ha-mazon in the first room, or else in the second room if he eats there a small amount of bread.)

A SOLDIER OR AN ORDINARY PERSON WHO DOES NOT HAVE BREAD OR MATZA ASHIRA

On Friday night, he can certainly eat ordinary matza, for according to the basic law, one is permitted to eat matza at that time. For the morning meal, he should prepare in advance cooked matza (the solution proposed by Rav Ovadia Yosef; see note 17). If he did not cook matza before Shabbat, he should eat matza in the amount of an egg, and rely on those who permit it. (For even those who forbid matza on the morning of Erev Pesach maintain that the prohibition is only by rabbinic decree, whereas eating bread at the Shabbat meal may be required by Torah law.) In such a situation, it may be permissible to rely on the Ravya and put the matza in a keli rishon, e.g., a pot of soup that had been removed from the fire (see Shulchan Arukh 318:5).

FOOTNOTES:

[1] a) The Tosafot Rid (Pesachim 99b), however, does not rule in accordance with this Yerushalmi.

b) We find an interesting interpretation of this Yerushalmi in the writings of Mahari Weil (Responsa, no. 193): Just as one's fiancee becomes permissible only after "sheva berakhot" (the seven blessings recited at the marriage ceremony), so does matza become permissible only after seven blessings - "ha-gefen," "mekadesh Yisrael ve-hazemanim," "she-hecheyanu," "ha-adama" (over the karpas), "al netilat yadayim," "ha-motzi," and "al akhilat matza."

[2] It should be noted that the book Eish Tamid attributes various novel ideas to Rav Chayyim, though in fact they should be ascribed to his grandson, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

[3] There does not seem to be a problem with eating matza at the Friday night meal. Rav Moshe Feinstein writes, however, that lekhatchila one should avoid eating matza even on Friday night (Responsa Iggerot Moshe, Orach Chayyim, no. 155).

[4] In a case of need, matza may be used as the second loaf of lechem mishne (Responsa Pri ha-Sade, II, no. 88). The matzot that a person was planning to use to fulfill the mitzva of eating matza at the seder should not be used, for they are muktze (Peri Megadim 444, Eishel Avraham, no. 1). Obviously, one must take care to prevent the matza from coming into contact with crumbs of chametz. In any event, because of the concern about chametz, it is preferable to put that piece of matza away with the chametz items at the end of the meal.

[5] It is possible that according to Rashi and Ra'avad, fruit juice renders dough chametz at the level of chametz nukshe – see Tosafot, Menachot 53b, s.v. ein. A review of the various opinions may be found in the Tur and Bet Yosef, sec. 462. We shall further clarify this position below when we discuss the view of the Noda Biyehuda.

[6] The Mishna Berura explains that the Rema permits matza ashira for a sick person in a case of dire need, only if the dough was not given a chance to rise, but rather "he must bake them immediately, for we must consider the position of Rashi" (Sha'ar Tziyun, no. 25).

[7] Some authorities expressed their reservations about eating matza ashira on the morning of the fourteenth of Nisan for another reason. The Yerushalmi (Pesachim 2:4) records a Tannaitic controversy whether or not a person fulfills the mitzva of eating matza with matza ashira. According to this, since we rule that beginning with the morning of the fourteenth, one is not permitted to eat matza that may be used for the mitzva, the eating of matza ashira should be forbidden. Nevertheless, the prevalent opinion among the posekim is that there is no need for concern, and that matza ashira may be eaten on Erev Pesach.

[8] A person is forbidden to eat any type of pat – including matza ashira – after the end of the tenth hour, in order to ensure that he will eat the obligatory matza later that night with an appetite.

[9] As was noted earlier, the Noda Biyehuda himself maintains that matza ashira may be eaten until the end of the tenth hour.

[10] For this reason it stands to reason that today even Sefardim should recite ha-motzi on sweet challa.

[11] The Mishna Berura discusses the law applying to a person who was eating matza ashira before the tenth hour, and continues his meal into the night of the seder. He argues that such a person should recite the "al akhilat matza" blessing, but not ha-motzi, because he is already in the middle of his meal. This implies that the person had recited ha-motzi over the matza ashira that he had eaten on Erev Pesach.

[12] If a person conducts himself in this manner and destroys all of his chametz before Shabbat, he may nullify his chametz already on Friday following the bi'ur, for he has no intention of eating any more chametz. It may be a good practice to recite the bittul formula once again on Shabbat.

[13] If a person has in mind when he recites the ha-motzi blessing to eat chametz in one room and continue his meal in another room, he may eat chametz in the size of an olive in the first room, continue the meal in the second room, and then return to the first room and there recite birkat ha-mazon. So too he may eat chametz in the size of an olive in the first room, eat even a small amount of chametz in the second room (Mishna Berura 184, no. 8, following the Magen Avraham: according to the Kaf ha-Chayyim, no. 10, he must eat at least the size of an olive), and then recite birkat ha-mazon in the second room where he ate his meal.

(We are trying here to overcome the following problems: 1) reciting birkat ha-mazon in the place where a person ate bread – Shulchan Arukh, 184; 2) if a person eats bread, and then decides not to eat any more bread, and he moves to a different room, the food that he now eats may require a new blessing, for it is no longer subordinate to the bread – Shulchan Arukh, 177:2. The suggestions made earlier in the note overcome these problems. Responsa Cheshev ha-Efod, III, no. 10, maintains that one may recite birkat ha-mazon in the second room, even if he did not eat bread there.)

[14] The Shulchan Arukh (180:2) writes that one should not bring a whole loaf because it looks as if he were bringing it for idolatrous purposes. The Mishna Berura writes (no. 4), however, that if he does not have bread on the table, he may bring even a whole loaf. Responsa ha-Radbaz (I, no. 201) also writes that one is certainly not obligated to cut up a loaf in order that he should have a partial loaf for birkat ha-mazon, but rather in such a case he may bring a full loaf.

What is the minimal size of the piece of bread? Two reasons are brought for leaving a piece of bread on the table for birkat ha-mazon:

  1. Because the blessing must relate to some portion of the food.
  2. So that he may give it to a poor person should he appear at that time. The Mishna Berura (Sha'ar ha-Tziyun, no. 3) writes that one should leave a piece that is "fit for giving" to a poor person. It stands to reason, however, that today when even should a poor person come, we would not give him a scrap of bread, one may leave on the table even a smaller piece (Responsa Az Nidbaru, XI, no. 46).

[15] For there must be no contact between a keli rishon of Pesach and a chametz utensil; see Peri Chadash 444, 3; Reponsa Orach Mishpat, Orach Chayyim 128, 58; Kovetz mi-Beit Levi 5. The Peri Megadim (444, Eshel Avraham, no. 4), however, raises an objection to this solution, and the Eliyahu Rabba suggests waiting until the food is no longer at a temperature that causes the hand to withdraw (yad soledet bo) and only then transferring the food.

[16] a) If there is a large amount of chametz, one may renounce ownership of it and throw it into the public domain (provided, of course, that there is an eiruv). The Rishonim disagree whether or not one may renounce ownership on Shabbat: The Ramban (beginning of Pesachim) and others maintain that renouncing ownership is forbidden on Shabbat, because of the similarity between renouncing ownership and acquisition. The Meiri (Shabbat 127a) and others disagree and say that renouncing property is permitted on Shabbat. This is also the opinion of the Magen Avraham and Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Yore De'a 320, and Gilyon Maharsha, ad loc.). In our case, since we permit giving the chametz as a gift to a non-Jew on Shabbat for the purpose of bi'ur (Shulchan Arukh 444:1), it is clearly permissible to renounce ownership of the chametz (see Sedei Chemed, kelalim, ma'arekhet 5, letter 100).

If, however, a person throws his chametz into a garbage bin, he may not yet have solved the problem, for the chametz is still found on property belonging to Jews. There are those who are lenient because the chametz becomes soiled in the garbage bin (see Responsa Minchat Yitzchak, IV, no. 56, and others). It stands to reason, however, that even if the garbage bin belongs to the municipality or the like, since the bin is open to all, and whoever wishes may remove from it what he likes, whatever is placed within it should be regarded as renounced property. This is the position of Rav Elyashiv (as reported by Rav Zilberstein). He who wishes to be stringent, especially in a place where there is concern that Jews might remove the chametz from the bin, should douse the chametz with soap or some other agent that makes it inedible, and then throw it into the garbage. See below.

  1. The Chazon Ish (Orach Chayyim 118, 3; 116, 16) writes that if one performs bi'ur chametz after the sixth hour – one should douse it with soap or some other agent that makes it unfit even for animal consumption (for chametz that is flushed down the toilet is still fit for animal consumption). If, however, one performs the bi'ur before the sixth hour (as one is supposed to do), it suffices to flush it down the toilet, for in that way it becomes unfit for human consumption. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to crumble the chametz before throwing it into the toilet, so as not to cause an obstruction in the pipes.

[17] A third solution, one that we did mention in the text, is to fulfill the obligation of lechem mishne with cooked matza. This solution is brought in the Magen Avraham (444, no. 2) and in the Shulchan Arukh ha-Rav (444:4), and even Rav Ovadia Yosef (Responsa Yechave Da'at, I, no. 91; Responsa Yabi'a Omer, VI, no. 39) recommends its use. He suggests that a person fulfill his obligation of lechem mishne with a piece of cooked matza larger than an olive. For this, one should take a piece of matza before Shabbat, put it into a pot of boiling soup, remove the pot immediately from the fire, wait until the soup cools down a little, and remove the matza whole. This solution is certainly effective for the Friday night meal, for according to the basic law, even regular matza is permitted (though the Iggerot Moshe [Orach Chayyim, I, no. 155] writes that is preferable not to eat matza even on the night of the fourteenth). Rav Ovadia suggests using this solution also on Shabbat morning, and also at se'uda shelishit. There are, however, those who write that we are not accustomed to eat cooked matza on the fourteenth of Nisan (see Sha'ar ha-Tziyun 444, no. 1). The Mishna Berura (471, no. 20) implies that one is permitted to eat cooked matza on the fourteenth of Nisan before the tenth hour. The Maharsham (in Da'at Torah) writes that only if the matza was cooked before the fourteenth of Nisan may it be eaten on Erev Pesach, for if it is already cooked on the morning of the fourteenth, the prohibition to eat matza on Erev Pesach has no opportunity to apply to it.

We should also mention the solution proposed by Rav Betzalel Zolti, chief rabbi of Jerusalem, to bake matza not for the sake of the mitzva, and eat it at the Shabbat meals. (In a time of great need, this practice is also permitted by Responsa Yechave Da'at, III, no. 26, and by Responsa Az Nidbaru, XI, no. 37). The reasoning: Since one cannot fulfill one's obligation on the night of the seder with such matzot, there is no prohibition to eat them on Erev Pesach. He bases his position on the Gemara in Pesachim 40a, which states that one is permitted to eat the dough of non-Jews on Erev Pesach. That Gemara may, however, be understood differently (see Meiri, Pesachim 99a, and others). Rav Zolti's position seems to depend on the question whether the prohibition of eating matza on Erev Pesach is because a person is forbidden to eat matza with which he can fulfill his obligation at the seder, or because he is forbidden to taste matza on Erev Pesach, so that matza will be dear to him that night. Matza that was baked not for the sake of the mitzva cannot be used to fulfill a person's obligation, but it has the taste of matza. It is also possible that matza that was guarded against leavening is regarded as matza shemura, even if it was baked not for the sake of the mitzva (see Responsa Minchat Yitzchak, VIII, no. 37, who forbids the practice, and Teshuvot ve-Hanhagot, II, 211, 23, and Responsa Lehorot Natan, IV, no. 40).

(Translated by David Strauss)