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Is Egg Matzah Kosher For Passover?

Is Egg Matzah Kosher For Passover?

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Question:

Rabbi, I often see egg matzah for sale, and have been wondering whether we can serve it at the Seder instead of regular matzah. I have always found it so much tastier . . .

Answer:

The matzah used at the Seder must be made of only flour and water. This is because the Torah (Deuteronomy 16:3) refers to this matzah as lechem oni, which can be translated as “poor bread.” As you point out, matzah made with juice or eggs is much tastier, and is by definition “rich bread.” So egg matzah is out for fulfilling the mitzvah of eating matzah at the Seder.

But is it kosher for consumption during the rest of the holiday?

On Passover we are forbidden to eat chametz. Now, what constitutes chametz? A mixture of flour and water that has leavened, whether through the addition of yeast or the passage of time (18 minutes). However, flour mixed with other liquids, such as fruit juice, oil, wine or eggs, does not constitute chametz.

So far, it would seem that there would be no problem whatsoever with eating egg (or juice) matzah.

However, there is a caveat: If the flour was mixed with both water and any of those other liquids, it can become chametz. Not only that, it actually becomes chametz at a much faster pace than an ordinary flour and water. Because of this concern, it is forbidden to make matzah for Passover with a mixture of water and other liquids.

But how about matzah made of flour and a liquid—containing no water whatsoever?

Well, in light of the fact that matzah made with water and other liquids becomes chametz so quickly, Rabbi Moshe Isserles (16th century) notes the time-honored custom of Ashkenazic Jewry not to eat matzah that contains in its ingredients a liquid other than water, lest even a drop of water is mistakenly added to the dough. He adds, however, that an exception is made for the elderly or unwell, who are allowed to eat certified-kosher-for-Passover egg matzah.

Some Sephardic communities have also adopted this stringency, while others have not. So if you are Sephardic, please consult your rabbi to find out about your custom.

Wishing you a kosher and joyous Passover,
Rabbi Menachem Posner

P.S.: If you have some time, here is a wonderful class all about the spiritual difference between the “rich” and “poor” matzahs.


Source:
Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chaim 462.
Rabbi Menachem Posner serves as staff editor for Chabad.org.
Artwork by Sefira Ross, a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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Discussion (17)
April 5, 2016
Egg Matzo
Egg matzo mostly can be eaten at Passover just well as regular matzo is a preference of taste . Both matzos are kosher for Passover . When I was young I went to my grandparents for Passover Sedar . My grandfather would ask me the 4 questions . He used regular matzo .
M L K
Brockton Ma
April 4, 2016
Egg Matzo
A lot of people like egg matzo . When I was young and went to my grandparents for Passover we always used regular matzo for asking the 4 questions . I personally prefer regular matzo . Wondering why egg matzo is not used ? Is there a special reason it can not be used . In the Bible it does not indicate if you should egg or regular matzo to my knowledge .
M L K
Brockton Ma
April 3, 2016
Robert, in Australia; in remembrance; we remember the days that we came out of Egypt....with a Mighty Hand; the hand of YAH. Amein.
Scott David Lucas
Lebanon
April 2, 2016
we are supposed to be reliving the hardships we endured during the Exodus, period!
Robert
Australia
March 30, 2016
Egg Matzo
Since egg matzo may not be eaten for 30 days before pesach because it is matzo and since it may not be eaten during pesach because it is not matzo, can egg matzo be eaten on erev pesach?
saul elbaum
maryland
March 30, 2016
Lightly Salted Matzo......would be the ideal " Bread Of Affliction ", to consume during Pesakh, even during the year. Pita Bread would be nice during the year too, after Pesakh. Amein.
Scott David Lucas
Lebanon
March 30, 2016
I've been told that egg matzo may not be eaten for 30 days before pesach because it is matzho and it may not be eaten during pesach because it is not matzho. Is that right?
saul elbaum
March 30, 2016
Bread with Egg is called "enriched" bread not "rich" by definition
Adding egg to dough does nothing to change the status of it being leavened or not. Either yeast must be added or a starter (not adding any of these things and just allowing a passage of time, nothing will happen) too long to explain in depth now but 18 minutes with just flour and water made into a dough will not leaven the dough. And the amount they cost is anything but Lechem Oni.
Abe
London
April 2, 2015
Vegtables
What veggies are kosher for passover?
Aryeh
Temecula, Ca.
March 31, 2013
Egg matzah
Only sefardim are allowed egg matzah.
Anna Firestone