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

Wishing you a kosher and joyous Passover,

Rabbi Menachem Posner

PS 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. He lives with his family in Montreal, QC.
© 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 (8)
March 31, 2013
Egg matzah
Only sefardim are allowed egg matzah.
Anna Firestone
April 13, 2011
Egg matzoh during Passover
I was taught that if a person was unable to digest matzoh, then egg matzoh was permissible.
Randy H. Farb
Flint, MI
April 13, 2011
Matzoh: flour and ?
Juice is partially constituted of water!
ann sprayregen
NYC, NY
March 29, 2011
Egg matzoh during Passover
I make the house kosher for Passover 2 days before the holiday because it is easier for me to prepare everything. During that time I do not eat regular matzoh but do eat egg matzoh. Is that permissible during the 2 days before the holiday?
Leah Noskin
Melville, New York
March 28, 2011
Shmurah matzah
Is the Shmurah matzah that has absorbed the chlorine content of the water really pure, in a TORAH sense, as they only had the natural, hexagonally structured water that had both the properties of alkalinity and anti-oxidants sans the chlorine?
Zarayah Israel
Bellingham , Wa/USA
June 7, 2010
Egg matzah and the seder
I concur with the two recent comments.
Shmurah matzah tastes so much better than machine matzah that it isn't even close!!!
michael pell
Los Angeles, CA/USA
April 11, 2010
Matzah for the Seder
this Pesach our family used an hand-made Shmurah Matzah, made with the intention for the Mitzvah by my Father and my Brother under the supervision of our Rabbi Joseph Arbib. It has been a kosher and joyous Pesach for all of us
Alessandro Venezia
Roma, Italia
March 22, 2010
Matzah for the Seder
Ideally, hand-made Shmurah Matzah, made with the intention for the mitzvah, should be used by the Seder.
Itche
brooklyn, ny