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The Edible Mitzvah


Matzah is more than a food, it's the way we relive the Exodus. It's also the only mitzvah we have today that we actually eat and digest. According to kabbalah, matzah you eat on the first night of Passover strengthens the faith of the soul, and matzah eaten on the second night heals it. So make sure you…

Get the Real Thing

Because not all matzah is created equal. There's…

Year-round matzah

The ultimate matzah is made by hand in a bakery where everyone yells out, "For the sake of the mitzvah of matzah!"Looks like matzah, tastes like matzah and has the same ingredients as matzah—but it wasn't made for Passover, and so no one made sure that it did not become chametz, forbidden on Passover. Not kosher for Passover under any conditions.

"Rich" matzah

Matzah made with fruit juice, eggs or some other extra ingredients. It shouldn’t be used for the seder. If certified kosher for Passover, Ashkenazi custom is that it may be used during the rest of Passover by the ill, or those who (for health reasons) simply cannot stomach plain matzah. Read more about that here.

Regular Passover matzah

Matzah that was carefully guarded from becoming leaven until it arrives in your mouth. Almost the ultimate matzah, but not ideal, so speak to your rabbi if this is all you have.

Hand-made Shmurah matzah

For the Seder, you want matzah that was made specifically for the mitzvah of eating matzah at the Seder—and we haven't yet invented machines that can have that in mind. The ultimate matzah is made by hand in a bakery where everyone yells out, "For the sake of the mitzvah of matzah!" before kneading, rolling or baking the dough. Shmura means that it was guarded from all moisture from the moment it was harvested all the way until it reaches your mouth. Your local Chabad Center might have some. Or click here to buy online.

Get the Details

  • The only time you have to eat matzah is on the two seder nights (in Israel, just the first night).
  • For those folks with wheat allergies, gluten intolerance or celiac disease, read this article.
  • Matzah is forbidden food on the day before Passover. Many have the custom to refrain for an entire month before Passover.
Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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Anonymous March 28, 2016

Very helpful! Thanks for posting! Reply

Anonymous March 9, 2016

thumbs up Reply

Anonymous March 27, 2015

Very helpful! :) Reply

Anonymous April 3, 2014

Great! This is really helpful! Thanks for posting it! Reply

Anonymous Blacksburg, VA March 26, 2012

Gluten-free alternatives Yehuda now has a GF alternative. Although it is kosher for passover, it is not fit for ritual use because it does not have any of the "hamotzi" grains in it.

My husband has celiacs. Oats are the only "hamotzi" grain he can eat. (If you can eat buckwheat, you probably eat oats, but check with your doctor.) A friend recently shared with me a company that sells gluten-free oat matzah. Google glutenfreeoatmatzos to find it.

I hope this helps!!! Reply

Amy G. Glen-Oaks, NY/USA March 28, 2011

Eating Matzah I am so happy I subscribed to your page and newsletter. Since I got Fibromyalgia & Irritable bowel syndrome along with it I have not been able to eat matzah, except at Seder. I am going to try the "rich" matzah. Thank you so much. Reply

suzi orlando, fl March 28, 2011

Edible mitzvah Thank you for the article. It was a really sweet reminder of why we eat matzah. I loved the reason we eat it on the first night. Here is too everyone having elevated themselves, and who strengthens the faith of the soul, on the first night, and heals it on the second night. Reply

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