• February 3, 2023
  • 12 5783, Shevat
  • פרשת בא

Machine & Handmade Matzah

Machine & Handmade Matzah

Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman and learn the differences between machine made and handmade matzah. Is one better than the other? Is one more kosher than the other for the mitzvah?

March 24, 2020 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Machine & Handmade Matzah: Lesson
Class description

Hello Everyone,

There are two reasons to eat matzah (or three if you actually enjoy eating matzah).The first reason to eat matzah is that you are hungry and want to eat a sandwich. Since  “leavened” bread is forbidden and you want a sandwich you need to make a sandwich from matzah.  But if you don’t like matzah you can just ignore it in Pesach (except on Shabbat and the first and final day of Pesach when there is a mitzvah to eat matzah instead of the bread which is eaten as part of the Shabbat or Yom Tov meals).

But there is another reason to eat matzah on Pesach. On the evening of the 15th day of Nisan there is a unique mitzvah to eat matzah. The matzah eaten to fulfill the obligation of eating matzah at the Seder meal is different from the matzot that we eat on the other days of Pesach. The latter matzot need only to be kosher for Passover. In other words, care must be taken to ensure that the dough did not become chametz . In previous sessions we discussed what this means in practice.

The matzah eaten at the Seder to fulfill the mitzvah of eating matzah is of course not chametz. But it needs to possess one additional characteristic. It needs to be produced for the expressed purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah to eat Pesach on the first evening of Pesach. This “intention” is called in Hebrew “lishmah” and the matzot made with this intention are called “matzot shmurah.”

In this session we will discuss the halachot of matzah shmurah.

I look forward to learning with you

Stuart Fischman


Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. In 1989 he began studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar and now studies and teaches at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.