[Avodah] Gebrochts SheRuYa, Origins and the ShTeshuvah

Meir Rabi meirabi at gmail.com
Wed Mar 13 17:23:57 PDT 2013

The ShaArey Teshuvah 460 makes some surprising comments about the origins
of Gebrochts.
In the standard print of the MBerurah, page 118 line begins, SheKorin

Firstly, the risk is restricted to those batches of dough to which flour
has been added after kneading has already started.
Secondly, he outlines the origin of this stringency: it would seem that the
concern for residual flour in the Matza is not adequate to explain the
reason nor the origin for this stringency [maybe because it was so rare to
add flour after kneading has begun] and he therefore feels it necessary to
offer a reasonable proposition.
originally he explains, Matza for producing Matza Meal was made from thick
Matza that was at great risk of not being adequately baked. [which means it
is at risk of being Chamets] Therefore the Gd Fearing Yidden refrained from
eating foods made with Matza Meal.

Now this only makes sense if we understand that they had no problem eating
their Matza, but were only concerned for the Matza made for Matza Meal.
I presume that those wanting Meal, wanted it to be less well baked so it
should be whiter, and perhaps were also preferring a different texture.
{I suspect that even today Matza baked for Meal is baked in special batches
to minimise the browning of the Matza}

The ShTeshuva concludes that these days we are more careful, Matza is not
made thicker than an Etzbah [about 12mm?] and the Matza baked for Meal is
baked until crisp.

You will also note that originally Meal was made by grating the Matza on a
Rib AyZen, whereas later it was crushed. This fits in nicely with the shift
from grating soft Matza for Meal to the adjusted custom of baking it hard
and therefore needing to crush it in order to make Meal.

His conclusion - these days there is no point in not eating Gebrochts.

Yet I still seem to hear people quoting the ShTeshuvah as a source for
supporting the notion of not eating Gebrochts.

[And some imaginative people suggest that this Sh Teshuvah prohibits soft

[Email #2. -micha]

ShaArey Teshuvah 460, page 118 line begins, BeSoch

in a note printed within parentheses, I presume is also authored by R Ch M
Margoliyus, he explains that pockets of flour that remain in the Matza may
become Chamets if the whole Matza or large pieces of Matza are immersed
into soup for example.
However, if the Matza is crushed into small pieces which are then combined
with liquid, then the flour is no longer in a clump but is dispersed
throughout the crushed crumbs and such specks of flour will not become
Chamets. Those speck s simply become part of the liquid.

Meir G. Rabi

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