[Avodah] Gebrochts SheRuYa, Origins and the ShTeshuvah

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Thu Mar 14 09:52:50 PDT 2013

On 13/03/2013 8:23 PM, Meir Rabi wrote:
> The ShaArey Teshuvah 460 makes some surprising comments about the origins
> of Gebrochts.  
> Firstly, the risk is restricted to those batches of dough to which flour
> has been added after kneading has already started.

You are misquoting him.  He says that is the opinion of those who are
lenient and *do* eat gebrochts.  He doesn't adopt this opinion, he just
explains why it is that they are lenient.  His own position seems to be

> Secondly, he outlines the origin of this stringency:

The practise of avoiding gebrochts today, and for the past two centuries
or so, is more or less one of chassidim, and is based on the instructions
of the Mezritcher Maggid, and on the teshuvah of the Alter Rebbe (#6, in
the ShuT that are printed at the back of vol 6 of his SA).  Therefore in
order to discuss it intelligently one has to first learn that teshuvah.
If you're just working off the Shaarei Teshuvah then you haven't got all
the pieces.  Another source that you have to read in order to have the
full picture is Machtzis Hashekel 458:1.

In particular, the AR distinguishes between the old days, when they would
take their time kneading the dough thoroughly, and therefore the only
concern discussed by the poskim was about flour pockets inside the dough.
But nowadays, he writes, a new and wonderful hiddur has taken hold, of
making the matzos very quickly; but the down side of this is that there
is no longer time to knead the dough as well as it used to be, and so we
see that there is flour on the surface of the matzos, and we can't deny
what our eyes see.  Now according to Rashi and the Rambam this flour is
not a problem, because it's been baked and therefore will no longer cause
chimutz, and the halacha is like them, but according to the SMK, Rabbenu
Yerucham, and the Pri Chadash it can still become chametz, so one should
be machmir.

(I assume the new hiddur he discusses refers to our current practise of
processing each batch within 18-minutes.  However from the way he writes
this it seems that flour on the surface was common and easily seen, which
doesn't seem to be the case today.  So it could be that further improvements
since his day have made the teshuvah moot.)

He also distinguishes between crumbling matzoh into the soup, which he
says is (now that there is flour on the surface) a real cheshash de'oraisa,
because there's no mixture -- the flour just sits there and becomes chametz
-- and kneidlach made from ground matzoh, in which any speck of flour is
dispersed and therefore it depends on the machlokes about a mixture of
solid and liquid, so it's OK to be lenient, especially since according Rashi and the.

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
zev at sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan

More information about the Avodah mailing list