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QUESTION

Riverdale, NY

Rav Linzer, If one is using egg matzah for lechem mishnah for Shabbat/Erev Pesach, can it be eaten after the point that one can no longer eat chameitz? Also, does one need to avoid putting egg matzah in hot soup (keli shelishi) on Shabbat Erev Pesach, if it’s in Pesach keilim?

ANSWER

The Shulchan Arukh (OC 462:1-2) writes that matzah ashirah can be eaten on Pesach, but only when no water was used, as that creates a chameitz concern. Rema OC 462:4 says that our Minhag is not to eat it even without water unless in a case of choleh or similar sha’at hadechak. The Shulchan Arukh OC 471:2 rules that you can eat egg matzah until the 10th hour of the day (i.e. 3 shaot zemaniyot before Shekiah). Any later and there would be a concern of being too full for the seder. Rema’s position is not totally clear. In Rema OC 471:2, he makes a clarifying comment to the Shulchan Arukh, which implies that he agrees with its ruling that egg matzah is permitted Erev Pesach until the 10th hour. In contrast, in Rema OC 444:1 he rules that Ashkenazim may not consume egg matzah for seudah shelishit.

Which of these rulings we emphasize has to do with the reason behind the Ashkenazi practice to be strict on egg matzah without water. Arukh HaShulchan OC (444:5) and Chok Ya’akov (444:1) believe that the only reason for the practice of not eating egg matzah without water is based on a concern that one might eat it for the seder as the matzah for the mitzvah. For them, it is totally permitted until the 10th hour. Rema’s statement that we should not eat it for seudah shelishit reflects the reality that we don’t tend to have it around in the house. But if we have egg matzah without water in the house, we can use it for seudah shelishit.

In contrast, for other poskim the practice is based on a concern that a drop of water might have fallen into the egg matzah and made it chameitz. Based on this, it would be forbidden from 2 shaot zemaniyot before Chatzot on Erev Pesach. This is the ruling of Rav Moshe (Iggrot Moshe OC 1:155) and a good number of later poskim, and seems to be the general practice.

An interesting compromise can be found in Noda BeYehudah (OC 21, First Edition), who in principle adopts the first approach and states that egg matzah should be mutar the whole day. In the end he rules that for Rema one should assume that it is fine at least until Chatzot, and that whenever there is a small need, even not for a sick person, one can eat until nightfall (or the 10th hour).

Following the lenient positions, one could make seudah shelishit with egg matzah if they are generally careful to so with bread throughout the year, although I personally would not. It obviously can be done for a choleh. All of this, as stated, is before the 10th hour.

There is no problem in putting egg matzah in hot soup being eaten in Pesach keilim. As stated, the Minhag not to eat egg matzah quite likely has nothing to do with a concern for chameitz. Even it were related to that, I see no evidence that the Minhag extends to keilim and would strongly argue that it does not. Beyond which, a keli shelishi does not absorb, so there is no problem regardless.

In summary, the practice would be for a person who is not a choleh to refrain from eating egg matzah 2 shaot zemaniyot before Chatzot, although there is basis to allow up until Chatzot or even until the 10th hour. A person who is always makes seudah shelishit with bread can choose to be lenient according to this latter approach.

As to keilim, there is no evidence that the chumra of kosher for Pesach egg matzah applies to keilim, and I see no problem using it on Shabbat with your Pesach keilim.