Monday, August 27, 2007

JUSTIFYING A CUSTOM REGARDING GEBROCHTS

Shoel U’meishiv (I: 1:130) issues a novel ruling based on our Gemora.

The Gemora cites the opinion of Rabbi Chananya ben Akavya, who maintains that when a decree was impelled because of a certain incident, it is limited to the same situation as the original incident.

The Shoel U’meishiv says: The obligation of eating matzah on Pesach, which is lechem oni, poor man’s bread (water and flour) is only on the first night of Pesach and not any other nights or days, including the second night. Eating lechem oni is because the Jewish people baked the dough before it had a chance to rise on the way out of Egypt. Since the mitzvah is based upon that incident and that occurred on the night of the fifteenth of Nissan, that is the only night that we have this obligation.

We know when the night of the fifteenth is, and we are not uncertain regarding the days of the new month. The Chachamim instituted that we must observe two days of Yom Tov since that it what they did in the times of the Beis Hamikdosh. Accordingly, we must fulfill all mitzvos on the second night, as well.

However, that is only regarding mitzvos that if we wouldn’t fulfill, it would be degrading for the Yom Tov. We are required to eat matzah and marror since otherwise, it would be apparent that we are not recognizing this night as a Yom Tov; however, matzah which is not lechem oni would not degrade the Yom Tov at all and therefore it would not be necessary. He cites a Beis Yosef as proof to this.

I heard that this could be the justification for the custom of not eating gebrochts only on the first night of Pesach. If the reason for not eating gebrochts on Pesach is because there is a concern that it might result in chametz, there is no distinction between the first night and all the other nights; but if the reason is based on lechem oni, there can be logic to say that it is only applicable on the first night.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The ShoelUmeishiv does not talk about EATING he is refering to MAKING

See Pesachim 119 b at end of amud

Avromi said...

I saw a direct quote from the Shoel U'meishiv, and he is specifically referring to eating matzah ashirah.

Minhag K'din said...

Likutei Maharich (p. 107) cites Derech Pikudecha by R. Tzvi Elimelech Spira (mitzvat lo ta`aseh 12), which states that all matters of stringency (chumrot) above and beyond the [halachic] requirement that one accepts upon oneself on Passover, do not have to be observed on the eighth day of Passover, because by keeping these stringencies the erroneous inference may be drawn that any leniency would result in chametz gamur, absolute chametz that is biblically forbidden. It is not proper to cast aspersions on a large segment of Israel by suggesting (even merely through one`s well-meaning actions) that they are careless in their observance of the prohibitions of chametz. Thus, many Tzaddikim, Admorim, Chassidim and other pious individuals have a custom to eat matza that is not shemura (i.e., matza made from wheat that was not under constant supervision from the time of the actual cutting of the wheat, which many people, including the above pious Jews, avoid during the first seven days of Passover) on the eighth day. They do, of course, take care not to violate any prohibition of chametz on that day.

We do see some support for a halachic basis of the custom to avoid matza sheruya or gebrockts in the responsa of the Ba`al HaTanya, R. Shneur Zalman of Lyady. At the end of Vol. 4 of his Shulchan Aruch HaRav (responsum 6) he states: "I have seen at times matza that has on it bits of flour after it was baked, because the dough is hard and has not been properly kneaded. This could result in a biblical violation [if it comes into contact with water, providing a basis for the custom of the avoidance of eating soaked matza]...yet I would not come out against those of the general populace who are lenient in this matter, as they have upon whom to rely..."