Saturday, April 16, 2011

So, how big is your Matzah?

Last year I came across a fascinating article by Rabbi Natan Slifkin. He discussed how big is the piece of Matzah one is supposed to eat in order to properly fulfill one's Passover requirements.

In the article he discusses the evolution of the olive. The olive (k'zayit), of course, is considered the basis for determining the size of Matzah one is supposed to eat.
"R. Moshe Sofer (Chasam Sofer, 1762-1839) notes that today, when there is no Temple, there is only one Biblically-ordained mitzvah involving eating: that of eating matzah on the first night of Pesach. Accordingly, he stresses that one must be careful to be punctilious in the fulfillment of this mitzvah. Aside from the mitzvah requiring a certain type of food, there is also a requirement of a sufficient minimum quantity to qualify as “eating.” This quantity is defined in the Midrash:

There is no “eating” with less than a kezayis (equivalent to an olive).
(Toras Kohanim, Acharei 12:2; Emor 4:16)


How much is this quantity? R. Chaim of Volozhin (1749-1821) is widely revered as the father of the yeshivah world. Less known and certainly less popular in the yeshivah world is his view as to the size of the matzah that one is obligated to eat on Pesach. R. Chaim was of the view that this kezayis is actually the size of an olive – around three or four cubic centimeters. This results in a piece of matzah about half the size of a credit card."
Read the rest here and enjoy your Pesach meal.


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1 comment:

Alejandro Dron said...

'Passover'
www.zoharme.com
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