SECTION 458 The Time and the Procedure for Kneading the Matzah [to be Used for] the Mitzvah [of Eating Matzah] (1-17)

סימן תנח זְמַן וְסֵדֶר לִישַׁת מַצַּת הַמִּצְוָה וּבוֹ י"ז סְעִיפִים:

1 It is universal Jewish custom not to knead the dough for the matzah [to be used for] the mitzvah [of eating matzah on the night of Pesach] until after midday on the day before Pesach,1 [for] this was the time when the Pesach sacrifice was offered,2 and a [Scriptural] association was made between the mitzvah [of eating] matzah and the mitzvah of the Pesach sacrifice, as it is written [regarding the Pesach sacrifice]:3 “You shall eat it together with matzah and bitter herbs.”

Since people at large cannot pinpoint the exact moment of midday,4 it is therefore proper to wait a half hour after midday [before kneading the dough for the matzos] since [in the Beis HaMikdash], they would delay the slaughter of [the lamb for] the Pesach sacrifice in this manner, and would not slaughter it until after six-and-a-half hours [of the day had passed].5

א נָהֲגוּא כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵלב שֶׁלֹּא לָלוּשׁ הַמַּצּוֹת שֶׁל מִצְוָהג עַד אַחַר חֲצוֹת הַיּוֹם בְּעֶרֶב פֶּסַח1 שֶׁהוּא זְמַן הַקְרָבַת הַפֶּסַח,ד,2 שֶׁמִּצְוַת מַצָּה הֻקְּשָׁה לְמִצְוַת הַפֶּסַח,ה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַרו,3 "עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ". וּלְפִי שֶׁאֵין הַכֹּל בְּקִיאִים בַּחֲצוֹת הַיּוֹם מַמָּשׁ,ז,4 לְפִיכָךְ נָכוֹן לְהַמְתִּין חֲצִי שָׁעָה אַחַר חֲצוֹת הַיּוֹם, כִּי כֵן הָיוּ מַמְתִּינִים בִּשְׁחִיטַת הַפֶּסַח שֶׁלֹּא לְשָׁחֳטוֹ עַד לְאַחַר שֵׁשׁ וּמֶחֱצָה:ח,5

2 All the above is merely a custom [to be followed as] an initial and preferred option. However according to the fundamentals of the law, one may, [even] as an initial and preferred option,6 fulfill his obligation with matzos that were baked several months before Pesach7 [provided they were baked with the intent that they be used for]8 the mitzvah [of eating matzah.9The rationale is that] the association between matzah [to be used for] the mitzvah [of eating matzah] and the mitzvah of the Pesach [sacrifice] applies only to the time when [the matzah] must be eaten – that it must be eaten before midnight10 – like the Pesach sacrifice that may only be eaten until midnight. [Thus, the Sages interpret the verse,]3 “You shall eat it together with matzah and bitter herbs,” [as teaching that the time of] partaking of matzah was associated with [the time when] the Pesach sacrifice was eaten. However, that association [only relates to when the matzah is to be eaten; it] does not relate to the time when [the matzos] must be made, and one may bake them from the beginning of the year, provided he bakes them for the sake of Pesach, as explained in sec. 453[:14]. If, however, one did not bake [his matzos] for the sake of Pesach, it can be assumed that he was not careful that they did not become chametz while he was baking them.11 Therefore, [these matzos] are forbidden during all the days of Pesach.12

ב וְכָל זֶה אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מִנְהָגט לְכַתְּחִלָּה, אֲבָל מֵעִקַּר הַדִּין אֲפִלּוּ מַצּוֹת8 מִצְוָה9 שֶׁנֶּאֱפוּ כַּמָּה חֳדָשִׁים לִפְנֵי הַפֶּסַח7 – יָכוֹל לָצֵאת בָּהֶן יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹי לְכַתְּחִלָּה,6 לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא הֻקְּשָׁה מַצַּת מִצְוָה לְמִצְוַת פֶּסַח אֶלָּא לִזְמַן אֲכִילָתָהּ בִּלְבַד,יא שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְאָכְלָהּ קֹדֶם חֲצוֹת הַלַּיְלָהיב,10 כְּמוֹ הַפֶּסַח שֶׁאֵינוֹ נֶאֱכָל אֶלָּא עַד חֲצוֹת,יג שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר3 "עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ", הֻקְּשָׁה אֲכִילַת מַצָּה לַאֲכִילַת הַפֶּסַח,יד אֲבָל לְעִנְיַן זְמַן עֲשִׂיָּתָן לֹא הֻקְּשׁוּ כְּלָל,טו וְיָכוֹל לֶאֱפוֹתָן מִתְּחִלַּת הַשָּׁנָה, וְהוּא שֶׁיֹּאפֶה אוֹתָן לְשֵׁם הַפֶּסַח,טז כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תנ"ג.יז אֲבָל אִם לֹא אֲפָאָן לְשֵׁם הַפֶּסַח – מִן הַסְּתָם לֹא נִזְהַר יָפֶה מֵחָמֵץ בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּתָן,יח,11 לְפִיכָךְ הֵן אֲסוּרִין לְכָל יְמֵי הַפֶּסַח:12

3 In a pressing situation – for example, matzos are baked and sent to distant locations – the fundamentals of the law may be followed, and it is permitted to bake [matzos] even several months before Pesach. Similarly, those who undertake a sea voyage several months before Pesach [may] bake matzos before they depart from their homes. However, in a situation that is not pressing, one should not deviate from the custom.

ג וּבִשְׁעַת הַדְּחָק מַעֲמִידִין עַל עִקַּר הַדִּין, כְּגוֹן אוֹתָן שֶׁאוֹפִין מַצּוֹת וְשׁוֹלְחִין לְמֶרְחַקִּים – מֻתָּרִין לֶאֱפוֹת אֲפִלּוּ כַּמָּה חֳדָשִׁים קֹדֶם הַפֶּסַח.יט וְכֵן הַמְפָרְשִׁים מִיַּבָּשָׁה לַיָּם כַּמָּה חֳדָשִׁים קֹדֶם הַפֶּסַח – אוֹפִין מַצּוֹת קֹדֶם יְצִיאָתָם מִבֵּיתָם, אֲבָל שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁעַת הַדְּחָק אֵין לְשַׁנּוֹת הַמִּנְהָג:כ

4 If the day before Pesach falls on Shabbos, it is customary to knead [the dough for these matzos] on Friday after midday.13 There are some who customarily knead [the dough] on Saturday night, i.e., on the night of the festival. They rationalize their custom, [explaining] that a mitzvah performed at its [appropriate time] is cherished.14

It is not befitting to conduct oneself in this manner since it is necessary to hurry to eat [matzah]15 on the night of Pesach immediately when the night commences16 so that the young children will not fall asleep, as will be explained in sec. 472[:1]. If one will occupy himself with the kneading and baking of the matzos at the beginning of the night, the young children will certainly fall asleep.

Furthermore, when one bakes matzos on the festival, he must be careful regarding several laws, [for example,] how to separate challah from [these matzos] (as explained in sec. 457[:17-21]), and how to clean the utensils used to knead the dough from the chametz that is adhering to them (as will be explained in sec. 459[:20-23]). Not everyone is well-versed in these laws, and [some may] come to burn challah on the festival or [have] a Jew scrape clean and wash out the container [used for kneading the matzah dough] (see sec. 459, [loc. cit.]).

Indeed, even during Chol HaMoed, it is appropriate to follow the practice of not baking matzos. Instead, one should bake all [the matzos] before Pesach if possible, for the reason explained in sec. 453[:9].17

ד וְאִם חָל עֶרֶב פֶּסַח בְּשַׁבָּת – נוֹהֲגִין לָלוּשׁ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּתכא אַחַר חֲצוֹת הַיּוֹם.כב,13 וְיֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לָלוּשׁ בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת, דְּהַיְנוּ בְּלֵיל יוֹם טוֹב, וְנוֹתְנִין טַעַם לְמִנְהָגָם:כג לְפִי שֶׁחֲבִיבָה מִצְוָה בִּשְׁעָתָהּ.כד,14 וְאֵין רָאוּי לִנְהֹג כֵּן,כה לְפִי שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְמַהֵר הָאֲכִילָה15 בְּלֵיל פֶּסַח מִיָּד בִּכְנִיסַת הַלַּיְלָה16 כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁנוּ הַתִּינוֹקוֹתכו כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תע"ב,כז וְאִם יִתְעַסֵּק בִּתְחִלַּת הַלַּיְלָה בְּלִישַׁת הַמַּצּוֹת וַאֲפִיָּתָן – בְּוַדַּאי יִשְׁנוּ הַתִּינוֹקוֹת. וְעוֹד,כח שֶׁהָאוֹפֶה מַצּוֹת בְּיוֹם טוֹב צָרִיךְ לְהִזָּהֵר בְּכַמָּה הֲלָכוֹת: הַאֵיךְ לְהַפְרִישׁ חַלָּה מֵהֶן (שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תנ"ז), וְהַאֵיךְ לְנַקּוֹת כְּלֵי הַלִּישָׁה מֵחָמֵץ הַנִּדְבָּק בָּהֶןכט (שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תנ"ט), וְאֵין הַכֹּל בְּקִיאִין בַּהֲלָכוֹת אֵלּוּ וְיָבֹאוּ לִשְׂרֹף הַחַלָּה בְּיוֹם טוֹב וְלִגְרֹד וּלְהָדִיחַ הַכְּלִי עַל יְדֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל (עַיֵּן סִימָן תנ"טל).

וְאַף בְּחֹל הַמּוֹעֵד רָאוּי לִנְהֹג שֶׁלֹּא לֶאֱפוֹת מַצּוֹת, אֶלָּא יֹאפֶה הַכֹּל קֹדֶם הַפֶּסַחלא אִם אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ, מִטַּעַם שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תנ"ג:לב,17

Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (Sichos In English)

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5 It is customary in these countries to make all the three matzos used for the mitzvah from one isaron18of flour, like the breads used for the thanksgiving offering, in which instance, three loaves were made from one isaron [of flour. This concept is derived as follows: The thanksgiving offering contained] 30 loaves of matzah, which were made from ten esronim. Thus, three loaves were made from one isaron.19

For this reason, we also make three matzos from an isaron [of flour] as a remembrance of the breads of the thanksgiving offering.20 [The rationale is that] one who leaves prison is obligated to bring a thanksgiving offering,21 and on Pesach we all left prison, [i.e.,] the enslavement of Egypt. Therefore, we commemorate the breads of the thanksgiving offering.

ה נוֹהֲגִין בִּמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ שֶׁהַג' מַצּוֹת שֶׁל מִצְוָה הֵן נַעֲשִׂין מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן18 אֶחָד קֶמַחלג כְּעֵין לַחְמֵי תּוֹדָה, שֶׁהָיוּ ג' חַלּוֹת נַעֲשׂוֹת מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָד, שֶׁהֲרֵי הָיוּ בָּהּ שְׁלֹשִׁים חַלּוֹת שֶׁל מַצָּה נַעֲשׂוֹת מֵעֲשָׂרָה עֶשְׂרוֹנִים, נִמְצְאוּ שָׁלֹשׁ חַלּוֹת לְעִשָּׂרוֹן,לד,19 לְפִיכָךְ אָנוּ עוֹשִׂין גַּם כֵּן ג' מַצּוֹת לְעִשָּׂרוֹן זֵכֶר לְלַחְמֵי תּוֹדָה,לה,20 שֶׁהַיּוֹצֵא מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִין חַיָּב לְהָבִיא תּוֹדָה,לו,21 וְאָנוּ בְּפֶסַח יָצָאנוּ מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִין מִשִּׁעְבּוּד מִצְרַיִם, לְפִיכָךְ אָנוּ עוֹשִׂין זֵכֶר לְלַחְמֵי תּוֹדָה:לז

6 [When] a person has many members in his household and one isaron [of flour] will not be sufficient for him [to provide each person with the required amount of matzah needed for the Seder], he may add to [the measure of] an isaron for these three matzos. That is to say, he should knead two doughs, neither of which are [made from] more than an isaron of flour.22 [Afterwards, the person should combine the two batches of dough] and make three [large] matzos from the two of them.

If neither of [the doughs] contain an ample isaron [of flour, the person] should join them together in the manner explained in sec. 457[:1-2]. He should separate challah from the [two batches of dough] and then make three matzos from them.

If [a person] cannot separate challah from [the two doughs] because of the speed at which those occupied with [the doughs are working], he should make three matzos and one small cake [of matzah], and bake them.23 After baking [them], [the person] should join [the matzos and the cake] together in one container and separate challah from the cake [of matzah] for all [the matzos].24

However, it is preferable for a person who does not have many people in his household to take an ample isaron [of flour] and make three matzos and one small cake [of matzah from the dough].25 He should then knead [another dough containing] a scanty isaron [of flour] and make three matzos for the second night.After baking all the matzos, he should join them together in one container and separate challah from the cake [of matzah] for all [the matzos].26

ו וּמִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ בְּנֵי בַּיִת רַבִּים וְאֵין מַסְפִּיק לוֹ עִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָדלח – יָכוֹל לְהוֹסִיף עַל עִשָּׂרוֹן בְּג' מַצּוֹת הַלָּלוּ, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיָּלוּשׁ ב' עִסּוֹת שֶׁאֵין בְּכָל אַחַת מֵהֶן יוֹתֵר מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן,לט,22 וְיַעֲשֶׂה שְׁתֵּי עִסּוֹת, וּמִשְּׁתֵּיהֶן יַעֲשֶׂה ג' מַצּוֹת, וְאִם בְּכָל אַחַת מֵהֶן בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָהּ אֵין לָהּ עִשָּׂרוֹן מְרֻוָּח – יְצָרֵף שְׁתֵּיהֶן יַחַדמ עַל דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תנ"זמא וְיַפְרִישׁ מֵהֶן חַלָּה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ יַעֲשֶׂה מֵהֶן ג' מַצּוֹת.מב

וְאִם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַפְרִישׁ מֵהֶן בְּעוֹדָן עִסָּה מִפְּנֵי מְהִירוּת הַמִּתְעַסְּקִין בָּהֶןמג – יַעֲשֶׂה מֵהֶן ג' מַצּוֹת וְעוּגָה אַחַת,מד וְיֹאפֶה אֶת כֻּלָּן,23 וּלְאַחַר הָאֲפִיָּה יְצָרְפֵם יַחַד בִּכְלִי אֶחָד וְיַפְרִישׁ מִן הָעוּגָה עַל כֻּלָּן.24

אֲבָל מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בְּנֵי בַּיִת מְרֻבִּים – טוֹב שֶׁיִּקַּח עִשָּׂרוֹן מְרֻוָּחמה וְיַעֲשֶׂה מִמֶּנּוּ ג' מַצּוֹת וְעוּגָה אַחַת,25 וְיַחֲזֹר וְיָלוּשׁ עוֹד עִשָּׂרוֹן מְצֻמְצָם וְיַעֲשֶׂה מִמֶּנּוּ ג' מַצּוֹת לְצֹרֶךְ לֵיל שֵׁנִי, וּלְאַחַר שֶׁיֹּאפֶה אֶת כֻּלָּם – יְצָרְפֵם בִּכְלִימו וְיַפְרִישׁ מִן הָעוּגָה עַל כֻּלָּם:26

7 It is customary to make a sign [on these matzos to distinguish] which of them was [baked] the first, which was the second, and which was the third. With the first [matzah], the first mitzvah – [the recitation of] the blessing HaMotzi is performed. This is the first mitzvah performed with these matzos. The second mitzvah – [the recitation of] the blessing al achilas matzah – is performed with the second [matzah].27 And the third mitzvah – the kerichah [made] together with the maror28– is performed with the third [matzah].

Therefore, when [the matzos] are placed on the [Seder] plate, they should be placed in this order: the third [matzah should be] on the bottom, the second [matzah should be] on top of it, and the first [matzah should be] on top of the second. [In this way,] the person will not have to bypass a mitzvah29 [in order to perform these mitzvos in the optimum manner]. Nevertheless, this order is not an obligatory requirement. Even if one changed the order entirely, and placed the first [matz­ah] on the bottom, the second [matzah] on top of it, and the third [matzah] first, it is of no consequence after the fact.

ז וְנוֹהֲגִין לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהֶן סִימָן אֵיזוֹ מֵהֶן רִאשׁוֹנָה וְאֵיזוֹ מֵהֶן שְׁנִיָּה וְאֵיזוֹ מֵהֶן שְׁלִישִׁית,מז שֶׁבְּהָרִאשׁוֹנָה עוֹשִׂין בָּהּ מִצְוָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה, דְּהַיְנוּ בִּרְכַּת "הַמּוֹצִיא", שֶׁבְּרָכָה זוֹ הִיא הַמִּצְוָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁעוֹשִׂין בַּמַּצּוֹת הַלָּלוּ, וּבַשְּׁנִיָּה עוֹשִׂין הַמִּצְוָה הַשְּׁנִיָּה, דְּהַיְנוּ בִּרְכַּת "עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה",מח,27 וּבַשְּׁלִישִׁית עוֹשִׂין מִצְוָה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית, דְּהַיְנוּ הַכְּרִיכָה עִם הַמָּרוֹר.מט,28

לְפִיכָךְ, כְּשֶׁמַּנִּיחִין אוֹתָן עַל הַקְּעָרָה – יַנִּיחַ אוֹתָן גַּם כֵּן עַל סֵדֶר הַזֶּה: הַשְּׁלִישִׁית לְמַטָּה, וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה עַל גַּבָּהּ, וְהָרִאשׁוֹנָה עַל גַּבֵּי הַשְּׁנִיָּה, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִצְטָרֵךְ לְהַעֲבִיר עַל הַמִּצְוֹת.נ,29 וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, סֵדֶר זֶה אֵינוֹ מְעַכֵּב, שֶׁאַף אִם שִׁנָּה כָּל סִדְרָן, שֶׁהִנִּיחַ הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לְמַטָּה וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה לְמַעְלָה וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁית בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם בְּדִיעֲבַד:נא

8 The signs that one makes [on these matz­os] should not be made in the form of letters,30 [whether] with a mold or by hand, (for the reason to be explained in sec. 460[:7].31 Furthermore,) [these matzos] must be broken on the festival and there are authorities who forbid breaking a cake that has letters [on it on a festival], as explained in sec. 340[:4.32 These authorities maintain that the prohibition applies] even though one does not intend to erase [the letters, but rather], to merely eat [the matzah] on the festival. Instead, these signs should be made with holes or grooves. One must, however, be careful to hurry greatly when making them, as explained in sec. 460[:8]. Consult that source.

ח וְהַסִּימָנִים שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה בָּהֶן לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אוֹתָן כְּמִין אוֹתִיּוֹת30 עַל יְדֵי דְּפוּס אוֹ בְּיָדָיונב (מִטַּעַם שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ת"ס,נג,31 וְעוֹד) שֶׁהֲרֵי צָרִיךְ לְשָׁבְרָם בְּיוֹם טוֹב, וְיֵשׁ אוֹסְרִין לִשְׁבֹּר עוּגָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ כְּמִין אוֹתִיּוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מִתְכַּוֵּן לְמָחְקָם אֶלָּא לְאָכְלָם בְּיוֹם טוֹב,32 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"מ,נד אֶלָּא עוֹשִׂין סִימָנִין הַלָּלוּ עַל יְדֵי נְקָבִים אוֹ חֲרִיצִין,נה רַק שֶׁיִּזָּהֲרוּ לְמַהֵר מְאֹד בַּעֲשִׂיָּתָן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ת"סנו עַיֵּן שָׁם:

9 One should be careful to bake the first [of these matzos] before the second and the second [matzah] before the third, i.e., one should place them in the oven one after the other. [The rationale is that] if one will bake [all the matzos] at the same time, making the signs with which he distinguished them will be meaningless. Since their [baking] will be concluded at the same time, no one [matzah] will take precedence and have an advantage over another.

ט וְיִזָּהֵר לֶאֱפוֹת הָרִאשׁוֹנָה קֹדֶם הַשְּׁנִיָּה וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה קֹדֶם הַשְּׁלִישִׁית, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיַּכְנִיסֵם לַתַּנּוּר זֶה אַחַר זֶה, שֶׁאִם יֹאפֶה אוֹתָן בְּבַת אַחַת – לֹא הוֹעִיל כְּלוּם בַּסִּימָנִים שֶׁנָּתַן בָּהֶם, דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁגְּמַר עֲשִׂיָּתָם הוּא בְּבַת אַחַת – אֵין לְאַחַת קְדִימָה וּמַעֲלָה עַל חֲבֶרְתָּהּ:נז

10 The second matzah must be larger than the first and third [matzos] because every member of the person’s household must eat two olive-sized portions from it: one olive-sized portion [after reciting] the blessing al achilas matzah and one olive-sized portion for the afikoman.33

י הַמַּצָּה הַשְּׁנִיָּה צְרִיכָה לִהְיוֹת יוֹתֵר גְּדוֹלָה מֵהָרִאשׁוֹנָה וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁית, לְפִי שֶׁמִּמֶּנָּה צָרִיךְ כִּשְׁנֵי זֵיתִים לְכָל אֶחָד מִבְּנֵי בֵּיתוֹ, כְּזַיִת אֶחָד לְבִרְכַּת "עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה" וּכְזַיִת אֶחָד לַאֲפִיקוֹמָן:נח,33

11 If one of these matzos becomes lost, it is appropriate to bake three [other] matzos, even on the festival, so that [the person] will have three matzos made from one isaron of flour like the breads of the thanksgiving offering.34 This is the custom in these regions.

Even if [the person] has three other matzos that were made from one isaron [of flour], he should not take them. [The rationale is that] there are grounds for concern that perhaps [these matzos] were made by minors. Since at the time [the person] made [these matzos], he did not intend that they would serve as the matzah [with which he would fulfill] the mitzvah [of eating matzah on Pesach night], it can be assumed that he was not careful that minors or others who are [halachically] disqualified from preparing the matzos [used to fulfill] the mitzvah [were not involved in their preparation]. Thus, there is a doubt [about the suitability of the matz­os]; perhaps they are unacceptable [to be used for the fulfillment of the mitzvah of eating matzah].35 Accordingly, they may not be used for [the matzah over which] the blessing al achilas matzah is recited, for eating [that matzah] is a Scriptural [obligation36 and whenever there is a doubt regarding a Scriptural [obligation] stringency is [required].37

(One may, by contrast, partake of [these matzos] for the afikoman and use them for the kerichah,) for eating [matzah for those purposes] is a Rabbinic ordinance,38 and whenever there is a doubt regarding a Rabbinic [obligation] leniency is [granted],37 following [the principles] to be explained in sec. 477[:10].

יא וְאִם נֶאֶבְדָה אַחַת מִמַּצּוֹת הַלָּלוּ – נָכוֹן לֶאֱפוֹת ג' מַצּוֹת אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם טוֹב, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ ג' מַצּוֹת הַנַּעֲשׂוֹת מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָד קֶמַחנט כְּעֵין לַחְמֵי תּוֹדָה34 לְפִי מִנְהַג מְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ. וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ מַצּוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ מִן עִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָד – אֵין לוֹ לִקַּח אוֹתָן, לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָחֹשׁ בָּהֶן שֶׁמָּא נַעֲשׂוּ עַל יְדֵי קְטַנִּים,ס דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁבִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּתָן לֹא הָיָה דַּעְתּוֹ עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מַצּוֹת מִצְוָה – מִן הַסְּתָם לֹא נִזְהַר בָּהֶם מִקְּטַנִּים וּמִשְּׁאָר הַפְּסוּלִין לְהִתְעַסֵּק בְּמַצּוֹת מִצְוָה, וְנִמְצָא שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן סְפֵק פִּסּוּל,35 לְפִיכָךְ אִי אֶפְשָׁר לִקַּח אוֹתָן לְבִרְכַּת "עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה", שֶׁאֲכִילָתָהּ הוּא מִן הַתּוֹרָה,סא,36 וְסָפֵק שֶׁל תּוֹרָה לְהַחֲמִיר.סב,37

(אֲבָל מֻתָּר לֶאֱכֹל מֵהֶן אֲפִיקוֹמָן אוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת מֵהֶן כְּרִיכָהסג), שֶׁאֲכִילָה זוֹ אֵינָהּ אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִיםסד,38 וּסְפֵק דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לְהָקֵל,37 וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תע"ז:סה

12 If, however, one of these matzos becomes broken, it is not necessary to trouble oneself and bake other [matzos], even when the festival has yet to commence.39 Instead, [the person] should take the broken [matzah] and place it in the middle, between the uppermost [matzah] and the lowest one. [The rationale is that] the middle [matzah] need not be whole, for [regardless] a piece is broken off from it for the afikoman before reciting the Haggadah.40True, as an initial preference, the desirable manner [of performing] the mitzvah is for all three matzos to be whole at the time they are being brought to the table. Nevertheless, [the person] is not required to trouble himself and bake other [matzos] for this purpose. [This leniency applies] even if the third matzah is the one that broke. [In this instance,] if it would be put in the middle and the second [matzah would be] put on the bottom, the second [matzah] would become the third [matzah, and thus it] would be lowered from its holiness.41 [The person is nonetheless not required to bake other matzos.]

יב אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁבְּרָה אַחַת מִמַּצּוֹת הַלָּלוּ – אֵין צָרִיךְ לִטְרֹחַ וְלֶאֱפוֹת עוֹדסו אֲפִלּוּ עֲדַיִן לֹא נִכְנַס לֵיל יוֹם טוֹב,סז,39 אֶלָּא יִקַּח הַשְּׁבוּרָה וְיָשִׂים אוֹתָהּ בָּאֶמְצַע בֵּין הָעֶלְיוֹנָה לַתַּחְתּוֹנָה, שֶׁהָאֶמְצָעִית אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לִהְיוֹת שְׁלֵמָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי בּוֹצְעִין מִמֶּנָּה חֲתִיכָה אַחַת לָאֲפִיקוֹמָן קֹדֶם אֲמִירַת הַהַגָּדָה.40 וְאַף שֶׁלְּכַתְּחִלָּה הִדּוּר מִצְוָה הוּא שֶׁכָּל הַג' מַצּוֹת יִהְיוּ שְׁלֵמוֹת בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמְּבִיאִין אוֹתָן עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן,סח מִכָּל מָקוֹם אֵין מַטְרִיחִין אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁבִיל כָּךְ לֶאֱפוֹת עוֹד,סט וַאֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁבְּרָה מַצָּה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית וּכְשֶׁיָּשִׂים אוֹתָהּ בָּאֶמְצַע וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה יָשִׂים לְמַטָּה, נִמְצָא שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה מַצָּה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית מִשְּׁנִיָּה, וַהֲרֵי זֶה כְּמוֹרִידָהּ מִקְּדֻשָּׁתָהּ:ע,41

13 There are some who customarily bake three additional matzos from one isaron and call them “the matzos [to be used should] a doubt [arise].” The intent is that they were made because of the doubt that perhaps one of the first three [matzos]might become chametz or become lost. [In that event, the person] would take these three matzos.42

If, however, one of the matzos is broken, [the guidelines stated in subsection 12 should be followed]. Even if it is the third [matzah] that broke and thus, putting it in the middle and the middle [matzah] on the bottom would involve lowering the holiness of [the middle matzah], it is nevertheless preferable to lower its holiness than to totally replace these matzos and take [“the matzos to be used should] a doubt [arise].” [The rationale is that] it is impossible to replace only the broken [matzah] and take one matzah [from the second group] in its place, for [then the three matzos] will not have been made from [the same] isaron [of dough].

יג וְיֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לֶאֱפוֹת עוֹד ג' מַצּוֹת מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָד וְקוֹרִין אוֹתָן מַצּוֹת סְפֵקוֹת, כְּלוֹמַר שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ בִּשְׁבִיל סָפֵק, שֶׁמָּא תַּחְמִיץ אוֹ תֹּאבַד אֶחָד מִג' הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת אֲזַי יִקַּח ג' מַצּוֹת הַלָּלוּ.עא,42

אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁבְּרָה אַחַת מֵהֶן, אֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁבְּרָה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית וְאִם יִתֵּן אוֹתָהּ בָּאֶמְצַע וְהָאֶמְצָעִית לְמַטָּה הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמוֹרִידָהּ מִקְּדֻשָּׁתָהּ – אַף עַל פִּי כֵן מוּטָב לְהוֹרִידָהּ מִקְּדֻשָּׁתָהּ מִלִּדְחוֹת מַצּוֹת הַלָּלוּ לְגַמְרֵי וְלִקַּח אֶת הַסְּפֵקוֹת,עב שֶׁהֲרֵי אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לִדְחוֹת אֶת הַשְּׁבוּרָה בִּלְבַד וְלִקַּח בִּמְקוֹמָהּ מַצָּה אַחֶרֶת מֵהַסְּפֵקוֹת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא נַעֲשׂוּ מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָד:

14 There are [others who follow a different] custom: They do not bake three “[matzos to be used should] a doubt [arise].” Instead, they bake four matzos from one isaron [of flour], i.e., three matzos to be used for the mitzvah and one “[matz­ah to be used should] a doubt [arise].” (True, [the intent is to] make the matzos in a manner that recalls the breads of the thanksgiving offering, and only three matzos [were made for] the thanksgiving offering from [one] isaron [of flour]. Nevertheless, since the fourth matzah is not made for the sake of the mitzvah [of eating matzah], but only lest a doubt [arise], it is not included in the reckoning.) Similarly, [four matzos] are baked for the second night from a second isaron [of flour].

For this reason, if the third [matzah] of the matzos [to be used for the] mitzvah is broken, [the broken third matzah] is not used for the middle [matzah] and the middle [matzah] placed below. Hence, [the middle matzah’s] holiness is not lowered. Instead, the broken third matzah is replaced entirely with the “[matzah baked lest] a doubt [arise” being used] in its place, for it was made from the same isaron [of flour] as the matzos [that were baked to be used for the] mitzvah.

יד וְיֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין שֶׁאֵין אוֹפִין ג' סְפֵקוֹת מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָד, אֶלָּא מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָד אוֹפִין ד' מַצּוֹת, דְּהַיְנוּ ג' מַצּוֹת מִצְוָה וּסְפֵקָא אַחַת (וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעוֹשִׂין כְּעֵין לַחְמֵי תּוֹדָה וּבְלַחְמֵי תּוֹדָה לֹא הָיָה אֶלָּא ג' מַצּוֹת לְעִשָּׂרוֹן, מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁמַּצָּה הָרְבִיעִית אֵינָהּ נַעֲשֵׂית לְשֵׁם מַצּוֹת מִצְוָה אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִיל סָפֵק – אֵינָהּ עוֹלָה לַחֶשְׁבּוֹן).עג וְכֵן אוֹפִין מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן הַשֵּׁנִי לְצֹרֶךְ לֵיל ב'. וּלְפִיכָךְ אִם נִשְׁבְּרָה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית שֶׁל מַצַּת מִצְוָה אֵין עוֹשִׂין אוֹתָהּ אֶמְצָעִית וְהָאֶמְצָעִית לְמַטָּה שֶׁלֹּא יוֹרִידֶנָּה מִקְּדֻשָּׁתָהּ, אֶלָּא דּוֹחִין לְגַמְרֵי אֶת הַשְּׁלִישִׁית הַשְּׁבוּרָה וּמְשִׂימִין בִּמְקוֹמָהּ אֶת הַסְּפֵקָא,עד שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא נַעֲשֵׂית מֵעִשָּׂרוֹן אֶחָד עִם הַמַּצּוֹת שֶׁל מִצְוָה:

15 All the [abovementioned] matters43 are merely customs and [expressions of] zeal [observed as] initial and preferred options. However, according to the fundamentals of the law, there is no need at all to be careful about the matters explained in this section.

טו וְכָל דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ43 אֵינָן אֶלָּא מִנְהָג וּזְרִיזוּת לְכַתְּחִלָּה, אֲבָל מֵעִקַּר הַדִּין אֵין צָרִיךְ לִזָּהֵר כְּלָלעה בְּכָל דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֲרוּ בְּסִימָן זֶה:עו

16 When [Pesach] falls on Saturday night, those who follow the custom to bake on the night of the festival the matzos [to be used for] the mitzvah, should be careful not to bake “[matzos to be used should] a doubt [arise],” since it is possible these matzos will not be required. Thus, [the person] will have performed a forbidden labor that was not [necessary] for the sake of the festival.44 Similarly, [people] should be careful not to bake the matzos required for the second night of the festival on the first night of the first festival.45

טז הַנּוֹהֲגִין לֶאֱפוֹת מַצָּה שֶׁל מִצְוָה בְּלֵיל יוֹם טוֹב כְּשֶׁחָל בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּתעז – יִזָּהֲרוּ שֶׁלֹּא יֹאפוּ אָז הַסְּפֵקוֹת, שֶׁמָּא לֹא יִצְטָרֵךְ לָהֶם, וְנִמְצָא עוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה שֶׁלֹּא לְצֹרֶךְ יוֹם טוֹב.עח,44 וְכֵן יִזָּהֲרוּ שֶׁלֹּא יֹאפֶה בְּלֵיל יוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן הַמַּצּוֹת הַצְּרִיכוֹת לְלֵיל יוֹם טוֹב שֵׁנִי:עט,45

17 [The following laws apply to] one who kneads dough on the [afternoon] before Pesach close to nightfall, but did not have the time to bake [the dough] until nightfall on the night of the festival: If [the person] does not intend to eat from [the matzos made from this dough] on the first day of the festival, but rather on the second day of the festival or on Chol HaMoed – i.e., he has [sufficient] matzos for the first day of the festival – he is forbidden to bake [this dough] on the festival.46

True, if [the person] does not bake [this dough], it will become chametz and he will violate the prohibitions against having [chametz]seen [in his domain] and possessing [chametz]. Nevertheless, [when doing so,] he will not be actively [and intentionally] performing a transgression.47 By contrast, were [the person] to bake [the matzah] he would be actively [and intentionally] performing a transgression. Therefore, he has no way of saving himself from [transgressing] the prohibition except by making the decision to eat an olive-sized portion on the first day of the festival from every matzah that will be baked from this dough, or to feed [these matzos] to children.48 Then, he is permitted to bake [the matzos from this dough]. True, [by doing so, the person] will be acting guilefully, since he does not need these matzos on the first day of the festival and he is thinking of partaking of them solely so that he would be permitted to bake them. Nevertheless, the Sages granted him license to do so, as will be explained in sec. 503[:6-10] and sec. 507[:18], provided he actually carries out his guileful [intent]49 and on the first day of the festival, he partakes of an olive-sized portion of every matzah [baked from this dough], as will be explained in the above sources.

יז מִי שֶׁלָּשׁ עִסָּה בְּעֶרֶב פֶּסַח סָמוּךְ לַחֲשֵׁכָה וְלֹא הִסְפִּיק לֶאֱפוֹתָהּ עַד שֶׁחֲשֵׁכָה לֵיל יוֹם טוֹב, אִם אֵין דַּעְתּוֹ לֶאֱכֹל מִמֶּנָּה בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן אֶלָּא בְּיוֹם טוֹב שֵׁנִי אוֹ בְּחֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד, שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מַצּוֹת לְצֹרֶךְ יוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן – אָסוּר לוֹ לֶאֱפוֹתָהּ בְּיוֹם טוֹב.46 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִם לֹא יֹאפֶה אוֹתָהּ תַּחְמִיץ וְיַעֲבֹר עָלֶיהָ בְּ"בַל יֵרָאֶה" וּ"בַל יִמָּצֵא",פ מִכָּל מָקוֹם לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אִסּוּר בַּיָּדַיִם,47 וּכְשֶׁיֹּאפֶה אוֹתָהּ יַעֲשֶׂה אִסּוּר בַּיָּדַיִם.פא לְפִיכָךְ אֵין לוֹ תַּקָּנָה לְהִנָּצֵל מֵאִסּוּר אֶלָּא שֶׁיִּגְמֹר בְּדַעְתּוֹ לֶאֱכֹל בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹןפב כְּזַיִת מִכָּל מַצָּה וּמַצָּה שֶׁיֹּאפֶה מֵעִסָּה זוֹ, אוֹ שֶׁיַּאֲכִיל לִקְטַנִּים,פג,48 וְאָז מֻתָּר לוֹ לֶאֱפוֹתָהּ.

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁזּוֹ הִיא הַעֲרָמָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ כְּלָל לַמַּצּוֹת הַלָּלוּ בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן, וְאֵין בְּדַעְתּוֹ לֶאֱכֹל מֵהֶן אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לְהַתִּיר לוֹ אֲפִיָּתָן, אַף עַל פִּי כֵן הִתִּירוּ לוֹ חֲכָמִים לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תק"גפד וְתק"ז,פה וְהוּא שֶׁיְּקַיֵּם הַעֲרָמָתוֹ49 וְיֹאכַל כְּזַיִת מִכָּל מַצָּה וּמַצָּה בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר שָׁם:פו