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Question For Any Jewish People Here...

about matzoh and the seder

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Monklady123

 
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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

I recently stopped by a new-to-me grocery store in my area, an ordinary Giant except that it's HUGE! (a giant Giant, hehe) -- Anyway, I went browsing up and down the aisles and discovered all sorts of wonderful things, including gluten-free matzoh! It's Yehuda brand, imported from Israel. It says on the box "matzo-style cracker" and "Not a replacement for matzo at the seder."

So that got me to wondering about Jewish people with celiac disease. Does the Jewish faith say that the matzoh must be wheat, like I understand the Catholic church says also for the communion wafers? Or would some rabbis -- maybe the ones who aren't Orthodox? -- allow this gluten-free matzoh for the seder meal?

Just wondering...

(and, this matzoh is fabulous! I've always loved eating it with some butter and very thinly sliced cheese. yummmmmmmmmmmmm)
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#2 TGK112

 
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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

Matzoh is "unleavened bread" I don't know that is needs to be made from wheat - but it typically is. A Jewish person does not HAVE to eat matzoh during Passover (an eight day holiday) , however they are not suppose to eat any bread, crackers or leavened products - so matzoh fills in as a good substitute. Matzoh is eaten as an integral part of the Passover seder - special meal which commences Passover. I can't imagine that anyone - except someone who is extremely Orthodox - would mind if gluten free matzoh was served at a gluten free seder. I plan on buying some - as well as some gluten free matzoh ball mix which I've spotted on-line.
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#3 kareng

 
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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

I go to the grocery after a Jewish holiday and buy gluten-free noodles half to 75% off. Also, the frozen challah rolls.
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#4 Sooz

 
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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:23 AM

Matzoh for the Seder must be made from one of five gluten-containing grains, not necessarily only wheat. According to sources, for example from an article here:

According to the Orthodox Union, an authority on, certifying kosher food: “Regretfully, because one can only perform the mitzvah [definition: a required good deed] of eating matzot at the Seder with a matzo that is made from one of the five varieties of grain (barley, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt), eating matzot using any of the other flours that are gluten-free would still not enable one to fulfill the mitzvah.” Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley.


We are only required to eat Matzoh during the Passover Seder - usually first night and second night of the 8 day festival. Having said that, the explanation offered above is mostly for orthodox Jewish people. With so many different levels of observance, many of the not-so-orthodox (and they certainly outnumber the orthodox) might say that gluten-free Matzoh is acceptable, even if it goes against what is written and the interpretations the Rabbis have made over the years.
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#5 Ollie's Mom

 
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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:16 AM

Maybe it is my own ignorance regarding the Jewish faith, but wouldn't even Orthodox rabbis allow some latitude to those who have a medical condition?

I have some Muslim friends, and they do not need to fast during Ramadan if they have a medical condition that would make fasting worsen their condition. I just assumed all religions had the same sorts of guidelines.
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#6 TGK112

 
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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

Maybe it is my own ignorance regarding the Jewish faith, but wouldn't even Orthodox rabbis allow some latitude to those who have a medical condition?

I have some Muslim friends, and they do not need to fast during Ramadan if they have a medical condition that would make fasting worsen their condition. I just assumed all religions had the same sorts of guidelines.

I believe the answer would be YES
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#7 psawyer

 
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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

Maybe it is my own ignorance regarding the Jewish faith, but wouldn't even Orthodox rabbis allow some latitude to those who have a medical condition?

I have some Muslim friends, and they do not need to fast during Ramadan if they have a medical condition that would make fasting worsen their condition. I just assumed all religions had the same sorts of guidelines.

I believe the answer would be YES


I am not Jewish, but through my work in a large multi-faith organization, I do have some understanding.

There are 613 commandments, or mitzvah, given in the Torah. When human life or health is at risk, any of them may be broken for that purpose. For example, driving is forbidden on the Sabbath, but a motorized ambulance may respond to a need and transport a patient to hospital. Actual observance of individual laws varies among the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform branches of Judaism.

So, if eating the matzoh with gluten would endanger your health, my understanding is that there would be no sin in not adhering to the mitzvah in that case.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#8 Monklady123

 
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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

Interesting. Thanks for all the info. :)

And, since I first posted my question I've been back to that grocery store and bought two more boxes of matzoh. :wub: My husband said "hey, when are you going to buy some regular for me, since you won't let me touch yours?" :lol: (and yes, they are not allowed even to LOOK at my special gluten-free stuff, not if it involves extra money and/or a trip to somewhere special like for this matzoh.)
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