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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Question For Any Jewish People Here...
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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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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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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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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:

to the Orthodox Union, an
on,
certifying kosher food: “Regretfully, because one can only perform the mitzvah
[definition: a required good deed]
o
f 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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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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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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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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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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