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Apr 12, 2011

the Real Problem With Machine Matza

The OU printed a booklet of articles related to Pesach for distribution in Israel.

One of the articles was about the various issues related to hand matza and machine matza, and why some prefer one over the other.

The article concluded quoting the Belzer Rebbe explaining why machine matza is no good and one should only use hand baked matza. The Rebbe's reasoning is that no matter how good they made the machine matza, no matter how well they cleaned out the machinery, and no matter how strict they were regarding the process, at the end of the process an angel comes and drops a little bit of chametz into the machine matza. So machine matza cannot be good for Pesach, and one should only eat hand matza.

I have no complaints against the Belzer rebbe. chas v'shalom. if he wants to believe something so ridiculous like that, it is his prerogative. No hard feelings. However, I think the OU should have used more discretion and not included such a ridiculous claim in their article. They should have stuck to how hard it is to clean the machine properly, the issues of whether a machine can be considered lsheim mitzva, whether than hand matza can be done properly or fast enough, etc. and they should have left the heeby jeeby claims alone. How many people will now be afraid to buy machine matza because of the fear of some angel dropping chametz?


  1. Is the booklet online?

    Hard to believe. The way it is reported, it seems that it implied that that was the final word on the subject, as that claim was was included last. Has the O-U been taken over by Belzer Chasidim??

    For some reason, I can't see something stupid like that being done by the OU in the USA. Hopefully they will wake up and correct it.

  2. you shouldn't do bizaion on gedolim
    just be humble

  3. Huh? Does that include factories certified by the OU? How bizarre.

    TM, I think the bizayon in this case is on the Torah, not the gadol.

  4. Why didn't they end by talking about the גדולי א"י like רש"ז אויערבאך, who were מקפיד to use דוקא machine matzah?

  5. I will try b"n to scan the pamphlet if we still have it.

    A few facts:

    1. The OU accepts, and IIRC, certifies, machine matzo
    2. The OU notes that machine is better vis-a-vis chametz (without a citation; just as a statement of fact)
    3. The OU notes that when introduced, many opposed it as an innovation, such as...

  6. Oy. Don't be silly. The Rebbe was not taking literally.

  7. I have no complaints against the Belzer rebbe.

    If he said something so stupid, then I do!

    This is motzei shem ra against the poor angel who is HKB"H's emissary!

  8. >Oy. Don't be silly. The Rebbe was not taking literally.

    What does it mean figuratively?

  9. This is so funny ... Is that all the "angel" dropped? Maybe a feather from his wings, or some sparkley stuff?

  10. Considering that Briskers only use machine matzos, what does the belzer rebbe say about the Soleveitchiks? they all eat chametz on pesach?

  11. S. "What does it mean figuratively?"

    You know, maskilim like you just have so little imagination. At least us chareidim can understand a vort.

  12. Is celestial chametz assur on Pesach?

  13. "maskilim like you just have so little imagination"

    So the problem is he lacks imagination? Is imaginary chometz even ossur on Pesach?

  14. It was probably Torah Tidbits, which collects divrei torah from many different people across the spectrum. It doesn't look like this week's is up on the web yet www.OUIsrael.org

    Kudos to the OU for publishing an article that criticizes the organization. Not too many Jewish orgs would have the self-confidence to do it.


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