Question:

Someone that has difficulty eating a kezayit matzah (or any food for that matter and has to eat always very slowly) in the time of kedei achilas peras (even according to the most lenient opinion). Do they still fulfill the mitzvah of eating matzah even if it might take 15 or more minutes to eat the matzah?

Answer:

This appears to depend on a dispute among rishonim.

See in particular the Rambam (Matzah 6:1), whose wording implies that there is no time limit, providing that one eats the matzah without interruption.

However, the Magen Avraham (475:4), citing from Maharil, rules that one must complete the kezayit within kedei achilas peras, and this is also cited from the Ramban by Halachos Ketanos of the Rosh (Menachos). See also Rashi, Sukkah 42.

Therefore, in a practical sense one must certainly ensure that the matzah is eaten within kedei achilas peras (9 minutes at the very most), for this is clearly the majority opinion.

If this is hard, the matzah can be soaked in water to soften it.

Tags: kezayis Matza

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4 Responses to “Eating Matzah Slowly”

  1. I fail to see the re’ah from the Rambam. There is a mitzvah of achilas matzah. The shiur achila is always a cazayis and surely then it has to be into b’cdei achilas pras. Perhaps there are maforshim on the Rambam that explain otherwise. Or I’m simply missing pashut in the Rambam?

    • Wherever it is relevant, the Rambam is careful to mention the shiur of kedei achilas peras. Here he doesn’t. It is possible that he understood the shiur as applying specifically to punishments, which is where he mentions it. There is a lengthy discussion of this topic, but not for now…

  2. A few examples would help to clarify and understand this better. However like you saw those examples might be only by a case of “punishments”. If you could point to this lengthy discussion (i.e. in which of the mafarshim) it would be appreciated.

  3. Another important point would be that if the pashut in the Rambam is true, what is his makor for it?

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