Rav Ovadiah Yosef: Pesach Cakes and Maris Ayin


rav-ovadiah-yosefAs we know, chometz is defined as grain flour that touched water and remained for a period of time until it became chometz. How, then, can people eat gebrochtz on Pesach, allowing their matzoh to get wet? The answer is that those who eat gebrochtz understand that all the flour in the matzoh is baked already and there is no possibility for there to be any flour that can become chometz.

Some, primarily Chassidim, do not eat gebrochtz out of fear that there may be even the tiniest bit of flour that wasn’t baked and can become chometz.

Rav Ovadiah Yosef, when recently discussing this topic, stated that most Ashkenazim and Sefardim do eat gebrochtz and thus make all sorts of baked goods, such as cakes and cookies, kosher l’Pesach – out of matzoh meal.

However, Rav Yosef related from Rav Chaim Benevnishti, on of the gedolei Sefarad, who wrote in his sefer Knesses Hagedolah that one should not use matzoh meal to make cakes, because of maaris ayin – with people thinking that the cakes were make from regular flour and might mistakenly assume that cakes may be prepared for Pesach this way.

However, Rav Yosef quoted the Pri Chodosh and the Erech Hashulchan who disagreed with the Knesses Hagedolah and stated that Chazal never assered using matzoh meal to make baked items out of fear that people will make a mistake, and we do not make our own gezeiros.

Those, the minhag of the Sefardim and many Askenazim, is to eat matzoh shruyah (gebrochtz) and to make cakes and cookies using matzoh meal.

 {Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Some of the non-gebroks “cakes” – made primarily of potato starch and ground nuts – taste better than echte chometz cakes.


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