The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 5 June 2010 / 22 Sivan 5770

How Much Matzah?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

The rabbi of a European community of long ago dedicated his traditional Shabbat Hagadol sermon to a scholarly discussion of the correct amount of matzah which a Jew must eat on Pesach eve in order to fulfill that important mitzvah.

When he concluded, his congregation surrounded him with accolades in regard to the brilliance of his presentation. One of them, however, had a very different reaction.

"How can I possibly fulfill my responsibility to eat that amount of matzah," he asked, "when I spent all the money I have on medical care for my wife and have nothing left with which to purchase any matzah?"

The rabbi quickly returned to his podium and made the following announcement:

"What I said in my sermon about the amount of matzah needed to fulfill the requirement of the mitzvah is incorrect! No one's requirement is fulfilled until it is ascertained that every Jew in the community has matzah for Pesach."

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