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What To Do When Erev Pesah is on Shabbat (1). Responsa in a Moment: Volume 15, Number 3, March 2021

(Orah Hayyim  444:1)

In memory of my grandfather   
Rabbi Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin z”l
and my father Rabbi Noah Golinkin z”l 
“A threefold cord is not quickly broken”
(Ecclesiastes 4:12) (2)

Question: Erev Pesah  falls this year on Shabbat. How should one go about preparing for the festival and for the Shabbat meals?


I. The essential laws 

The situation posed here is a relatively rare one; it occurs 12% of the time. Erev Pesah  fell on Shabbat 12 times in the 20th century; the last occurrence was in 1994. It occurred or will occur 12 times in the 21st century, including 2021 and 2025.(3) The essential laws appear below:

1. Fast of the firstborn: According to one opinion cited by Rabbi Yosef Karo, because the fast is postponed, it is postponed altogether and therefore, according to the Sefardic custom, there is no need to fast at all. On the other hand, according to the Rema (Rabbi Moshe Isserles), the fast is moved up to the preceding Thursday and therefore the Ashkenazic custom is to hold a siyyum massekhet  (4) on Thursday, the 12th of Nissan, so that the firstborn may participate in the festive occasion and eat (Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim  470:2; Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, p. 273; Rabbi Alfred Cohen, p. 127).

2. Searching for hametz: The search for hametz  is done on Thursday evening, on the eve of the 13th of Nissan, and the hametz  is burned on Friday morning (Orah Hayyim 444:1). While it is true that the hametz  may be burned all day long – because Friday is not Erev Pesah  – it is preferable to burn it before the end of the fifth hour of the day (at 11:28am, Jerusalem summer time), as is the case every year, so that one does not err the following year (Orah Hayyim  444:2 and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, p. 273).

3. The Shabbat meals: This is the main challenge when Erev Pesah  falls on Shabbat. On the one hand, according to Rabbi Levi in the Talmud Yerushalmimatzah  may not be eaten on Erev Pesah  (Yerushalmi Pesahim  10:1, fol. 37b) and the major poskim  [=halakhic authorities] ruled accordingly (Rambam, Hilkhot Hametz Umatzah  6:12, and Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim  471:2 in the Rema). On the other hand, it is difficult to keep challot  for hamotzi  in the home on Shabbat after all the hametz has been removed. Furthermore, hametz  may not be eaten on Shabbat morning – which is Erev Pesah  – after the fourth hour of the day (10:12am, Jerusalem summer time).

Indeed, such a situation is mentioned in the Mishnah (Pesahim  3:6 = folio 49a), the Tosefta (Pesahim  3:9, 11, ed. Lieberman, pp. 153-154) and in the Babylonian Talmud (Pesahim  49a, 13a, 20b). But those sources are not sufficiently clear(5) and, as a result, five different solutions to this dilemma have developed.

II. Five methods which have developed throughout the generations

1. Rabbi Yitzhak ibn Giyyat (Spain, 1038-1089) apparently ignored the above-mentioned Yerushalmi  and ruled that regular matzah  should be eaten at the Shabbat meals. He is cited as follows in Sha’arei Teshuva,  No. 93:

Rabbeinu Yitzhak ibn Giyyat wrote: the custom in Lucena was to burn [all hametz]  before Shabbat, to bake matzah  on Friday and eat it on Shabbat… and after Shabbat, they bake matzah  and use it to fulfill the mitzvah.  (6)

Rabbi Yitzhak ibn Giyyat does not give a source for his opinion, but the Rishonim [=early halakhic authorities, ca. 1000-1570] already noted the above-mentioned Tosefta: “When the fourteenth falls on Shabbat, [all hametz] is burned before Shabbat and he bakes matzah  for himself on Erev Shabbat”. Some of the Rishonim  explained that he bakes matzat mitzvah  for himself on Erev Shabbat for the Seder  on Saturday night.(7) However, Rabbi Yitzhak ibn Giyyat, Rabbi Efraim of Kala Hammad, the Rivevan and Rabbi Aharon Hacohen of Lunel explained that he bakes matzah for himself on Erev Shabbat  in order to eat it on Shabbat.(8) Nevertheless, their opinion has all but disappeared over the course of time,(9) apparently because there were other interpretations of the Tosefta and because their opinion was contrary to the above-mentioned Yerushalmi.

2. The second method is based on Pesahim 13a: “As it is taught [in a beraita]: when the fourteenth falls on Shabbat, [all hametz] is burned before Shabbat… and some of the…food is left over for two meals that should be eaten before the fourth hour [on Shabbat]…” (and cf. ibid., 49a and 20b). Indeed, this is how the major poskim ruled (Otzar Hageonim to Pesahim, pp. 65-67; Rambam, Hilkhot Hametz Umatzah 3:3; and Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim  444:1). Rabbi Yosef Karo adds that for seudah shlishit (the third Shabbat meal), matzah ashirah (i.e., enriched matzah or “egg matzah” as it is now called)(10) should be used, provided that seudah shlishit  is eaten before the tenth hour of the day so that one will have an appetite to eat matzah at the Seder. Likewise, the hametz must be nullified by reciting “Kol hamira v’hamia”  (the Aramaic formula for nullifying hametz) on Shabbat morning at the end of the fifth hour (11:28 am, Jerusalem summer time), just as it is done every year (Orah Hayyim  444:4, 6).

This method has been in practice for generations, but it’s problematic, as can be seen from a description of it by Rabbi Hayyim David Halevy, who is actually one of its proponents (emphasis added DG):

And this is our custom: on Friday, the 13th of Nissan, all of the hametz is burned and all of the utensils used for hametz are concealed as if it was the 14th of Nissan, and all of the cooking for Shabbat is done using Pesah utensils. A small amount of hametz  is left over, preferably pitas or rolls that do not make crumbs, and immediately after kiddush [on Friday night], they crowd around a designated corner on a separate table, eat the amount of bread required at a Shabbat meal with vegetable salad and the like, shake out their clothes very well and remove the tablecloth and the table and then they sit down at the main Shabbat table and eat kosher [for Pesah] foods on kosher [for Pesah] dishes and recite birkat hamazon at the conclusion of the meal.

On the following morning, immediately after the services, they eat as described above in a special corner, etc., a regular and full breakfast using disposable plates and cutlery and say birkat hamazon. Afterwards, they destroy the hametz  by throwing it in a public place and then recite the normal nullification. In the afternoon, minhah is recited at an early hour (minhah gedolah) and then they eat…seudah shlishit  [=the third Shabbat meal], with meat and fish [without bread or matzah]. (Aseh Lekha Rav,  Vol. 5, pp. 363-364; cf. Mekor Hayyim Hashalem,  Vol. 4, pp. 76-77).

However, Rabbi Eliyahu Hazzan (1848-1908) already noted the difficulties in this method when he served as Chief Rabbi of Tripoli, Libya (emphasis added DG):

This year, 5636 [=1876], Erev Pesah  falls on Shabbat and my soul is so anguished over the prohibitions which occurred this Shabbat due to the eating of hametz, because they could not be extremely careful about the crumbs and sweeping the house and the like, and in addition, the joy of Shabbat Hagadol  is prevented because they will eat between the stove and the oven and the like; also because on Shabbat they pray at a late hour and we have to worry that the time for nullifying the hametz  will pass, God forbid… (Responsa Ta’alumot Halev,  Vol. 1, Livorno, 5639, Orah Hayyim  section, No. 4)

It is therefore desirable to seek another solution to this dilemma.

3. Indeed, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef proposed another solution. He suggested using

matzah that has been cooked [=matzah mevushelet] in chicken or meat soup as follows: after the soup has been cooked, remove it from the burner and, while the soup is still hot enough to burn the hand, put several matzot, enough for one’s needs, in the soup, one after the other, in such a way that the matzah  fully absorbs the taste of the soup, and then it can be used to fulfill the mitzvah of three meals. It is best not to remove the matzot  from the soup until it cools off so that the matzot  can be removed whole and not fall apart in the soup, so that they can be broken on Shabbat and used for ha’motzi  and birkat hamazon… Similarly, he may fry the matzot  in oil…

He goes on to say that on Friday night it is permissible to use regular matzah  because the prohibition in the Yerushalmi  of eating matzah  on Erev Pesah  does not apply to the night of the 14th (Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, p. 279).

From a halakhic perspective, his method is valid, but it’s not at all practical, because most people will not want to engage in the complicated process described above.

4. The fourth method was suggested by Rabbi Ya’akov Bezalel Zolty (1920-1982), Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, in 1981. He maintains that the Yerushalmi  is only opposed to eating matzah on Erev Pesah  if that matzah  could be eaten at the Seder. Egg matzah  may be eaten on Erev Pesah  precisely because it may not be used at the Seder.  Similarly, if before baking regular matzah  for Pesah, we state explicitly that it is not for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah  of eating matzah  at the Seder, then it may be eaten on Erev Pesah. He further states that he and Rabbi Elyashiv actually arranged for such matzot  to be baked in 1981.

This method is not convincing for two reasons. First of all, it is very ingenious, but ignores the plain meaning of Rabbi Levi’s words in the Yerushalmi. Rabbi Levi was opposed to eating matzah on Erev Pesah “because he did not conquer his desire to wait until the evening to eat matzah” (Korban Ha’edah to the Yerushalmi loc. cit.). Changing our intent before baking the matzah, does not address Rabbi Levi’s concern. Secondly, even if some rabbi arranges to bake such special matzah, most Jews will not have access to it.

5. The fifth approach is the simplest and preferred method. It is cited by Rabbi Vidal de Toulousa in the Maggid Mishneh  (on the Rambam, Hilkhot Hametz Umatzah  3:3, near the end) and it was even suggested by Rabbi Yosef Karo, who only rejected it for technical reasons:

And one should not object that one should destroy [all hametz] before Shabbat and leave nothing and on Shabbat eat matzah ashirah [egg matzah]; since not every person is able to make egg matzah for all three meals, therefore the Rabbis did not trouble us with this (Beit Yosef on Orah Hayyim, paragraph 444, catchword: umah shekatav v’khen hinhig Rashi, Hatur Hashalem,  p. 370).

In other words, if it were possible for every person to bake egg matzah,  Rabbi Yosef Karo would have agreed to this, because egg matzah  is neither hametz nor matzat mitzvah  which can be used at the Seder, and therefore it may be eaten on Erev Pesah (Responsa of the Ribash, No. 402 and Noda B’Yehudah, Orah Hayyim, No. 21). Indeed this was the custom in Izmir, Turkey in the 19th century according to the testimony of Rabbi Haim Palache. He favored this practice, because, if hametz remained, it would be difficult to get rid of the crumbs and a person would also not be able to eat calmly at a carefully laid table with a clean tablecloth and the hametz   foods would be cold (Responsa Lev Haim, Part 2, No. 88). This was also the practice followed by the above-mentioned Rabbi Eliyahu Hazzan. He refrained from “imposing on the people to make egg matzah”, but he did disclose his practice to several scholars in the hope that “perhaps in so doing, the custom will work its way into practice”. This was also the practice of Rabbi Yosef b. Walid (Sefer Shemo Yosef,  No. 136).

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein also preferred this solution in a responsum written in 5714 (1954). He wrote (emphasis added DG):

Therefore it is good for those who do not wish to leave hametz [in their house] on Shabbat out of concern for possible obstacles that may arise from this, to fulfill the mitzvah of the two Shabbat meals using egg matzah (Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, p. 274).

He cites the above-mentioned Beit Yosef and explains:

We have seen that it would be appropriate to enact and institute the practice of destroying all hametz before Shabbat… and to fulfill the mitzvah  of the Shabbat meals using egg matzah… and therefore those who are able and want to take the trouble to bake egg matzah  for the two Shabbat meals — that is preferable…

This approach of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was well-received by various halakhic authorities, such as my grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin z”l, who was the Av Beit Din of the Beit Din of the Associated Synagogues of Massachusetts for many years; my father and teacher, Rabbi Noah Golinkin z”l (see their responsa in the two Appendices below); Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Rabbi Alfred Cohen, Rabbi Kassel Abelson and others. (11)

As for seudah shlishit, it is of course possible to be stringent like the Rema and to eat only fruit or meat and fish. However, here too one may be lenient and use egg matzah  because that is what Rabbi Yosef Karo (Orah Hayyim  444:1) ruled in accordance with the custom of Rabbeinu Tam.(12) Rabbi Yehezkel Landau (Prague, 1713-1793) ruled in the Noda B’Yehudah (Orah Hayyim,  No. 21) “that it is permissible to eat [egg matzah  on Erev Pesah] all day if there is a small need, even if it is not for a sick or elderly person”. Therefore, it is permissible to eat egg matzah even at seudah shlishit.

III. Conclusion

In conclusion, on Erev Pesah which falls on Shabbat, one may not eat regular matzah and it is difficult to eat hametz. As a result, five possible solutions have been proposed throughout the generations. In our day, it is preferable to adopt the fifth method. One should search for hametz on Thursday night, burn and nullify the hametz on Friday morning (Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, p. 279) and eat egg matzah at all of the Shabbat meals.

David Golinkin
Tu Bishvat 5754; 25 Adar 5781



  1. This responsum was originally written in Hebrew in 1994 and published in the Responsa of the Va’ad Halakhah of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, Vol. 5 (5752-5754), pp. 109-116 (also at In the English version published in 2005 I expanded the Bibliography and added the approach of Rabbi Zolti; my thanks to Rabbi Guillermo Bronstein of Lima, Peru, who sent me a copy of Rabbi Zolti’s article. The English version was published on the internet in April 2005 and subsequently appeared in my book Insight Israel: The View from Schechter, second series, Jerusalem, 2006, pp. 97-113 (also available at In this new version, I have revised the English translation and added additional Bibliography.
  2. This responsum is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather Rabbi Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin z”l (1884-1974) and my father Rabbi Noah Golinkin z”l (1913-2003), on my father’s 18th yahrzeit. They both wrote responsa on this topic, which are found in the Appendices below.
  3. For the occurrences in the 20th century, see Rabbi Noah Golinkin below in Appendix B. In the 21st century, the occurrences were/are: 2001, 2005, 2008, 2021, 2025, 2045, 2048, 2052, 2072, 2075, 2079, 2099.
  4. A celebration upon completion of a tractate of Mishnah or Talmud or another classic Jewish work. For the history of this ceremony, see my Hebrew responsum in Eit La’asot 1 (Summer 5748), pp. 88-102, which appeared in English in an expanded form in Responsa in a Moment, Vol. II, Jerusalem, 2011, pp. 81-100 (also available at
  5. See all the opinions cited by Rabbi Saul Lieberman, pp. 523-526 and by Rabbi Hillel Hyman, pp. 207-210.
  6. Rabbi Yitzhak ibn Giyyat’s opinion is also cited in the Ra’abad’s hassagot to the Ba’al Hamaor on Pesahim, end of Chapter One (and cf. Temim Dei’im, No. 245) and in an abridged version in the Ittur, Hilkhot Bi’ur Hametz, fol. 122a.
  7. See Rabbi Saul Lieberman, p. 525, for the Rishonim who interpreted it in this manner.
  8. The Ra’abad (above, note 6) cited the Tosefta as Rabbi Yitzhak ibn Giyyat’s source. Rabbi Efraim ruled this way in practice based on the Tosefta – see the Ittur, Hilkhot Bi’ur Hametz, fol. 121d = Israel Schepansky, Rabbeinu Efraim, Jerusalem, 5736, pp. 231-232. See also the Rivevan on Pesahim in Talpiyot 6 (5715), pp. 585, 590 and Orhot Hayyim, Hilkhot Hametz Umatzah, end of paragraph 78, fol. 73d. This method is also cited in Sefer Hamikhtam on Pesahim, Sukkah and Mo’ed Kattan, ed. Blau, New York, 5719, pp. 65-66 and in the Maggid Mishneh on the Rambam, Hilkhot Hametz Umatzah 3:3, near the end. Most of these opinions were cited by Rabbi Lieberman, p. 524.
  9. For several Ahronim who ruled this way, see Rabbi Zvi Cohen, p. 55.
  10. Matzah ashirah is matzah made with fruit juice or eggs instead of water (Orah Hayyim 462:1, 4).
  11. See Rabbi Zvi Cohen, pp. 58-60, for other halakhic authorities who followed this approach.
  12. Rabbeinu Tam’s practice is cited with variations in many places, including: Or Zaru’a, Part 2, fol. 59d; Tosafot on Pesahim 35b, catchword mei peirot; Tosefot on Pesahim 99b, catchword lo; Orhot Hayyim, Hilkhot Shabbat 63a at the bottom and Hilkhot Hametz Umatzah, paragraph 79; Tur Orah Hayyim, paragraph 444; Hagahot Maimoniyot on Hilkhot Hametz Umatzah, chapter 6, note 9 and chapter 3, note 2; Responsa of the Rosh, Kelal 14, paragraph 5; and a responsum of the Maharam of Rothenburg cited in the Responsa of the Rashba Attributed to the Ramban, No. 210.


Appendix A

A Responsum by Rabbi Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin z”l

[translated from the Hebrew]

Rabbi M. J. Golinkin                                                                                                                                                                    Rabbi of Worcester, Mass.
6 Tahanto Road                                                                                                                                                                              (previously, Rav Hakolel in Zhitomir
Telephone 754-3972                                                                                                                                                                        and Danzig)

B”H, Erev Shabbat Shirah, 5734 [=1974]

To my esteemed colleagues, members of the Rabbinical Council of the State of Massachusetts, shlit”a

Shalom u’verakhah !

Regarding your question concerning the meals on Erev Pesah this year, which falls on Shabbat, in order to avoid various obstacles:

My advice regarding this matter is to set out the two meals, on Friday night and Shabbat morning, using kosher-for-Pesah foods and utensils. And since eating matzah on Erev Pesah is forbidden, as it is written, “one who eats matzah on Erev Pesah” etc. (Yerushalmi Pesahim, Chapter 10), this prohibition refers to matzot which enable a person to fulfill the obligation of  “and you shall eat matzot at night” [Exodus 12:18]. But egg matzah may be eaten on Erev Pesah, and this was the practice of Rabbeinu Tam (Pesahim 35b, Tosafot, catchword mei peirot, and Pesahim 99b, Tosafot, catchword lo).

And so ruled the Noda B’Yehudah in Mahadura Kama, No. 21 in Orah Hayyim; and Sha’arei Teshuva Orah Hayyim, paragraph 444, section 1, cites and agrees with him, apparently. And the practice of taking the strict approach with regard to egg matzah and not allowing it except for the elderly and the ill – this is a stringency for the days of Pesah. But on Erev Pesah, egg matzah is permitted even for the healthy, and not just for the ill and elderly, up until midday. And seudah shlishit can consist of fruits and the like.

Iggerot Moshe, Orah Hayyim, No. 155 regarding the blessings recited over egg matzah at the Shabbat meals, rules that hamotzi lehem min ha’aretz should be said, followed by birkat hamazon afterward. And his reason is that pat [haba’a b’kisnin] requires the blessing of hamotzi and birkat hamazon if it is used as the main dish at a fixed meal; and Shabbat meals which require bread — there is nothing more fixed than that. I also saw this opinion in Sha’arei Teshuvah 168, subparagraph 9, cited in the name of a well-known early authority, that the Shabbat meal establishes a meal in the same way that Shabbat determines ma’aser.

In my opinion, it’s worthwhile to explain that the matzah of Pesah is the bread of a poor man, while matzah ashirah [=egg matzah] is the bread of the wealthy. And on Pesah we say K’ha lahma anya, “Like this bread of affliction” — bread which does not contain eggs, oil or honey and the like.

With friendship and respect and good wishes for a full and speedy redemption,

[signature cut off]



Appendix B

A Responsum by Rabbi Noah Golinkin z”l

which appeared in Beinenu 7/3 (February 1977), pp. 6-9:

When the First Seder Occurs on Saturday Night

by Noah Golinkin

This forthcoming Pesah  will present an unusual situation for Jewish housewives. The first night of Pesah will occur on Saturday night and that will create some problems. Before presenting the problems, let me make these historical observations.

The Frequency of the Occurrence

  1. The last time we had a similar situation was three years ago in the Jewish year 5734 (1974).
  2. From the beginning of the 20th century until today, it occurred only eight times (in 1903, 1910, 1923, 1927, 1930, 1950, 1954 and 1974).
  3. Until the end of this century it will happen again two times (in 1981 and 1994).
  4. Many people are taken by surprise. They believe that such an occurrence on the calendar is not possible and they have no recall how it was done the last time it happened.

And Here Are the Questions

I. How and when do you prepare for the holiday?

II. What meals do you eat on the Friday night and Saturday morning preceding Pesah?

Question One – The Answers

I. The Answers to Question One are relatively simple:

  1. All cleaning and preparations for Passover are completed before candle lighting on Friday.
  2. The Siyum  for the firstborn sons is moved back two days – since a fast for the firstborn cannot be held either Saturday or Friday. The Siyum  is held on Thursday morning.
  3. The search for Hametz – B’dikat Hametz – is held one evening earlier than usual – on Thursday evening.
  4. The burning of the crumbs gathered at B’dikat Hametz  should take place on Friday.

Question Two

II. The answers to Question Two are not that easy. There are a number of problems. In order to observe the Sabbath properly, one must make the Hamotzi  blessing and recite the Grace after the Meal at the Friday night supper and Saturday lunch.

Over what do you make Hamotzi, over Matzah  or over Hallah?

  1. You cannot make it over Matzah, because according to the Palestinian Talmud, you must not eat Matzah  on the day preceding Pesah.
  2. Theoretically, you can make it over bread, but:
  3. a. The Hametz meal must be completed around 10:00 a.m. (depending on geographic location).
  4. b. In order to do that, Sabbath services must be started extremely early in the morning, but not while it is still dark. It would have to be conducted in an unseemly hurry. In our time, this is neither practically feasible nor religiously desirable. Can we and should we get a Shabbat minyan  at that time? Or shall we pray at home and hang a sign on the synagogue door: “Closed in honor of Pesah”?
  5. c. In addition, you’ll have to use and to clean Hametz  dishes and the Hametz  table on Shabbat, when the entire house is already Pesahdig. You are not allowed to leave the tiniest particle of Hametz, yet thorough cleaning is improper on the Sabbath. So what do you do?
  6. d. Shall we have a full Pesahdig  meal and have the Hallah in a special corner of the table? Wouldn’t that be awkward and confusing? What would it do for the spirit of the Sabbath at the table? How careful can one be in separating the Hametzdig  food from the Pesahdig?

Ancient Wisdom

Some of the above and other solutions were acceptable in the past, but they would rightly be considered unacceptable today to the partially observant Jewish family and even to the fully observant. Yet the solution is simple. [It is based on the practice of] a great scholar, Rabbenu Tam, who lived 800 years ago. It has been recommended by a famous authority, Rabbi Yehezekel Landau, 200 years ago, and was confirmed [in the nineteenth century by Rabbi Hayyim Mordechai Margaliot].

The Solution

1. Use Egg Matzah  for the Hamotzi  and

2. Have completely Pesahdig  meals both Friday night and Saturday morning.

Egg Matzah  has two advantages: It is permitted to be eaten Erev Pesah (precisely because it is not supposed to be eaten on the night of the Seder) and you can make Hamotzi  over it when you eat it with a regular meal.

The result: Instead of the Saturday Erev Pesah  becoming the greatest of all the many headaches of Pesah  preparations, this solution presents the housewife with a gift – a day of Shabbat relaxation before the arrival of the Seder.

Legal Detective Work

In order to meet the needs of our congregation, I consulted a host of the available sources on the subject and found all of them un-satisfactory in the practical terms of contemporary life. Then I wrote an 8-page dissertation to my father, Rabbi Mordecai Golinkin of Worcester, who is head of the Orthodox Rabbinic Court of the Associated Synagogues of Massachusetts. By return mail came the answer: Egg Matzah.

Finding relevant Jewish answers for today from ancient Jewish sources requires profound wisdom and wide-ranging knowledge. From Rabbenu Tam, Rabbi Landau, [Rabbi Margaliot] to the Bet-Din of Massachusetts – what a beautiful intellectual journey.

Discussion of the Sources

The basic source references on using Matzah Ashira  on Erev Pesah  are contained in the Teshuva of Rabbi Mordecai Golinkin. I wish to add a number of aspects that underlie the Teshuva  but haven’t been specifically pointed out.

I. Egg Matzah  (Matzah Ashira) may be eaten until the “tenth hour” (Sha’ah Z’manit) – approximately two hours before sunset or the appearance of stars; that means even for Seudah Sh’lishit – according to:

a. main text of Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim,  444.

b. Lubavitcher Shulchan Aruch  of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Lyadi 444, paragraph 1.

II. The Rema — because it is not customary to use Matzah Ashira  at all in these countries– recommends fruit, meat or fish for Shalosh Seudot  instead.

III.  The Noda Biyehudah, No. 21 points out that the basic disagreement about Matzah Ashirah  is whether or not to use it on Pesah  itself. There is no opinion against eating Matzah Ashirah on Erev Pesah. The Noda Biyehudah   concludes that until midday Erev Pesah  it is permitted unquestionably to eat Matzah Ashirah. And whoever permits all day, does not do anything improper, as long as there is some need for it (and not just for the old or the sick). The Noda Biyehudah   makes it clear that the reason he suggests midday at all is because he is convinced that even the Rema would have permitted Matzah Ashirah  until midday.

IV. Lubavitcher Shulchan Aruch   444, paragraph 3, indicates that in these countries people do not customarily eat Matzah Ashira  after the “fifth hour”.

V. Iggerot Moshe  (Rabbi Moshe Feinstein) recommends Matzah Ashirah on Erev Pesah, but again suggests a cut-off at the “fifth hour”. Iggerot Moshe   makes a special case that Matzah Ashirah   warrants both Hamotzi   and Birkat Hamazon,  and will therefore serve the purpose of the Friday night meal and the Saturday lunch.

Observations by Noah Golinkin

I. Matzah Ashirah  is not Hametzdig. In our countries, Matzah Ashirah   is being produced under strict rabbinic supervision for use on Pesah. The only time not to use it is for the Seder  because it is not Lachma Anya. And this is precisely why Rabbenu Tam, Noda Biyehudah   and Sha’are T’shuvah   recommend it for Erev Pesah.

II. There is a general concern of the Halacha about eating too much too late on Erev Pesah  and spoiling the appetite for the Seder  and for the matzah shel mitzvah.

III.  In my humble opinion, I would recommend, as a token of the   above concern, to hold services (and consequently the meal) one half-hour earlier than usual and eat a little less elaborately than usual, but otherwise serve everything Pesahdig and hold the service and the meal in a relaxed atmosphere.


Holding Pesahdig  meals with Matzah Ashirah  is based on very solid traditional sources and yet it is breaking new ground. It would be a psychologically and aesthetically satisfying experience for the observant family. It would also make them see how the tradition is providing interpretations and solutions that respond to our needs. The Noda Biyehudah  and [Sha’are Teshuvah] dare to provide a “different” solution, which is halachically unimpeachable, sensible, simple and convenient.



Rabbi Kassel Abelson, “When Passover Begins on Saturday Night,” in: Kassel Abelson and David Fine, eds., Responsa: 1991-2000, New York, 2002, pp. 71-74 (also available at, under OH 444.1993)

Rabbi Guillermo Bronstein, Cuando el Seder de Pesaj Cae Motzaei Shabat, Lima, Peru, April 2001; second edition, April 2005

Rabbi Alfred Cohen, “Erev Pesah on Shabbat,” Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society XXVI (Fall 1993), pp. 110-120; with additions ibid., XXVII (Spring 1994), pp. 123-125

Rabbi Zvi Cohen, Erev Pesah Shehal B’Shabbat U’Purim Hameshulash, new edition, Tel Aviv, 5737, pp. 55-62

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Purim Hameshulash V’erev Pesah Shehal B’Shabbat, fourth edition, Jerusalem, 5765

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Sefer Iggerot Moshe, Orah Hayyim, Part 1, No. 155

Rabbi Gedalia Felder, Yesodei Yeshurun, Vol. 6, New York, 1985, pp. 91-100

Rabbi Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin, A Responsum Regarding Erev Pesah which Falls on Shabbat, Erev Shabbat Shira 5734 (Hebrew; found in Appendix A above)

Rabbi Noah Golinkin, “When the First Seder Occurs on Saturday Night,” Beineinu, Vol. VII, No. 3 (February 1977), pp. 6-9 (found in Appendix B above)

Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Yalkut Dinei Erev Pesah Shehal Lihiyot B’Shabbat Ve’hilkhot U’minhagim Le’hag HaPesah Labayit Ve’lamishpaha, Jerusalem, Nissan 5734, pp. 7-10; and Torat Hashabbat Ve’hamoed, Jerusalem, 5742, pp. 155-167

Rabbi David Greenberger, Erev Pesah Shehal B’Shabbat, Jerusalem, 5730

Rabbi Hayyim David Halevy, Aseh Lekha Rav, Vol. 5, pp. 363-364; and Mekor Hayyim Hashalem, Vol. 4, pp. 76-77

Rabbi Eliyahu Hazzan, Responsa Ta’alumot Halev, Vol. 1, Livorno, 5639, Orah Hayyim section, No. 4

Rabbi Hayyim Hoizdorf, Kuntress Davar B’itto, Tel Aviv-Yaffo, 1923

Rabbi Hillel Hyman, Sefer Hilkhot HaRifal Massekhet Pesah Rishon, Jerusalem, 5750, pp. 207-210

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher, Haggadah Sheleimah, 3rd edition, Jerusalem, 1967, pp. 179-196

Rabbi Yehezkel Landau, Noda B’Yehudah, Mahadura Kama, Orah Hayyim, No. 21

Rabbi Saul Lieberman, Tosefta Kifeshuta, Vol. 4, Seder Mo’ed, New York, 5722, pp. 523-526

Rabbi Haim Palache, Responsa Lev Hayyim, Vol. 2, Izmir, 5629, No. 88

Rabbi Aharon Ben-Tziyon Shurin, Forverts, 25 March, 1994, p. 11 = 15 April, 2005, p. 8 (Yiddish)

“A Statement on Pesah Observance,” The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, February 6, 1974

Rabbi Yosef Hayyim Sonnenfeld, Seder Hapurim Hameshulash V’Seder Erev Pesah Shehal B’Shabbat, third edition, Jerusalem, 5670 (1910)

Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, Dinei U’minhagei Erev Pesah Shehal B’Shabbat, Jerusalem, 5734

Rabbi Gabriel Tzinner, Nitey Gavriel – Pesah: Hilkhot Erev Pesah Shehal B’Shabbat, Brooklyn, 5754

Rabbi Yosef Walid, Sefer Shemo Yosef, Jerusalem, 5667, No. 136

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Responsa Yehaveh Da’at, Vol. 1, No. 91; and Sefer Hazon Ovadia: Haggadah Shel Pesah, Jerusalem, 1979, pp. 93-96

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Yalkut Yosef, Vol. 5, Jerusalem, 1988, pp. 375-378

Rabbi Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad, Ben Ish Hai, Year One, end of Parashat Tzav

Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Zevin, Mahanayim 21 (Erev Pesah 5714), pp. 17-18

Rabbi Ya’akov Bezalel Zolti, Madrikh Kashrut: Pesah 5741, Jerusalem, 5741, pp. 15-23

All four volumes of Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin’s Responsa In A Moment – Halakhic Responses to Contemporary Issues as well as other books by the author are available for purchase from the Schocken-JTS Press Bookstore.

David Golinkin is President of The Schechter Institutes, Inc. and President Emeritus of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. For twenty years he served as Chair of the Va’ad Halakhah (Law Committee) of the Rabbinical Assembly which gives halakhic guidance to the Masorti Movement in Israel. He is the founder and director of the Institute of Applied Halakhah at Schechter and also directs the Center for Women in Jewish Law. Rabbi Professor Golinkin made aliyah in 1972, earning a BA in Jewish History and two teaching certificates from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received an MA in Rabbinics and a PhD in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he was also ordained as Rabbi. For a complete bio click here.

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