Chapter: 2 – General Rules of the Prohibition against Ĥametz

1. Four Mitzvot Concerning the Prohibition against Ĥametz

Four Torah commandments deal with the prohibition against ĥametz on Pesaĥ: three negative and one positive. The first prohibition is to refrain from eating ĥametz, as it is written, “And ĥametz shall not be eaten” (Shemot 13:3). Our Sages taught … Continue reading

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2. The Times When Ĥametz Is Prohibited by Torah Law and by Rabbinic Law

Although the prohibition against ĥametz applies primarily during the seven days of Ĥag Ha-matzot, from the fifteenth through the twenty-first of Nisan, nevertheless we were commanded to remove ĥametz from our homes at noon on the fourteenth of Nisan, Erev … Continue reading

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3. What Is Ĥametz and What Is Se’or?

The ĥametz that is prohibited by the Torah on Pesaĥ is any one of the five species of cereal grains that came into contact with water and fermented. The five species are wheat (ĥitta), barley (se’ora), oats (shibolet shu’al), rye … Continue reading

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4. The Definition of Leavening Dough

As we have learned, the difference between bread and matza is that the dough used for making bread has undergone a leavening process resulting from the fermentation of ingredients within the flour that have come into contact with water. In … Continue reading

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5. Ĥametz Nuksheh (Hardened Ĥametz)

The ĥametz that the Torah forbade is ĥametz gamur (absolute ĥametz), meaning that the leavening process has been completed, and the food has become edible. But if fermentation had begun but not concluded, and from the outset the food was … Continue reading

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6. Ĥametz So Spoiled That a Dog Would Not Eat It

Ĥametz that was originally fit for eating, but that became moldy or spoiled to the point that it is not fit for human consumption, is still considered ĥametz gamur, since it can still be used as a leavening agent. In … Continue reading

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7. Ways in Which There Is No Leavening

As noted, there are five types of grain that can become ĥametz after touching water. However, if they are roasted in fire, they can no longer become ĥametz, and in principle they may be mixed with water. Nevertheless, the Sages … Continue reading

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