Matsa Substitutes for the





I  am  a  rabbi  at  a  senior  citizens  home.  We  have  430  residents,

some  of  whom  have  degenerative  digestive  systems  and  are

consequently unable to eat matsa.

Is  there  any  suitable  matsa  substitute  that  is  halachically

acceptable?  Preferably,  it  should  contain  roughage  and  be  easily





The  medical condition  of  the  residents  who  cannot  eat  matsa  is

not  clear  from  your  question,  but  if  the  problem  is  the  hardness  and

dryness of the matsa then there are two halachic solutions.

The  matsa  can  be  soaked  in  water  as  per  Shulhan A rukh,  O rah

H ayyim  461:4. See also Biur H alacha there, s.v. ve-hu she-lo nim oha. If

you choose this option, you must be careful and have separate dishes

and  utensils  for  those  residents  eating  soaked  matsa  because  other

residents may have the custom of not eating soaked matsa on Pesah.

It  is  possible  to  bake  soft  matsas,  according  to  the  custom  of

many  Sefardi  communities.  In  such  a  case,  the  matsa  must  be  baked

by  an  expert  who  is  both  a  talm id hakham  and  a  yirei sham ayim ,

because there is a risk that the matsa will become ham ets. A s with the

first option, you must be careful and have separate dishes and utensils

for  those  residents  eating  soft  matsas  because  other  residents  may

have  the  custom  of  not  eating  such  matsas  on  Pesah.  (see  Shulhan

A rukh, ibid. 460:4-5 and Biur H alacha there.)

R egarding  roughage,  it  is  possible  to  bake  matsas  from  whole

wheat  flour,  which  contains  the  needed  roughage.  In  some

circumstances  it  might  be  permissible  to  add  more  wheat  roughage

(kasher le-Pesah).