HIGHWAY ROBBERY: Cost Of Shmura Matzah

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  • #612407
    achosid
    Participant

    How much did you pay?

    It is getting out of control. Someone needs to open a bakery once and for all, and undercut everyone and break this mafiastic behavior.

    Yes, everyone is entitled to make a living. But you are not entitled to rob people blind.

    Someone will do it.t be patient my friends. Someone will open a major matzah bakery, with the biggest hidurim and chumros, and charge 13 bucks a pound.

    GAME OVER.

    #1009068

    It’s an inyan to have every kzayis be more than a peruta. They’re doing you a favor by charging so exorbitantly.

    #1009069
    besalel
    Participant

    in the times of the second beis hamikdash we had the abtinas family and the garmo family. today we have shietel machers, those who sell matzo and arba minim in their place.

    #1009070
    Epis
    Participant

    It’s known as the poor man’s bread. Or the bread that makes a man poor.

    #1009071
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Is $15.99 so high a price? Just go into your local Costco and pick up all you want at this price.

    #1009072
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    At the risk of taking an unpopular position, I’m going to ask the following question:

    Are you familiar, at all, with the economics of running a shmurah matzah factory? In other words, do you think the price of SM is expensive because you’re comparing it to a box of Streits or other food items? Or do you have some insight into the costs of labor, rents, materials, etc. that goes into the making of SM?

    Economics tells us that, were it possible to seriously undercut the bakeries (i.e. if it were possible to produce a pound for $4 and sell it for $8 instead of the $20ish that it currently goes for), then someone would do so. If they haven’t, then you’ve identified a golden opportunity — take advantage of it!

    I suppose, what I’m asking is this: are you merely venting your (understandable) frustration at the high price of SM, or do you really believe that it is highway robbery and that there is collusion among the major bakeries to keep prices artificially high to maximize profits illegally?

    The Wolf

    #1009073
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Is there a high bar to entry?

    #1009074
    The Rashbak
    Member

    You think that’s expensive? Try getting shmurah matzah out of town (and I don’t mean Lakewood or Monsey). Down here in Atlanta, it’s upwards of $30-$35 a pound, imported from Brooklyn (I don’t hold by the mass-produced stuff in Costco). And you only get the one brand/hechsher the supermarket chooses to buy that year. There’s no wall of shmurah matzah from 10 different bakeries with your choice of white, wheat, spelt, oats, etc. I drive to Brooklyn every year before Pesach to load up my SUV with Pesach food that you either can’t get down here, or costs 3 times the price.

    You should be thanking Hashem that you live in a place where the necessities of Pesach are so readily available and at relatively reasonable prices.

    #1009075
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Is there a high bar to entry?

    I don’t know.

    However, if there were a high bar and the profits were enormous enough, some might just try it. Have there been any new shmurah matzah bakeries in the last ten years?

    The Wolf

    #1009076
    Git Meshige
    Participant

    Just curious if you ever eat out and pay $40 for a piece of steak. Do you waste money on vacations and drive a leased car? If the answer is yes then you have no business complaining about the cost of Shmura Matzoh. If the answer is no then there is Toimche Shabbos that would be more than willing to help you

    When it comes to a Mitzva people have a problem spending money.

    #1009077

    Have there been any new shmurah matzah bakeries in the last ten years?

    Yes. It folded after two or three years. The matzo might have been a couple of dollars cheaper than the others.

    #1009078
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Just curious if you ever eat out and pay $40 for a piece of steak. Do you waste money on vacations and drive a leased car? If the answer is yes then you have no business complaining about the cost of Shmura Matzoh.

    And now to play the other side of the coin…

    IF the price of shmurah matzah truly *IS* exorbitant (and completely out of line WRT the cost to produce), then why *shouldn’t* someone complain?

    The fact that someone may voluntarily choose to engage in discretionary spending does not mean that he is bound to spend more than necessary to do a mitzvah. If matzah *could* be produced more cheaply, then why the heck not? What does his choice to eat out or drive a leased car have anything to do with it?

    The Wolf

    #1009079
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Yes. It folded after two or three years. The matzo might have been a couple of dollars cheaper than the others.

    Okay, but apparently, that means that the bar to entry isn’t insurmountably high.

    The Wolf

    #1009080
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Machine Shumarah is cheaper than Hand Shmurah about 1/2 the price. It is perfectly fine and many say its actually better since human error is eliminated

    #1009081
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “(I don’t hold by the mass-produced stuff in Costco)”

    Each matzah is lovingly produced by hand 🙂

    Oh, and it isnt produced in Costco.

    #1009082

    Okay, but apparently, that means that the bar to entry isn’t insurmountably high.

    I have no idea how much money they lost or how much debt they incurred. You’re right that someone did it, but we don’t know if there really is a reasonable chance of success.

    Does anybody know when the Lakewood matzo bakery opened? It’s more than ten years, but I think it’s newer than the Brooklyn bakeries, and might be some sort of model for a potential success.

    #1009083
    twisted
    Participant

    Re: high bar of entry, mass produced stuff, and lovingly made by hand.

    I have been a home matzo baker for 20 years, and while it is time intensive, it is tremendously rewarding, and you can give it all the hiddur you want, and bypass the high cost, and the potential risks that are inherent in a commercial matzo. Since they don’t make shidduchim here, I can hammer it out here if anyone is interested in my eitza.

    #1009085
    takahmamash
    Participant

    Make aliyah. The hand shmura is cheaper here.

    #1009086
    twisted
    Participant

    takamamash, it is not really cheaper if you are living in shekels, and it was davka in EY where I saw stuff that made my hair stand up and my stomach lurch. I no longer use any commercial hand matzos owing to that experience.

    #1009087
    apushatayid
    Participant

    just be glad you dont have celiac, and have to buy certified gluten free shmura matza.

    #1009088
    mobico
    Participant

    A couple of points. First of all, Shmurah Matzah with the standard Hidurim is really that expensive to produce. I know what I’m talking about from the inside.

    Second of all, there are precious few, if any, Poskim who would agree that machine Matzos produced today are more Mehudar than the hand Shmurah produced today. People are very very involved with every aspect of the machine as well, and to the degree that they are not there are more Shailos and issues with the Kshrus of the Matzah!

    The whole issue of mass Shmurah Matzah production is not simple at all. If you want to gain an appreciation for it – both hand and machine – visit a factory with a Mshgiach who cares and ask some questions.

    #1009089

    goldbergs grocery store on 18th avenue in boro park usually has a sale (with ten dollar non-sale item purchase) of $10/lb. i know people who drive in from baltimore for this sale every year. just putting it out there…there are places with somewhat reasonable prices.

    #1009090
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Hand Made Shumrah is a CHUMRAH, The Machine Shamurah is more than fine, Almost No Posek is going to say you cant use it. And there is also no reason to eat Hand Shmurah the entire Peseach, you only need eat it for the Sedar. You can eat regular Streits Matza for the rest of the Holidays.

    There is no reason for someone who can barely survive on Food Stamps and handouts to be spends $1000 or more on Matza (I know people who spend this kind of money on Matza and usually its someone else paying for it)

    #1009091
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    This does bring up another issue, There is no need to eat the Chazon Ish’s Shiur for everything. You can eat Rav Moshe’s Shiurim and its more than fine.

    #1009092

    Hand Made Shumrah is a CHUMRAH, The Machine Shamurah is more than fine, Alm ost No Posek is going to say you cant use it.

    False. Some do not allow machine (I personally would eat certain brands).

    And there is also no reason to eat Hand Shmurah the entire Peseach, you only need eat it for the Sedar.

    False again. The Gr”a holds you’re mekayem a mitzvah by eating a k’zayis on any day of Pesach, and those who don’t consider machine matzo to be “l’shem matzas mitzvah” will be makpid on hand matzah for the entire Yom Tov..

    You can eat regular Streits Matza for the rest of the Holidays.

    Again, not true. Many are makpid on shmurah, and even more are makpid on 18 minute matzah (they stop the run and clean the machinery every 18 minutes), so your implication that they’re really the same is false.

    #1009093
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Again DY Its a Chumra, If you are rich and can afford to eat the Hand Shumra the entire peseach, but most people CANNOT afford it. Pesech is expensive as it is already and people are struggling.

    The people I know who eat Hand Shumra the entire Pesach get other people to pay for it because they cannot afford it (and these arent nessasarity poor people)

    Ask your Rov,Is it better to spend the money on Hand Shumura for the entire Peseach or buy your wife a nice new outfit or spend it on better food Like a Roast that everyone can enjoy.

    It is not a Zero Sum Game, if you spend it on Matza it wont be spend elsewhere

    #1009094
    yaakov doe
    Participant

    Which shmurah does COSTCO have for $15.99 lb? The cheapest I’ve seen so far is Tiferes made in the Ukraine.

    #1009095
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Just for some perspective. I use Chaburah Matza, in which a group rents out the bakery and we bake it ourselves. Nobody is hired. it ends up being around $9/lb. Once you start hiring people I can only imagine how much more that makes it. (Obviously the bakery doesn’t pay rent, so I’m losing some accounting here.)

    #1009096

    ZD, again you’re assuming that anything which you don’t hold of is a chumrah and unnecessary.

    Some hold machine matzoh is unacceptable for the mitzvah. We are dealing with a mitzvas aseh d’Oraisa.

    #1009097
    2morecents
    Participant

    After Pesach is over, buy a full Pesach’s amount of matzoh for very cheap and put it away for next year. Then l’shona haboh bnai chorin once and for all.

    #1009098
    marbehshalom
    Participant

    buy hand for seder and reliable machine for rest of peasach

    #1009099

    That’s a good idea, marbehshalom, but in some communities, machine matzah is not accepted at all.

    #1009100

    but in some communities, machine matzah is not accepted at all.

    that doesn’t mean it has anything to do with halacha. there are a lot of things that go on “in some communities” that can be done without, if halacha allows it, this can be added to the list.

    #1009101

    It does, though. There’s a chashash that dough gets caught in the machinery, and a question if turning on the machine l’shem mitzvah is sufficient. There are undoubtedly cultural issues as well, but there are underlying halachic issues.

    #1009102
    takahmamash
    Participant

    it is not really cheaper if you are living in shekels

    I am living in shekels, and our hand shmura matza is less than $15 a pound. (“Birchat HaPessach,” 100% Whole Wheat Hand Made Shmurah Matzah, Handmade Shmura Matzah under the hashgacha of Rav Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba – Chevron, Badatz- Yoreh De’ah of Rav Shlomo Machfud)

    #1009103
    twisted
    Participant

    Mobico: re, “The whole issue of mass Shmura Mazto production is not simple at all”

    Indeed, if you really want an apprecieation, visit the halacha, and see the poskim that even before advent of the matza machine, they saw the commercialization of matza as a great tragedy. Dozens of details in halacaha indicate that it was written for the home baker, or small, community op or chabura. The greatest tragedy is that there is no rolling back the clock and the halachic skill sets that were once universal are all but lost in the larger public.

    #1009104
    twisted
    Participant

    takamamash, really 100% whole wheat? I do 100% but one matza at a time, and once upon a time, I had a neighbor who had been a professional roller. She had a really hard time with my 50% whole wheat. indicating that the “razeve” that is marketed is nowhere near 50%.

    #1009105
    takahmamash
    Participant

    I can only go by what the packaging says, and it definitely has a different taste than the regular matzah – so I’m assuming it’s really 100% whole wheat.

    #1009106
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There is no “Tragedy” in mass produced Matzas. In the olden days people starved and could barely afford the Matzas for the Sedar using the smallest possible shiurim. People litterally starved in those days. it is not a time to be fondly remembered

    Today B’H most people can afford the Hand Shumrahs for the Sedarim alone. Its really only the rest of Pesach thats its an issue.

    Regardless of what anyones says there is no Averirah to eat Machine Matza (Shmurah if you like) the rest of Peseach. You are not over a D’Oraysa for eating it.

    You might be over a D’ORaysa of “Simchat Yom Tov” however if you worry about how you are going to pay for it or skimp on something else to pay for the Matza.

    #1009107
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Twist, so that picture in my Haggadah is you?

    #1009108
    Epis
    Participant

    zahavasdad, Listen Minhag Yisroel Chok. If someone wants to change his minhag to eat machine matzos he should consult his LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi). Its not so simple to just throw away a minhag.

    #1009109

    Hand shmurah in Costco: $13.99 per lb.

    Company: Holyland, imported from Israel by HKS Marketing.

    Hashgachos: ? and NSKC (Skver)

    #1009110
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    DY What does the Machine Shmurah Cost. Last year it was about $7 or $8 a pound I think.

    $5 a pound is alot especially for a large family

    #1009111

    They didn’t have machine shmurah. I think I paid $6 per lb. last year for imported from E.Y. with Badatz Eidah Chareidis.

    #1009112

    Check out Mesechta Beitza 16a:

    “The entire sustenance of a person is fixed for him from Rosh HaShana until Yom Kippur, except the expenditure for Shabbosos, Yomim Tovim, and the expenditure for the instruction of his children in Talmud Torah. If he spent less he is given less and if he spent more he is given more.”

    So you have a havtacha from the gemora that, even if you pay full price for matza, you won’t lose.

    Chag Kosher V’Someach!

    #1009113
    charliehall
    Participant

    I will second what others have written:

    If you think the cost of hand made shmurah matzah is too high, start your own matzah bakery and undercut their prices.

    Or get the machine made shmurah matzah for the seders and eat Streit’s for the rest of Pesach.

    And if your rav is so insensitive to your economic situation that he requires handmade matzah for the entirety of Pesach, get a new rav. Take on a different chumrah that isn’t so bloody costly.

    #1009114

    That’s right, if your rav isn’t meikil enough for you, dispose of him and get a new one.

    #1009115
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I seriously doubt a Rav who really knew you would tell you that you MUST use the Hand Made Shumrah matza instead of the machine Shumrah matza ,if you really couldnt afford it. especially if you needed to borrow money to do it

    It is not being Mekil using Machine Shumrah instead of Hand Made Shmurah. (Using regular Streits is being Makel)

    #1009116

    zahavasdad- there are many who believe that machine matzah is not okay at all. They will give people tzeddaka to purchase it if they cannot afford hand matzah.

    #1009117
    One of the chevra
    Participant

    TO ALL THOSE WHO SAID THAT SPENDING MONEY ON HAND MATZOH IS AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER THINGS:

    I personally asked Rav Chaim Kanievsky if buying “private chabura hand matzos” where certain hidurim (not chiyuvim)are kept, is allowed, even though the expense is very difficult for me in my financial situation.

    He answered me: The Torah promised us in the gemoro that expenses paid for the sake of yom-tov are added to the regular budget, so it is NEVER at the expense of your family budget.

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