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The Annual Matzah Ashira Conflict Underway

The argument attacking the granting hashgacha to egg matzah (matzah ashira) wine cookies in Eretz Yisrael is synonymous with Pesach in the chareidi community, and one can count on it resurfacing annually.

The recipient of the criticism is Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita, who gives his hechsher to the Papouchado Company, the largest manufacturer, and the assault this year came from none other than the rav’s bachor, Rav Yaakov Yosef.

The rav gave a shiur in which he related to the matzah ashira cookies manufactured in that factory as “chametz gamur”, citing he was there personally and there was no mashgiach and goyim were operating the assembly line, which he states takes 27 minutes, way too long to ensure the product is not chametz.

Rav Yaakov adds that the wine introduced into the cookies is simply ‘stam yeinam’, explaining goyim are operating the plant and the mashgiach was nowhere to be found. As far as Rav Yaakov is concerned, the cookies are not kosher year round and his concerns are not just with the Pesach production. Rav Yaakov simply echoed the cry of the late HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT”L, who warned against using the cookies.

Rav Yaakov told participants in the shiur “All the years HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT”L screamed the cookies were chametz as did I. I visited Abba a month ago and it was the first time he spoke to me about the cookies in a calm fashion. He was generally heated up when discussing this topic, for those around him directed him become angered against Chacham Mordechai Eliyahu, but this time, Abba was calm and asked me why I believe they are chametz. I responded, telling him there was no mashgiach and it is ‘yayin chametz not just chametz’”.

Rabbi Yaakov says Rav Ovadia was “surprised”, adding “I relied on the rav” to which Rav Yaakov responded “I relied on my eyes” and Rav Ovadia remained silent.

Rav Yaakov concluded by saying “For 25 years the argument has been ongoing. It is most unfortunate that those around him incited him against the Chacham regarding these cookies”.

On the homepage of the company’s website it states products are under the hashgacha of the Badatz Eida Chareidis but this is not the case for the Pesach line, which the website fails to mention.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

7 Responses

  1. The wine is not mevushal?! I assume they use cheap wine, and I’ve never seen a cheap wine that isn’t mevushal (except small-run super-charedi “semiprivate label” ones that certainly wouldn’t be used for making cookies).

  2. It’s a pity. I wouldn’t eat these cookies on Pesach, of course, since Ashkenazim are not allowed matza ashira, but I usually buy them up after Pesach when they’re cheap and enjoy them for several months. If the wine really isn’t mevushal, and is being handled by goyim, then the cookies are treif!

  3. Check the ingredients list on the package carefully.

    The list is in English, French and Hebrew. The Hebrew list has eggs. The French list puts in eggs as an afterthough. The English list does not have eggs.

  4. Rav Mordechai Eliau only assured them on Pesach as he thought that it was inevitable that water would get in causing them to become chametz faster than 18 minutes.

  5. The dispute seems to have nothing to do with the issue of matzah ashirah. Just whether anyone is paying attention to the hashgacha at all.

    (Assuming the hashgacha is doing a proper job, why should anyone object to a Sephardic beis din giving a hasgacho to matzoh ashirah. The Beis Yosef permits its, and even the Remah writes that the elderly or children can eat it. The Sephardic hashgochos in EY give Pesach certification to all kinds of kitniyos products, they just label them le’ochlei kitniyos bilvad. Doesn’t seem to bother anyone.)

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