The Brachot on Matzah

Question:

When I lived in Israel I was taught that on matzot after Pesach one said mezonot before and birkat hamazon afterwards if the person ate a shiur. I think this is the Sephardi psaq. Which brachot should I say?


Answer:

1. This is a relatively new idea and is accepted only in certain Sephardi circles. Both Ashkenazim and Temanim have always said hamotzi on matzah.


2. The argument that one should say mezonot on matzah is extremely weak. How can something be mezonot during the year and hamotzi on Pesah?


3. This all began because people began wondering what the difference between crackers and matzah is. One difference is that a cracker is not considered bread by anyone, and only if eaten as a bread substitute is it considered to be bread. See Rambam's MT B'rakhoth 3:9. Hard matzah is a form of bread, just like hard dry toast is a form of bread.


4. Another difference is only apparent to someone who appreciates the fact that real matzah is soft and pliable more or less like a lapha or pitta, except that it's not hametz. That is the type of matzah referred to in TB P'sahim 7a where the Talmud discusses what to do if one finds some moldy bread-like substance during Pesah and is unsure if it is bread (hametz) or matzah. Noone would suggest that that type of matzag is mezonot.


5. This is the type of matzah we make in my home. This year I bought a single pack of Rav Mahpud's soft matzot out of curiosity; I wanted to see what the "competition" is doing. Their matzah was quite good, like a heavy saluph, but ours are just as good...if not better.


30th of Nisan, 5772 Sunday, 22 April 2012

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