Certainty Comes To Seder Night


moznei_tzedekEating Matzah and Maror at the Seder has always been a challenge. Eating the right amounts is of paramount importance, since Matzah is a mitzvah d’oraisa. But many people have always eaten arbitrary amounts based on memory, rough estimation, and a few seconds with a chart that is being passed around the table.

The reality is that accurately measuring k’zayis for matzah and maror takes an expertise; both in knowledge of halachic measurements in contemporary terms, and in having the ability to estimate that in practice, at the Seder. The same is true of other measurement in halacha, such as revi’is and k’mlo lugmov.

Previously, expertise in contemporary shiurim was limited to talmidei chachamim who focused on it, and it is not a stretch to assume that only a small percentage of those experts could apply that knowledge on the fly, to matzah of varying thickness and maror of different varieties.

Starting this Pesach, that is no longer true. The revolutionary book Moznei Tzedek, an English sefer on the shiurim for the mitzvos of Pesach and the rest of the year, is a comprehensive manual that takes the doubt and estimation out of the Matzah, Maror, and countless other mitzvos year-round, including among others; Sukkah, Ma’akah, Lulav, Tzitzis, Tefillin, Hafrashas Challah, and Bracha Acharona.

The sefer is based largely on the measurements of the three most noted authorities on shiurim: R’ Moshe Feinstein, The Chazon Ish, and R’ Chaim No’eh. It is written with a level of knowledge that will inform the most erudite talmid chacham, in language that makes it accessible to anyone who wants to do mitzvos with the utmost attention to detail.

Moznei Tzedek details every aspect of halachic measurements in contemporary terms; what the larger estimates are, what the smaller estimates are, and how to apply these amounts to d’oraisa, d’rabbanan, and to chumra.

One example: The first matzah at the Seder fulfills the mitzvah in the Torah of Matzah. Moznei Tzedek says, therefore, based on the Mishna Berurah, that one should use the largest estimation of a k’zayis, in this case the Chazon Ish, which is 1.69 ounces. (The book explains in great detail how to measure that on an actual matzah.)

Many people follow the Shulchan Aruch, who says that one should eat a k’zayis from each of the top two matzos. Since this for this halachah one needn’t be as stringent, a smaller k’zayis of .65 oz. is enough. Ironically, the two k’zaysim together would still equal less than the largest estimate of 1.69 oz. which means that if you’re eating the largest shiur, you would not have to eat any more than the one k’zayis!

Gathering all of the different authorities into one volume is not enough, though. Once olives, amos, and cheeks-full have been converted into ounces and feet, they still need to be measured in matzah (or maror, tzitzis, challah, hadasim, etc.)

Moznei Tzedek explains how, using a scale and measuring tools that are readily available, you can make sure that your k’zaysim are precise. The size of the matzah, probably the most common way to measure it, should really depend on its density and thickness. Moznei Tzedek portrays with charts and illustrations what size the matzah should be, based on the weight of the individual matzah. The book even has a list of some more popular matzah bakeries and the relative k’zaysim on each. In the back of the Moznei Tzedek, there is a pull-out poster with diagrams of the sizes for matzos of varying thickness and density, for the three different mitzvos on Seder night, Matzah, Korech, and Afikomen.

While about half of Moznei Tzedek deals with Pesach related measurements, the rest focuses on general shiurim. This includes both the methodology of determining the contemporary measurements, as well as measurements that relate to other mitzvos.

Using Moznei Tzedek at your Seder will imbue Pesach mitzvos with precision and confidence. And Moznei Tzedek can come in handy every day when making brachos, every week when separating challah, for every person who strives to be medakdek in mitzvos.

To purchase this outstanding volume for a discounted price of just $13.46, click here.

{Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}