Monday, April 11, 2011

The Matzah Wars

If our readers think that it is only here in Australia that the rabbis are squabbling over the Kashrut of Matza, let us assure them that there are far bigger battles going on in other parts of the Jewish world. The two major Chassidic groups, Satmar and Chabad, are split internally over the manufacture of Matzot under supervision of their respective rabbis.

The Satmar Chassidim – followers of Rav Aharon Teitelbaum of Kiryas Joel have for a number of years been producing Matza with flour made from Arizona wheat. This does not have the approval of the other Satmar Chassidim who follow his brother, Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum – who have made a number of claims about the inappropriateness of Arizonian wheat.
Both sides have published articles, rabbinical letters and booklets proving their POV (and have probably not convinced anyone from the other side to change their mind…)

Anyone wanting to delve into this controversy may start by looking here, here, here, here and here.

Meanwhile an recently introduced innovation re kneading the dough has caused ructions in the Chabad rabbinical world, again with letters and booklets etc – and as it seems also not getting anyone to change their minds.
Meanwhile we have received a fair bit of correspondece and commentary regarding the Australian version of ‘soft’ Matza. Due to the harsh and unforgiving language used by the protagonists (and antagonists) on both sides, we are withholding from publishing their materials on our site – at this time. Maybe at some later stage we’ll again take a look at this controversy and try to make some sense of it.

And here is an advertisement published in Israel offering ALL possible versions of Matzot - hand, machine and soft laffa-style - produced under a variety of hashgachot:

Meanwhile, our advice to all is, when considering Matza and all other products that you will be using over Pesach, follow the advice a knowledgeable Rav – one who has no personal ‘conflict of interest’ in any aspect of the product.

And, of course, you will not go wrong by following the Mesorah (traditions) of your parents and grandparents.


  1. One thing is for sure - Satmar News kneed some reporters with some English skills or perhaps stop using google translate.

  2. Yeah, they sure kneed that. Or should that be knead?

    The pot calling the etc etc etc


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