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FAQ for erev Pesach she’Chal b’Shabbat

Nissan 5781 | March 2021

Guide to erev Pesach she’chal b’Shabbat

What should I use for Hamotzi on erev Pesach she’Chal b’Shabbat?


Can I cook with matza meal?

The prohibition against eating matza on erev Pesach only applies to matza that can be used to fulfill the mitzva at the seder. (This is the reason many poskim allow matza ashira on erev Pesach.) When matza is boiled it is generally considered to have lost the identity of matza; therefore cooked/boiled foods made with matza meal, such as matza balls or meatballs – are allowed. (Mishna Berura 444:8) However, there is some question about baking or frying with matza meal and so it should be avoided. (Shevet Ha-Levi 8:117, Rav S. Z. Aurebach cited in Erev Pesach She-Chal b’Shabbat, Rav Tzvi Cohen pg. 207) (Note: If matza meal is used in a baked dish in an incidental way, such as breading for chicken, there is reason to allow it.)

Can I cook chametz for shabbat meals?

Technically, chametz may be eaten until the 4th halachic hour shabbat day, but because it presents many problems there is a widespread custom based on the advice and ruling of many poskim not to cook chametz dishes for shabbat. If you do make chametz wash out the baking dishes and any dishes chametz may stick to before shabbat. Some poskim point out that it is a problem to wash these dishes on Shabbat as there is no need for them it can be considered preparing for after Shabbat, and therefore if there are chametz dishes they should be wiped clean with the hand or a rag before being put away; they should not be washed unless there’s no choice. (Shulchan Aruch, Rema OC 444:3) Therefore, it’s preferable to use disposables for shabbat and either eat outdoors or in a way you can wrap up and sweep up chametz easily and quickly.

(Personal advice from the author – cook Pesachdik food for meals. If you don’t eat kitniyot on Pesach and the thought of another day with only Pesach food is really hard for you – make kitniyot in disposable dishes. It is better not to use Pesachdik dishes for kitniyot before Pesach. Finish kitniyot before sof zman achilat chametz, anything left may be stored and owned somewhere out of the way. (Shut Shevet HaLevi III 31)

(But I really want chametz!

If you want chametz – save it for challah and desserts for Friday night and Shabbat morning, have a small amount available that you know you will finish. Eat it outdoors or over something disposable and try not to make crumbs. In the event you are warming up chametz, which this author does not recommend, do so in disposables, on a surface that will either not be used on Pesach, or is wrapped well in thick aluminum foil. Make sure the chametz is not something that has a chance of leaking.)


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Rabbanit Debbie Zimmerman

Debbie Zimmerman graduated from the first cohort of Hilkhata – Matan’s Advanced Halakhic Institute and is a Halakhic Responder. She is a multi-disciplinary Jewish educator, with over a decade of experience in adolescent and adult education. After completing a BA in Social Work, Debbie studied Tanakh in the Master’s Program for Bible in Matan and Talmud in Beit Morasha.