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Golinkin: Erev Pesach this year falls on Shabbat. How should one go about preparing for the festival and for the Shabbat meals?

A Responsum Regarding Erev Pesach Which Falls on Shabbat1
by Rabbi David Golinkin

“But a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)2

Question: Erev Pesach this year falls on Shabbat. How should one go about preparing for the festival and for the Shabbat meals?

Responsum:

I) The Essential Laws

The situation posed here is a relatively rare one. Erev Pesach fell on a Shabbat only eleven times in the 20th century as well as in 2005. After this year, it will do so again only in 2021 and 2025.3 The essential laws appear below:

1. Fast of the firstborn: According to one opinion cited by R. Yosef Karo, because the fast is postponed, it is postponed altogether and therefore, according to the Sefardic custom, there is no need to fast at all. On the other hand, according to the Rema (R. Moshe Isserles), the fast is moved up to the preceding Thursday and therefore the Ashkenazi custom is to have a siyyum massekhet4 on Thursday, the 12th of Nissan, so that the firstborn may participate in the festive occasion and eat (Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim 470:2; R. Ovadia Yosef, p. 273; R. Alfred Cohen, p. 127).

2. Searching for hametz (leavened bread): The search for hametz is done on Thursday evening, on the eve of the 13th of Nissan, and the hametz is burned on Friday morning (Orah Hayyim 444:1). While it is true that the hametz may be burned all day long – because Friday is not Erev Pesach – it is preferable to burn it before the end of the fifth hour of the day (11:16 a.m., Jerusalem summer time), as is the case every year, so that one does not err the following year (Orah Hayyim 444:2 and R. Ovadia Yosef, p. 273).

3. The Shabbat meals: This is the main problem when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat. On the one hand, according to Rabbi Levi in the Talmud Yerushalmi, matzah may not be eaten on Passover Eve in order to eat the matzat mitzvah (the matzah that we are commanded to eat on the night of the Seder) with a hearty appetite (Yerushalmi Pesahim 10:1, fol. 37b) and the great halakhic authorities ruled accordingly (Rambam, Laws of Hametz and Matzah 6:12, and Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim 471:2 in the Rema). On the other hand, it is difficult to keep challot for hamotzi in the home on Shabbat after all the hametz has been removed. Furthermore, hametz may not be eaten on Shabbat morning – which is Erev Pesach – after the fourth hour of the day (9:56 a.m., Jerusalem summer time).

Indeed, such a situation is mentioned in the Mishnah (Pesahim 3:6 = folio 49a), the Tosefta (Pesahim 3:9, 11, ed. Lieberman, pp. 153-154) and in the Babylonian Talmud (Pesahim 49a, 13a, 20b). But those sources are not sufficiently clear5 and, as a result, five different solutions to this problem have developed.

II) Five Methods Which Have Evolved Throughout the Generations

1. R. Yitzhak ibn Giyyat (Spain, d. 1089) apparently ignored the above-mentioned Yerushalmi and ruled that regular matzah should be eaten at the Shabbat meals. He is cited as follows in Sha’arei Teshuva, No. 93:
Rabbeinu Yitzhak ibn Giyyat wrote: the custom in Lucena was to burn [all hametz] before Shabbat, to bake matzah on Friday and eat it on Shabbat… and after Shabbat, they bake matzah and use it to fulfill the mitzvah.6

R. Yitzhak ibn Giyyat does not give a source for his opinion, but the Rishonim [=early halakhic authorities] already noted the above-mentioned Tosefta: “When the fourteenth falls on Shabbat, [all hametz] is burned before Shabbat and he bakes matzah for himself on Erev Shabbat”. Some of the Rishonim explained that he bakes matzat mitzvah for himself on Erev Shabbat for the Seder on Saturday night.7 However, R. Yitzhak ibn Giyyat, R. Efraim of Kala Hammad, the Rivevan and R. Aharon Hacohen of Lunel explained that he bakes matzah for himself on Erev Shabbat in order to eat it on Shabbat.8 Nevertheless, their opinion has all but disappeared over the generations,9 apparently because there were other interpretations of the Tosefta and because their opinion was contrary to the above-mentioned Yerushalmi.

2. The second method is based on Pesahim 13a: “As it is taught [in a beraita]: when the fourteenth falls on Shabbat, [all hametz] is burned before Shabbat… and some of the…food is left over for two meals that should be eaten before the fourth hour [on Shabbat]…” (and cf. ibid., 49a and 20b). Indeed, this is how the great halakhic authorities ruled (Otzar Ha’geonim to Pesahim, pp. 65-67; Rambam, Laws of Hametz and Matzah 3:3; and Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim 444:1). R. Yosef Karo adds that for seudah shlishit (the third Shabbat meal), matzah ashirah (i.e., enriched matzah or “egg matzah” as it is now called)10 should be used, provided that seudah shlishit is eaten before the tenth hour of the day so that one will have an appetite to eat matzah at the Seder. Likewise, the hametz must be nullified by reciting “Kol hamira v’hami’a” (the Aramic formula for nullifying hametz) on Shabbat morning at the end of the fifth hour (11:15 a.m.), just as it is done every year (Orah Hayyim 444:4, 6).

This method has been in practice for generations, but it causes discomfort. Below is a description of it by R. Hayyim David Halevy, who is actually one of its proponents:
And this is our custom: on Friday, the 13th of Nissan, all of the hametz is burned and all of the utensils used for hametz are concealed as if it was the 14th of Nissan, and all of the cooking for Shabbat is done using Pesach utensils. A small amount of hametz is left over, preferably pitas or rolls that do not make crumbs, and immediately after kiddush [on Friday night], they crowd around a designated corner on a separate table, eat the amount of bread required at a Shabbat meal with vegetable salad and the like, shake out their clothes very well and remove the tablecloth and the table and then they sit down at the main Shabbat table and eat kosher [for Pesach] foods on kosher [for Pesach] dishes and recite birkat hamazon at the conclusion of the meal.

On the following morning, immediately after the services, they eat as described above in a special corner, etc., a regular and full breakfast using disposable plates and cutlery and say birkat hamazon. Afterwards, they destroy the hametz by throwing it in a public place and then recite the normal nullification. In the afternoon, minhah is recited at an early hour (minhah gedolah) and then they eat…seudah shlishit [=the third Shabbat meal], with meat and fish [without bread or matzah]. (Aseh Lekha Rav, Vol. 5, pp. 363-364, and cf. Mekor Hayyim Hashalem, Vol. 4, pp. 76-77).

However, R. Eliyahu Hazzan, when he served as Chief Rabbi of Tripoli, Libya, already noted the difficulties in this method:
This year, 5636 [=1876], Erev Pesach falls on Shabbat and my soul is so anguished over the prohibitions which occurred this Shabbat due to the eating of hametz, because they could not be extremely careful about the crumbs and sweeping the house and the like, and in addition, the joy of Shabbat Hagadol is prevented because they will eat between the stove and the oven and the like; also because on Shabbat they pray at a late hour and we have to worry that the time for nullifying the hametz will pass, God forbid…

It is therefore desirable to seek another method to the problem.

3. Indeed, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef proposed another solution. He suggested using
matzah that has been cooked in chicken or meat soup as follows: after the soup has been cooked, remove it from the burner and, while the soup is still hot enough to burn the hand, put several matzot, enough for one’s needs, in the soup one after the other in such a way that the matzah fully absorbs the taste of the soup, and then it can be used to fulfill the mitzvah of three meals. It is best not to remove the matzot from the soup until it cools off so that the matzot can be removed whole and not fall apart in the soup, so that they can be broken on Shabbat and used for ha’motzi and birkat hamazon… Similarly, he may fry the matzot in oil…

He goes on to say that on Friday night it is permissible to use regular matzah because the prohibition in the Yerushalmi of eating matzah on Erev Pesach does not apply to the night of the 14th (R. Ovadia Yosef, p. 279).

Indeed, from a halakhic perspective, his method is valid, but from a practical point of view, it is hard to accept, because presumably most of the people will not want to engage in the complicated process described above.

4. The fourth method was suggested by R. Ya’akov Bezalel Zolti, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, in 1981. He maintains that the Yerushalmi is only opposed to eating matzah on Erev Pesach if that matzah could be eaten at the Seder. Egg matzah may be eaten on Erev Pesach because it may not be used at the Seder. Similarly, if before baking regular matzah for Pesach, we state explicitly that it is not for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah of eating matzah at the Seder, then it may be eaten on Erev Pesach. He further states that he and Rabbi Elyashiv actually arranged for such matzot to be baked in 1981.

This method is not convincing for two reasons. First of all, it is very ingenious, but ignores the plain meaning of Rabbi Levi’s words in the Yerushalmi. Rabbi Levi is opposed to eating matzah on Erev Pesach because it ruins the taste of the matzah at the seder. Changing our intent when we bake the matzah will not address Rabbi Levi’s concern. Secondly, even if some rabbi arranges to bake such special matzah, most Jews will not have access to it.

5. The fifth method is the simplest and preferred. It is cited by R. Vidal de Toulousa in the Maggid Mishneh (on Laws of Hametz and Matzah 3:3, near the end) and it was even suggested by R. Yosef Karo, who rejected it for technical reasons alone:
And it should not be said that one should destroy [all hametz] before Shabbat and leave nothing and on Shabbat eat matzah ashirah [egg matzah]; since not every person is able to make egg matzah for all three meals, therefore the rabbis did not insist on this (Beit Yosef on Orah Hayyim, paragraph 444, catchword: umah shekatav v’khen hinhig Rashi).

In other words, if it were possible for every person to make egg matzah, R. Yosef Karo would have agreed to this, because egg matzah is neither hametz nor matzat mitzvah which can be used at the seder, and therefore it may be eaten on Erev Pesach (Responsa of the Ribash, No. 402 and Noda B’Yehudah, Orah Hayyim, No. 21). Indeed this was the custom in Izmir, Turkey in the 19th century according to the testimony of Rabbi Haim Palache. He favored the practice, because, if hametz remained, it would be difficult to get rid of the crumbs and a person would also not be able to eat calmly at a carefully laid table with a clean tablecloth and the hametz foods would be cold (Responsa Lev Haim, II, No. 88). This was also the practice followed by the above-mentioned R. Eliyahu Hazzan. He refrained from “imposing on the people to make egg matzah”, but he did disclose his practice to several scholars in the hope that “perhaps in so doing, the custom will work its way into practice”. This was also the practice of R. Yosef b. Walid (Sefer Shemo Yosef, No. 136). Rabbi Moshe Feinstein also preferred this solution in a responsum written in 5714 (1954). He wrote:
Therefore it is good for those who do not wish to leave hametz [in their house] on Shabbat out of concern for possible obstacles that may arise from this, to fulfill the mitzvah of the two Shabbat meals using egg matzah… (R. Moshe Feinstein, p. 274).

He cites the above-mentioned Beit Yosef and explains:
We have seen that it would be appropriate to enact and institute the practice of destroying all hametz before Shabbat… and to fulfill the mitzvah of the Shabbat meals using egg matzah… and therefore those who are able and want to take the trouble to bake egg matzah for the two Shabbat meals, that is preferable…

This approach of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was well-received by various halakhic authorities, such as my grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin z”l, who was the Av Beit Din of Massachusetts for many years; my father and teacher, Rabbi Noah Golinkin z”l; Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Rabbi Alfred Cohen, Rabbi Kassel Abelson and others.11

As for seudah shlishit, it is of course possible to be stringent like the Rema and to eat only fruit or meat and fish. However, here too one may be lenient and use egg matzah because that is what R. Yosef Karo (Orah Hayyim 444:1) ruled in accordance with the custom of Rabbeinu Tam.12 Rabbi Yehezkel Landau (1713-1793) ruled in the Noda B’Yehudah (Orah Hayyim, No. 21) “that it is permissible to eat [egg matzah on Erev Pesach] all day if there is a small need, even if it is not for a sick or elderly person”. Therefore, it is permissible to eat egg matzah even at seudah shlishit.

III) Conclusion

In conclusion, on Erev Pesach which falls on Shabbat one may not eat regular matzah and it is difficult to eat hametz. As a result, five possible solutions were proposed throughout the generations. In our day, it is preferable to adopt the fifth method. One should search for hametz on Thursday night, burn and nullify the hametz on Friday morning (R. Ovadia Yosef, p. 279) and eat egg matzah at all of the Shabbat meals.

Notes

1. This is an English translation of a Hebrew responsum written in 5754 (1994) which appeared in the Responsa of the Va’ad Halakhah of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, Vol. 5 (5752-5754), pp. 109-116; that responsum can be accessed at www.responsafortoday.com. In this version, we have expanded the bibliography and added the approach of Rabbi Zolti. My thanks to Rabbi Guillermo Bronstein of Lima, Peru, who sent me a copy of Rabbi Zolti’s article. This version was published on the internet as “Insight Israel” in April 2005 and subsequently appeared in my book Insight Israel: The View from Schechter, second series, The Schechter Institute, Jerusalem, 2006, pp. 97-113. It is being reprinted here in order to help our readers prepare for Pesach.

2. This responsum is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather Rabbi Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin z”l (1884-1974) and my father Rabbi Noah Golinkin z”l (1913-2003), both of whom wrote responsa on this topic – see the Bibliography and Appendices below.

3. 1903, 1910, 1923, 1927, 1930, 1950, 1954, 1974, 1977, 1981, 1994 – see Rabbi Noah Golinkin below in Appendix B. (All references cited appear below after the notes.)

4. A celebration upon completion of a tractate of Mishnah or Talmud or another classic Jewish work. For the history of this ceremony, see my responsum “On the Siyyum for the Firstborn on Passover Eve,” Et La’asot, No. 1 (Summer 5748), pp. 88-102 (Hebrew).

5. See all the opinions cited by R. Saul Lieberman, pp. 523-526 and by R. Hillel Hyman, pp. 207-210.

6. R. Yitzhak ibn Giyyat’s opinion is also cited in the Ra’abad’s hassagot to the Ba’al Ha’maor on Pesahim, end of chapter one (and cf. Temim Dei’im, No. 245) and in an abridged version in the Ittur, Hilkhot Bi’ur Hametz, fol. 122a.

7. See R. Saul Lieberman, p. 525, for the Rishonim who interpreted it in this manner.

8. The Ra’abad cited the Tosefta as R. Yitzhak ibn Giyyat’s source. R. Efraim ruled this way in practice based on the Tosefta – see the Ittur, Hilkhot Bi’ur Hametz, fol. 121d = Israel Schepansky, Rabbeinu Efraim, Jerusalem, 5736, pp. 231-232. See also the Rivevan on Pesahim in Talpiyot 6 (5715), pp. 585, 590 and Orhot Hayyim, Hilkhot Hametz u’Matzah, end of paragraph 78, fol. 73d. This method is also cited in Sefer Hamikhtam on Pesahim, Sukkah and Mo’ed Kattan, ed. Blau, New York, 5719, pp. 65-66 and in the Maggid Mishneh on Hilkhot Hametz u’Matzah 3:3, near the end. Most of these opinions were cited by R. Lieberman, p. 524.

9. For several Ahronim who rule this way, see R. Zvi Cohen, p. 55.

10. Matzah ashirah is matzah made with fruit juice or eggs instead of water (Orah Hayyim 462:1, 4).

11. See R. Zvi Cohen, pp. 58-60, for other halakhic authorities who felt this way.

12. Rabbeinu Tam’s practice is cited with variations in many places including Or Zaru’a, part two, fol. 59d; Tosafot on Pesahim 35b, catchword mei peirot; Tosefot on Pesahim 99b, catchword lo; Orhot Hayyim, Hilkhot Shabbat 63a at the bottom and Hilkhot Hametz u’Matzah, paragraph 79; Tur Orah Hayyim, paragraph 444; Hagahot Maimoniyot on Hilkhot Hametz u’Matzah, chapter 6, note 9 and chapter 3, note 2; Responsa of the Rosh, rule 14, paragraph 5; and a responsum of the Maharam cited in the Responsa of the Rashba Attributed to the Ramban, No. 210.

Bibliography

R. Kassel Abelson, “When Passover Begins on Saturday Night,” December 1993

R. Guillermo Bronstein, Cuando el Seder de Pesaj Cae Motzaei Shabat, Lima, Peru, April 2001; second edition, April 2005

R. Alfred Cohen, “Erev Pesach on Shabbat,” Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, No. XXVI (Fall 1993), pp. 110-120 with additions ibid., No. XXVII (Spring 1994), pp. 123-125

R. Zvi Cohen, Erev Pesach Shehal B’Shabbat U’Purim Hameshulash, new edition, Tel Aviv, 5737, pp. 55-62

R. Moshe Feinstein, Sefer Iggerot Moshe, Orah Hayyim, Part 1, No. 155

R. Gedalia Felder, Yesodei Yeshurun, Vol. 6, New York, 1985, pp. 91-100

R. Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin, A Responsum Regarding Erev Pesach which Falls on Shabbat, Erev Shabbat Shira 5734

R. Noah Golinkin, “When the First Seder Occurs on Saturday Night,” Beineinu, Vol. VII, No. 3 (February 1977), pp. 6-9

R. Shlomo Goren, Yalkut Dinei Erev Pesach Shehal Lihiyot B’Shabbat Ve’hilkhot U’minhagim Le’hag Hapesach Labayit Ve’lamishpaha, Jerusalem, Nissan 5734, pp. 7-10; and Torat Hashabbat Ve’hamoed, Jerusalem, 5742, pp. 155-167

R. David Greenberger, Erev Pesach Shehal B’Shabbat, Jerusalem, 5730

R. Hayyim David Halevy, Aseh Lekha Rav, vol. 5, pp. 363-364, and Makor Hayyim Hashalem, vol. 4, pp. 76-77

R. Hayyim Hausdorf, Kuntress Davar B’itto, Yaffo-Tel Aviv, 1923

R. Eliyahu Hazzan, Responsa Ta’alumot Halev, Vol. 1, Livorno, 5639, Orah Hayyim section, No. 4

R. Hillel Hyman, Sefer Hilkhot HaRif… al Massekhet Pesach Rishon, Jerusalem, 5750, pp. 207-210

R. Menachem Mendel Kasher, Haggadah Sheleimah, 3rd edition, Jerusalem, 1967, pp. 179-196

R. Yehezkel Landau, Noda B’Yehudah, Mahadura Kama, Orah Hayyim No. 21

R. Saul Lieberman, Tosefta Kifeshuta, Vol. 4, Seder Mo’ed, New York, 5722, pp. 523-526

R. Haim Palache, Responsa Lev Hayyim, Vol. 2, Izmir, 5629, No. 88

“A Statement on Pesach Observance,” The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, February 6, 1974

R. Moshe Sternbruch, Dinei U’minhagei Erev Pesach Shehal B’Shabbat, Jerusalem, 5734

R. Gabriel Tzinner, Nitey Gavriel – Pesach: Hilkhot Erev Pesach Shehal B’Shabbat, Brooklyn, 5754

R. Yosef Walid, Sefer Shemo Yosef, Jerusalem, 5667, paragraph 136

R. Ovadia Yosef, Responsa Yehaveh Da’at, Vol. 1, paragraph 91; and Sefer Hazon Ovadia: Haggadah Shel Pesah, Jerusalem, 1979, pp. 93-96

R. Yitzhak Yosef, Yalkut Yosef, Vol. 5, Jerusalem, 1988, pp. 375-378

R. Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad, Ben Ish Hai, Year One, end of Parashat Tzav

R. Shlomo Yosef Zevin, Mahanayim 21 (Erev Pesach 5714), pp. 17-18

R. Ya’akov Bezalel Zolti, Madrikh Kashrut: Pesach 5741, Jerusalem, 5741, pp. 15-23
_____________________________________________________________________

Appendix A

A Responsum by Rabbi Mordechai Ya’akov Golinkin z”l
(translated from the Hebrew)

Rabbi M. J. Golinkin Rabbi of Worcester, Mass.
6 Tahanto Road. (previously, Rav Hakolel in Zhitomir
Telephone 754-3972 and Danzig)

B”H, Erev Shabbat Shirah, 5734 [=1974]
To my esteemed colleagues, members of the Rabbinical Council of the state of Massachusetts, shlit”a

Shalom u’vrakhah!

Regarding your question concerning the meals on Erev Pesach this year, which falls on Shabbat, in order to avoid various obstacles.

My advice regarding this matter is to set out the two meals, on Friday night and Shabbat morning, using kosher-for-Pesach foods and utensils. And since eating matzah on Erev Pesach is forbidden, as it is written, one who eats matzah on Erev Pesach, etc. (Yerushalmi Pesahim, Chapter 10), this prohibition refers to matzot which enable a person to fulfill the obligation of “and you shall eat matzot at night” (Exodus 12:18). But egg matzah may be eaten on Erev Pesach, and this was the practice of Rabbeinu Tam (Pesahim 35b, Tosafot, catchword mei peirot, and Pesahim 99b, Tosafot, catchword lo).

And so ruled the Noda B’Yehudah in Mahadura Kama, No. 21 in Orah Hayyim; and Sha’arei Teshuva Orah Hayyim, paragraph 444, section 1, cites and agrees with him, apparently. And the practice of taking the strict approach with regard to egg matzah and not allowing it except for the elderly and the ill – this is a stringency for the days of Pesach. But on Erev Pesach, egg matzah is permitted even for the healthy, and not just for the ill and elderly, up until midday. And seudah shlishit can consist of fruits and the like.

Iggerot Moshe, Orah Hayyim, No. 155 regarding the blessings recited over egg matzah at the Shabbat meals, rules that ha’motzi lehem min ha’aretz should be said, followed by birkat hamazon afterward. And his reason is that pat [haba’a b’kisnin] requires the blessing of ha’motzi and birkat hamazon if it is used as the main dish at a fixed meal; and Shabbat meals which require bread – there is nothing more fixed than that. I also saw this opinion in Sha’arei Teshuvah 168 subparagraph 9, cited in the name of a well-known early authority, that the Shabbat meal establishes a meal in the same way that Shabbat determines ma’aser.

In my view, it is worthwhile to explain that the matzah of Pesach is the bread of a poor man, while matzah ashirah [=egg matzah] is the bread of the wealthy. And on Pesach we say “Like this bread of affliction” – bread which does not contain eggs, oil or honey and the like.

With friendship and respect and good wishes for a full and speedy redemption,

[signature cut off]

___________________________________________________________________

Appendix B

A Responsum by Rabbi Noah Golinkin z”l
which appeared in Beinenu 7/3 (February 1977), pp. 6-9

When the First Seder Occurs on Saturday Night
by Noah Golinkin

This forthcoming Pesach will present an unusual situation for Jewish housewives. The first night of Pesach will occur on Saturday night and that will create some problems. Before presenting the problems, let me make these historical observations.

The Frequency of the Occurrence
1. The last time we had a similar situation was three years ago in the Jewish year 5734 (1974).
2. From the beginning of the 20th century until today, it occurred only eight times (in 1903, 1910, 1923, 1927, 1930, 1950, 1954 and 1974).
3. Until the end of this century it will happen again two times (in 1981 and 1994).
4. Many people are taken by surprise. They believe that such an occurrence on the calendar is not possible and they have no recall how it was done the last time it happened.

And Here Are the Questions
I. How and when do you prepare for the holiday?
II. What meals do you eat on the Friday night and Saturday morning preceding Pesach?

Question One – The Answers
I. The Answers to Question One are relatively simple:
1. All cleaning and preparations for Passover are completed before candle lighting on Friday.
2. The Siyum for the firstborn sons is moved back two days – since a fast for the firstborn cannot be held either Saturday or Friday. The Siyum is held on Thursday morning.
3. The search for Hametz – B’dikat Hametz – is held one evening earlier than usual – on Thursday evening.
4. The burning of the crumbs gathered at B’dikat Hametz should take place on Friday.

Question Two
II. The answers to Question Two are not that easy. There are a number of problems. In order to observe the Sabbath properly, one must make the Hamotzi blessing and recite the Grace after the Meal, at the Friday night supper and Saturday lunch.
Over what do you make Hamotzi, over Matzah or over Hallah?
1. You cannot make it over Matzah, because according to the Palestinian Talmud, you must not eat Matzah on the day preceding Pesach.
2. Theoretically, you can make it over bread, but:
a. The Hametz meal must be completed around 10:00 a.m. (depending on geographic location).
b. In order to do that, Sabbath services must be started extremely early in the morning, but not while it is still dark. It would have to be conducted in an unseemly hurry. In our time, this is neither practically feasible nor religiously desirable. Can we and should we get a Shabbat minyan at that time? Or shall we pray at home and hang a sign on the synagogue door: “Closed in honor of Pesach”?
c. In addition, you’ll have to use and to clean Hametz dishes and the Hametz table on Shabbat, when the entire house is already Pesachdig. You are not allowed to leave the tiniest particle of Hametz, yet thorough cleaning is improper on the Sabbath. So what do you do?
d. Shall we have a full Pesachdig meal and have the Hallah in a special corner of the table? Wouldn’t that be awkward and confusing? What would it do for the spirit of the Sabbath at the table? How careful can one be in separating the Hametzdig food from the Pesachdig?

Ancient Wisdom
Some of the above and other solutions were acceptable in the past, but they would rightly be considered unacceptable today to the partially observant Jewish family and even to the fully observant. Yet the solution is simple. [It is based on the practice of] a great scholar, Rabbenu Tam, who lived 800 years ago. It has been recommended by a famous authority, Rabbi Yehezekel Landau, 200 years ago, and was confirmed [in the nineteenth century by Rabbi Hayyim Mordechai Margaliot].

The Solution
1. Use Egg Matzah for the Hamotzi and
2. Have completely Pesachdig meals both Friday night and Saturday morning.
Egg Matzah has two advantages: It is permitted to be eaten Erev Pesach (precisely because it is not supposed to be eaten on the night of the Seder) and you can make Hamotzi over it when you eat it with a regular meal.

The result: Instead of the Saturday Erev Pesach becoming the greatest of all the many headaches of Pesach preparations, this solution presents the housewife with a gift – a day of Shabbat relaxation before the arrival of the Seder.

Legal Detective Work
In order to meet the needs of our congregation, I consulted a host of the available sources on the subject and found all of them un-satisfactory in the practical terms of contemporary life. Then I wrote an 8-page dissertation to my father, Rabbi Mordecai Golinkin of Worcester, who is head of the Orthodox Rabbinic Court of the Associated Synagogues of Massachusetts. By return mail came the answer: Egg Matzah.

Finding relevant Jewish answers for today from ancient Jewish sources requires profound wisdom and wide-ranging knowledge. From Rabbenu Tam, Rabbi Landau, [Rabbi Margaliot] to the Bet-Din of Massachusetts – what a beautiful intellectual journey.

Discussion of the Sources
The basic source references on using Matzah Ashira on Erev Pesach are contained in the T’shuva of Rabbi Mordecai Golinkin. I wish to add a number of aspects that underlie the T’shuva but haven’t been specifically pointed out.
I. Egg Matzah (Matzah Ashira) may be eaten until the “tenth hour” (Sha’ah Z’manit) – approximately two hours before sunset or the appearance of stars; that means even for Seudah Sh’lishit – according to:
a. main text of Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, 444.
b. Lubavitcher Shulchan Aruch of R. Shneur Zalman of Lyadi 444, paragraph 1.
II. The Rema – because it is not customary to use Matzah Ashira at all in these countries – recommends fruit, meat or fish for Shalosh Seudot instead.
III. The Noda Biyehudah, No. 21 points out that the basic disagreement about Matzah Ashirah is whether or not to use it on Pesach itself. There is no opinion against eating Matzah Ashirah on Erev Pesach. The Noda Biyehudah concludes that until midday Erev Pesach it is permitted unquestionably to eat Matzah Ashirah. And whoever permits all day, does not do anything improper, as long as there is some need for it (and not just for the old or the sick). The Noda Biyehudah makes it clear that the reason he suggests midday at all is because he is convinced that even the Rema would have permitted Matzah Ashirah until midday.
IV. Lubavitcher Shulchan Aruch 444, paragraph 3, indicated that in these countries people do not customarily eat Matzah Ashira after the “fifth hour”.
V. Iggerot Moshe (R. Moshe Feinstein) recommends Matzah Ashirah on Erev Pesach, but again suggests a cut-off at the “fifth hour”. Iggerot Moshe makes a special case that Matzah Ashirah warrants both Hamotzi and Birkat Hamazon, and will therefore serve the purpose of the Friday night meal and the Saturday lunch.

Observations by Noah Golinkin
I. Matzah Ashirah is not Hametzdig. In our countries, Matzah Ashirah is being produced under strict Rabbinic supervision for use on Pesach. The only time not to use it is for the Seder because it is not Lachma Anya. And this is precisely why Rabbenu Tam, Noda Biyehudah and Sha’are T’shuvah recommend it for Erev Pesach.
II. There is a general concern of the Halacha about eating too much too late on Erev Pesach and spoiling the appetite for the Seder and for the matzah shel mitzvah.
III. In my humble opinion I would recommend, as a token of the above concern, to hold services (and consequently the meal) one half-hour earlier than usual and eat a little less elaborately than usual, but otherwise serve everything Pesachdig and hold the service and the meal in a relaxed atmosphere.

Conclusion
Holding Pesachdig meals with Matzah Ashirah is based on very solid traditional sources and yet it is breaking new ground. It would be a psychologically and aesthetically satisfying experience for the observant family. It would also make them see how the tradition is providing interpretations and solutions that respond to our needs. The Noda Biyehudah and [Sha’are Teshuvah] dare to provide a “different” solution that is halachically unimpeachable, sensible, simple and convenient.