Ask the Rabbi

  • Shabbat and Holidays
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Surgery and Pesach food


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Nisan 5, 5776
I had a large abdominal surgery where 70% of my liver was removed due to a benign tumor on it, one week ago and am worried of what i will eat on Pesach. I am in a lot of pain and my bowel movements are not rgulated yet. I was wondering if I have a chiyuv to eat the correct matza amounts at the seder as I cannot eat so much. I also would be interested to onow if egg matza is recomended as it is softer and easier to digest. We are ashkenazi but could I have a heter to eat rice or beans?
ב"ה Shalom Firstly, you should have a complete and speedy recovery. Secondly, you should to an orthodox doctor who is aware of the importance of Pessach and find out what you may eat. Once you have this information, you can choose the right thing what to do. A. As far as eating the correct amounts of Matza at the seder, according to the guidelines of the sefer Peninei Halacha, you may do the following. 1.For the first mitzvah of eating matza, where we have the obligation of having 2 "kzeitim", you should eat two thirds of a machine matza, and for korech and afikoman , you may suffice with a fifth of a machine matza for each. 2. if this is too difficult, you may suffice with one third of a matza, for the first mitzvah of eating matza and then another 2/5 as said before. 3. If eating the matza as is, is difficult you may crush the matza on Shabbat , the night of the seder,with a knife or fork (שמירת שבת כהלכתה פרק ו:יא ) but not with something made especially to crush, and eat it as crumbs. (ביאור הלכה תסא:ד) 4. If the dry matza is does not suit you, you may soak in water or another liquid as long as you don’t cook it. (משנה ברורה תסא, יח); This halacha only applies to someone who is not well. B. Egg matza should not be used for the seder night, however for the rest of Pessach, someone who is not well may eat egg matza.( (רמ"א או"ח תסב ד; קיצושו"ע קיז ו C. Kitniyot: If you cannot manage without kitniyot, that according to Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata שמירת שבת כהלכתה (א) / פרק מ: ס"פ) ) you may have kitniyot. However, of course the kitniyot must be from an authorized kashrut agency, and it the rice should be checked and placed into the pot after the water has boiled. You should also set aside special dishes for the kitniyot. All the best. Refu'ah shleima and a happy and kosher Pessach.
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