Halachos of The Pesach Seder

The following contains halachic guidance concerning some of the common issues that arise when conducting a Pesach Seder. In particular, it discusses preparation for the Seder, the four cups of wine, and the obligation to eat matzah, Maror, Koreich and Afikomen. This is by no means comprehensive. For a more comprehensive guide, see HaSeder HaAruch by Rabbi Moshe Yaakov Weingarten (three volumes, 1431 pages).

Preparations for the Seder

A person should complete all of the necessary preparations for the Seder on Erev Pesach to enable him to start the Seder without delay.1 (If Erev Pesach falls on Shabbos, he cannot prepare for the Seder on Erev Pesach since he may not prepare for Yom Tov on Shabbos.)

The following preparations should be made prior to Yom Tov:

  1. If meat or chicken will be eaten at the Seder, it may not be roasted. Meat or chicken cooked with a quarter inch or more of water at the bottom of a pot is not considered to be roasted and may be eaten at the Seder.2
  2. If horseradish is being used for Maror, it should be grated. 3 If one forgot to do this, then he may grate it on Yom Tov if he employs a shinuyand grates in an unusual manner, such as grating it onto the table rather than onto a plate.4
  3. If lettuce leaves are being used for Maror, they should be checked to ensure that they are not harboring insects.5 To check romaine lettuce leaves, one method is to separate the leaves, soak them in water, and then make a thorough leaf-by-leaf inspection. Any insects which are found must be removed. See here for detailed checking instructions. Alternatively, he may use romaine stalks for Maror instead of the leaves.6 To do this, he should remove the leaves from the stalks and rinse them under a strong stream of water, while rubbing the stalks during the rinsing. No further checking is required.
  4. Prepare the Karpas vegetable and the salt water into which it will be dipped.7 Any vegetable may be used for Karpas, except those which may be used for Maror.8 However, the custom is to use celery,9 radishes,10 or cooked potatoes.11
  5. Prepare the charoses.12 The ingredients for charoses typically include grated apples, almonds and other nuts,13 cinnamon, ginger, and red wine.14 The charoses should have the texture of apple sauce.15
  6. The bone which will be used for the z’roa on the Seder plate should be roasted over a fire, as was done to the Korban Pesach.16 Some people first boil the z’roa and then singe it over a flame.17 It is preferable to use the forearm of an animal or bird, which is the z’roa bone.18 The equivalent limb of a chicken is the part of the wing that is directly attached to the body.19 The z’roa must have some meat on the bone.20 It may not be eaten on Seder night because we do not eat roasted meat at the Seder.21 The meat of the z’roa (which has been cooked before Yom Tov) should ideally be eaten on the second day of Yom Tov, as it is not proper to dispose of thez’roa in an unfitting manner.22
  7. Boil and then roast the egg to be used on the Seder plate.23 A person whose custom is to eat eggs at the Seder meal should also prepare these eggs.24
  8. Open the wine bottles to be used at theSeder. In particular, wine bottles that have a screw cap should be opened before Yom Tov.25 One should also open the boxes of matzah that will be needed for the first days of Yom Tov.26
  9. Children should rest so that they will be awake during the Seder.27 If possible, adults should also rest.28
  10. Set the Seder table with elegant dishes and arrange the chairs which will be used for leaning.29 Even though throughout the year one should minimize luxury as a zecher l’churban, on Seder night it is appropriate to use the finest dishes available.30 Some people have a custom that the husband arranges theKe’ara.31 There were gedolim who insisted on personally setting the table for the Seder.32
  11. Prepare the Ke’ara. There are differing customs as to the layout of the various components of the Ke’ara. One prevalent custom is that of the Arizal.33 According to this minhag, beginning at the top of the Ke’ara is the z’roa, which is placed on the upper right side of the Ke’ara, and thebeitza which is placed on the upper left side. The Maror is placed in the middle of theKe’ara, with the charoses underneath and to the right, and the karpas underneath and to the left. The chazeres is placed closest to the leader of the Seder, at the bottom of theKe’ara. Three matzos are placed either underneath or outside the Ke’ara,34 next to the z’roa andbeitza.35
  12. Another custom is that of the Rama.36 According to this minhag, the karpas and salt water are placed nearest the leader of the Seder with the matzah above them, the maror and charosesabove the matzah, and the beitza and z’roa above them furthest from the leader of the Seder. There are other customs regarding the arrangement of the items on the Ke’ara. The Gra37and Maharal38 each have differing customs. A person should follow his own particular minhag.Some have the custom to place a covering between each of the three matzos, while others do not.39 The matzos should be covered before Kiddush.40 Often, families that join together for the Seder have the custom of providing a separate Ke’ara for the head of each individual household.41
  13. Make an Eruv Tavshilin, if necessary. One should take a baked item such as matzah and a cooked item42 such as fish, meat or an egg.43 He should hold the items44 and recite the text found in the Siddur. The Eruv Tavshilin should not be eaten until all of the preparations for Shabbos are completed.45 It is customary to eat the Eruv Tavshilin at Shalosh Seudos.46

The Four Cups

One is required to drink four cups of wine at the Seder;47 women have the same obligation as men.48 If a person drinks four cups of wine in a row, he is not yotzei this mitzvah.49 Rather, he must recite the Haggadah and drink each of the Arba Kosos at the appropriate point.50 For this reason, he may not drink the fourth cup immediately after the third cup.51 A woman should make sure that she either recites the Haggadah herself or hears the leader of theSeder recite the Haggadah, so that she will be able to drink the Arba Kososat the appropriate times.52

The cup should hold the measurement of a revi’is of wine.53 According to Rav Chaim Noeh, a revi’is is calculated at 86 cubic centimeters of wine (אירטמיגב סוכ),54 which is equivalent to slightly less than 3 fl. oz. According to the Chazon Ish, it equals 150 cubic centimeters of wine (ןוגה סוכ אירטמיג) which is equivalent to slightly more than 5 fl. oz.55 Based on the ruling of the Mishnah Berurah, Rav Heinemann, shlit”a,56 states that it is necessary to use a cup which holds 3.8 fluid ounces.57

Ideally, a person should drink arevi’isof wine.58 Some opinions state that if the cup holds more than arevi’ishe should drink the entire cup;59 others dispute this.60 If it is difficult to drink an entirerevi’is of wine, one should drink slightly more than half the cup.61 If a person has difficulty drinking four cups of wine, he should make sure that he has a cup that holds exactly a revi’is so that he will need to drink only slightly more than half arevi’is.62 For the fourth cup, he should either drink enough wine to be able to recite a brachaacharona himself or have someone be motzi him.63

It is preferable to drink the majority of the revi’isat one time.64 If a person cannot do so, he should at least drink the majority of the revi’is within kedei shti’asrevi’is,65 which is approximately half a minute.66

An alcoholic wine should be used for the Arba Kosos.67 The wine can be diluted with grape juice.68
Rav Heinemann, shlit”a, is of the opinion that the resulting mixture should contain at least 4% alcohol.69 Therefore, wine which has 12% alcohol content can be diluted into ⅓ wine and ⅔ grape juice or water. Alternatively, it can be diluted into ⅓ wine, ⅓ grape juice, and ⅓ water.70 If a person cannot drink wine, then he can use grape juice for the four cups.71 Some people may have difficulty tolerating both wine and grape juice. A person who will become incapacitated is not obligated to drink the Arba Kosos.72

Red wine should be used for the Seder.73 Throughout the year, it is preferable not to use cooked wine for Kiddush; the same is true for the Seder.74 This is because uncooked wine tastes better than cooked wine.75 It is debatable as to whether pasteurized wine has the same status as cooked wine in this regard.76

A child who has reached the age of chinuch, about five or six years old,77should also be given Arba Kosos to drink;78 however, it is not essential to do so.79A child does not need to drink a full revi’is of wine or grape juice and should instead drink meloh lugmav, the amount of wine he can hold in his cheeks.80 It is customary to give Arba Kosos even to younger children, although they can be given a minimal amount of grape juice.81

When drinking the first cup, a person should have in mind that he is fulfilling the obligations of both Kiddush and the first of the Arba Kosos.82

A man should drink the Arba Kosos while leaning to his left side.83 If he did not lean while drinking the first, third or fourth kos he should not drink that kos a second time.84 If he did not lean while drinking the second kos, he should drink another kos during the meal while leaning to his left side.85

Both men and women are commanded by the Torah to eat matzah at the Seder.86 A child who has reached the age of chinuch should also be given matzah to eat at the Seder.87

The matzos being used for the mitzvah should be shmura matzos. This is matzah that has been watched since the harvesting of the wheat to ensure that nothing has occurred which might cause it to become chometz.88 Many people have the custom to use only hand-baked matzos for this mitzvah; others use machine matzos.89

A person must eat one kezayis of matzah at theSeder.90 The Steipler Gaon91 and Rav Dovid Feinstein, zt”l,92 write that ideally one should eat ⅔ of a machine matzah or the equivalent volume of hand-baked matzah. Upon experimentation, Rav Heinemann, shlit”a, found that half of a machine matzah contains the volume of matzah necessary for a kezayis.93

In 5780/2020, Rav Heinemann, shlit”a, conducted extensive testing to calculate the volume of Pupa Tzelem hand matzah equivalent to a kezayis. He waterproofed matzos and performed water displacement testing to determine their volume.94 Furthermore, Rav Heinemann reviewed results of 3-D scan measurements carried out on behalf of STAR-K for this project. The matzos tested were packaged ten to a pound.

This measurement found that the segment of hand matzah containing the volume of a kezayis was larger than the fraction given in previous years. Possibly, this is due to hand matzos being thinner than in the past. It was determined that half of a Pupa Tzelem hand matzah contains the volume of matzah necessary for a kezayis. Other brands of matzah may produce different results.

A person who has difficulty chewing may crush the kezayis of matzah before eating it.95 If necessary, he may also soak the matzah in water to facilitate eating the kezayis.96 When appropriate, a person with a medical condition which could be negatively impacted by consumption of this amount of matzah may eat a smaller portion of matzah. One should consult his rav as to whether he falls in this category. Measurements suitable for such individuals are listed on here.

The kezayis of matzah should be eaten within the time span of kedei achilas pras.97 The kezayis should preferably be eaten within two minutes.98 If this cannot be done, it should at least be eaten within three99 or four minutes.100 A man should eat the matzah while leaning to his left side.101 If he did not do so, he should eat another kezayis without another bracha while leaning to his left side.102

After everyone at the Seder has finished washingNetilas Yadayim and returned to the table, the leader of the Seder should take the three matzos in front of him and recite the bracha of Hamotzi. The top and bottom matzos, which are both whole, will serve as the lechem mishneh.103 If feasible, he should then set down the bottom matzah and recite the bracha of Al Achilas Matzah while holding the top and broken middle matzos.104 He should then give each person at the Seder a kezayis, including within thekezayis some of the top and middle matzos over which the bracha has been made.105

A person should preferably chew thematzah without swallowing, until he has akezayis of matzah in his mouth, and then swallow the kezayis at one time.106 Regarding this, one may rely upon the more lenient measurements of a kezayis, which calculate it as being less than ¼ of a machine matzah.107

People who find it impractical to swallow an entire kezayis at one time should instead eat the kezayis in the normal manner, which includes some of the top and broken middle matzos over which the bracha has been made.108

The Shulchan Aruch brings an opinion that one should eat a kezayis from the top matzah followed by a secondkezayis from the broken middle matzah.109However, a person who fulfills the requirement of eating akezayis by eating the size of half of a machinematzah is actually eating two kezaysim, when calculated according to the more lenient measurements of a kezayis.110 It is, therefore, sufficient to eat the size of half of a machine matzah in order to comply with the opinion that suggests eating twokezaysim.111

Before eating, a person should have in mind that he is about to perform the mitzvah of eating matzah.112 When reciting or hearing the bracha of Al Achilas Matzah, he should also have in mind the eating of the Afikomen.113

Maror

Nowadays, in the absence of the Korban Pesach, it is no longer a Torah requirement to eat maror at theSeder; however, there is a rabbinic obligation to do so.114 This obligation applies equally to men and women.115

Children who have reached the age of chinuch should also be givenmarorto eat, just like an adult.116

A person may use romaine lettuce for Maror,117 although it must be checked before Pesach to ensure that it does not harbor insects.118 He may use either the leaves or the lettuce stalks for Maror.119 The lettuce does not need to be bitter,120although there is an opinion that the lettuce must have some element of bitter taste.121 Some people have the custom not to use lettuce for Maror.122

Raw horseradish may also be used for Maror.123 It is customary that people who use lettuce for Maror put some horseradish on the lettuce, although it is not necessary to do so.124 There is no need to use a lot of horseradish for this.125

Themarorshould be dipped into charoses, and the excess charoses shaken off.126 A person must eat a kezayis of maror.127 The amount of lettuce which will displace 25 cm³ of water would constitute akezayis, according to Rav Chaim Noeh.128 This is equivalent to slightly less than 1 fl. oz. According to the Chazon Ish129 and Rav Dovid Feinstein, zt”l,130 one should take 1.1 fl. oz. of lettuce forMaror. Rav Heinemann, shlit”a, is of the opinion that a person should take 1 fl. oz. of lettuce.131 One large lettuce leaf or two large stalks displaces approximately 1 fl. oz. of water.132
The kezayis of maror should be eaten within the time span of kedei achilas pras.133 The kezayis should preferably be eaten within two minutes.134 If this cannot be done, it should at least be eaten within three135 or four minutes.136 One does not lean when eating the maror.137

Koreich

The leader of the Seder should take the remaining bottom matzah and use it to give each person at the Seder a portion of Koreich.138 It is customary to prepare Koreich with two pieces of matzah sandwiching some Maror.139 The maror could be dipped into charoses, and the excess charoses shaken off.140 Some have the custom not to dip themarorinto charoses for Koreich.141

A person should eat one kezayis of matzah and one kezayis of marorfor Koreich,142 and measure the kezayis of maror as described above.143 For the kezayis of matzah, it is sufficient to take half of the volume of matzah. 144 Therefore, following the larger measurement as described above, one should eat ¼ of a Pupa Tzelem hand matzah .145

Before eating Koreich, one should recite the paragraph, ‘וכוללהכ שדקמל רכז.146Some suggest saying this paragraph after one has started to eat Koreich.147A man should consume Koreich while leaning to his left side;148 if he did not do so, he does not need to eat another portion.149From the time a person recites the bracha over the matzah until he eats the Koreich portion, it is preferable not to discuss matters unrelated to the eating of the matzah, Maror, Koreich and the Sedermeal.150

Afikomen

The leader of the Seder should give each person at the Seder a kezayisof matzah,151including within the kezayis some of the remaining half of the middle matzah.152 Ideally, he should take the same volume of matzah as was used for the initial eating of matzah at the Seder.153

A man should eat the Afikomen while leaning to his left side.154 If he did not lean and has not started Birchas Hamazon, he should eat the Afikomena second time, providing that it is not too difficult for him to do so.155 If he has started Birchas Hamazon, he should not wash and eat the Afikomen again.156

Chazaldebate as to whether the Afikomen may be eaten all night long or by chatzos, halachic midnight. In order to fulfill both opinions, one must be careful to eat the Afikomen before chatzos.157 After eating the Afikomen, one may not consume other food.158

Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, states that according to both opinions of Chazal, a person may not eat other food for the duration of the night.159 He also may not drink wine or fruit juice, with the exception of the remaining two cups of theArba Kosos;160 he may drink water161 or tea.162

It has been argued that, according to the opinion that the Afikomen must be eaten by chatzos, the prohibition against consuming additional food also ends at chatzos.163 If so, when chatzosis approaching and a person has not yet finished his meal, he may eat a kezayis of matzah and verbally state the following: “If the correct opinion is that one may eat theAfikomen until chatzos, then this matzahshould be regarded as the Afikomen; however, if one has all night to eat the Afikomen, then it should not be regarded as such.” He may eat the matzah, wait until chatzos, and then continue his meal. After the meal, he should eat another kezayis of matzah and state the following: “If the correct opinion is that one has all night to eat the Afikomen, then thismatzahshould be regarded as the Afikomen; but, if the Afikomenmust be eaten before chatzos, then it should not be regarded as such.”164 However, Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, rejects this position and states that the Afikomen must simply be eaten before chatzos.165

Conclusion of The Seder

After eating the Afikomen, the third cup of wine is poured and Birchas Hamozon is recited. If there is a zimun present, it is customary for the baal habayis to lead the bentching.166 After drinking the third cup, the Kos Shel Eliyahu is filled;167 others fill it at the start of the Seder.168 The fourth cup of wine is poured and held during the recital of Sh’foch Chamoscha;169 others pour the fourth cup after Sh’foch Chamoscha.170 It is customary to stand and open the door of the house for the recital of Sh’foch Chamoscha.171

The second portion of Hallel is then recited. If three adult males are present, the pesukim following, “Hodu l’Hashem ki tov ki l’olam chasdo” should be recited responsively as is done when Hallel is said in shul, with the leader of the Seder calling and the others responding. If no guests are present, the person leading the Seder should initiate and his wife and children should respond.172Nusach Sephard concludes Hallel at the beginning of the final paragraph “Ye’halelucha”.173Nusach Ashkenaz recites the paragraph and conclude Hallel at “Me’olam ve’ad olam ata Keil”.174

Hallel is followed by Perek 136 of Tehillim, known as Hallel Hagodol, which in turn is followed by the tefilla of “Nishmas Kol Chai”. Nishmas is recited until the start of the final sentence at the end of “Yishtabach”. Nusach Sephard follows this with the “Yehalelucha” final paragraph of Hallel;175 Ashkenazim conclude with the final bracha of Hallel, “Melech Me’hulal Be’tishbachos”.176 Some Ashkenazim conclude Yishtabach with the usual bracha of “Melech Keil Chei Ha’olamim”.177

The fourth cup of wine is drunk, and a bracha acharona is recited. If one drinks less than a revi’is, he cannot recite a bracha acharona and should listen to someone else’s recital. The tefilla of Chasal Siddur Pesach and the subsequent piyutim are sung, ending with Chad Gadya. L’Shana Habaa B’Yerushalayim is recited at the end of the seder.178

One should discuss the events of Yetziyas Mitzrayim and Hilchos HaPesach until he falls asleep.179 However, if doing so will hamper his ability to daven the next day, he should go to bed.180 Some have the custom to recite Shir Hashirim after the Seder.181 Krias Shema Al Ha’mitah after the Seder consists of the first parsha of Shema and the bracha of Hamapil.182 If one davened Maariv before tzeis hakochavim and did not repeat Krias Shema after tzeis, all three parshiyos of Shema should be recited.183


1The following abbreviations have been used: M.B. – Mishnah Berurah, S.A. – Shulchan Aruch, S.H. – Sha’ar HaTziyun, B.H. – Biur Halacha. All citations to Shulchan Aruch refer to section Orach Chayim.
1. S.A. 472:1
2. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a.
3. See M.B. 473:36; Rama 495:1; M.B. 495:10; S.H. 495:12; B.H. Miyhu’. M.B. 473:36 states that the Gra would not grate the Maror until the start of the Seder, due to concern that it may lose its sharpness.
4. See Rama 504:1; M.B. 504:11; M.B. 504:19; S.H. 504:33. See also Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 73. If Pesach occurs on Shabbos, one must grate the Maror on Erev Pesach; if he did not do so, he should prepare it in the manner prescribed by M.B. 321:45.
5. M.B. 473:42
6. S.A. 473:5
7. See Chayei Odom, klal 130 dinei haseder biketzara 1. See M.B. 473:21 concerning the preparation of salt water on Shabbos.
8. M.B. 473:20
9. See Minhagei Maharil, Machon Yerushalayim edition, page 96; Teshuvos Chasam Sofer, Orach Chaim 132 quoting Rav Nosson Adler; Tosafos Yom Tov Shabbos 9:5; Magen Avraham 473:4; Chok Yaakov 473:12; Chayei Odom klal 130 kitzur dinei haseder 5.
10. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 118:2; Aruch HaShulchan 473:10
11. Aruch HaShulchan 473:10
12. M.B. 473:47. See M.B. 473:47; M.B. 321:67; M.B. 321:45 concerning the preparation of charoses on Shabbos.
13. See Rama 473:5; M.B. 473:49.
14. Rama 473:5; M.B. 473:48
15. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a.
16. S.A. 473:4; M.B. 473:28-29. See M.B. 473:32 concerning roasting the z’roa on Yom Tov.
17. See Magen Avraham 473:8 quoting Maharil; Piskei Teshuvos 473:12 and footnote 58.
18. S.A. 473:4; M.B. 473:27
19. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a. Pri Megadim siman 473 Aishel Avraham 7 writes that there are those who use the neck of a bird for the z’roa, although he does not know why.
20. M.B. 473:27
21. M.B. 473:32
22. See M.B. 473:32
23. S.A. 473:4; M.B. 473:32. M.B. writes that if one does not intend to eat the egg on that day, then the egg cannot be roasted on Yom Tov and must be prepared before Yom Tov.
24. See Rama 476:2, that it is customary to eat a hard boiled egg at the start of the Seder meal.
25. M.B. 509:28. See also Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:122 anaf 10; Minchas Shlomo 1:91 section 12.
26. See Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 9:10-12.
27. See S.A. 472:1; Rashi and Rashbam, Pesachim 109a.
28. See Matteh Moshe siman 600.
29. S.A. 472:2
30. M.B. 472:6
31. See Chidah, Moreh BeEtzbah siman 206.
32. See Haggadah Shel Pesach ‘Chasam Sofer’ page 34; Haggadah Shel Pesach ‘MiBeis Halevi’ hosofos page 64.
33. Chayei Odom siman 130 kelalei haseder b’ketzara 1; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 118:8; Be’er Heiteiv 473:8; M.B. 473:26; Aruch HaShulchan 473:11.
34. The Arizal, quoted by Be’er Heiteiv 473:8 states that the Ke’ara should be ‘on’ the matzos. Shulchan Aruch HaGra”z 473:26 understands this to mean that the Ke’ara should be on top of the matzos. In order to facilitate this, the Ke’ara is built with slots under the plate into which the matzos can be inserted.
35. Kaf HaChayim 473:58 understands the Arizal to mean that the Ke’ara should be next to the matzos.
36. Rama 473:4
37. Ma’aseh Rav 187
38. Haggadah Shel Pesach attributed to the Maharal page 41. However, it has been argued that the work is a forgery and was not written by the Maharal. See the essay of Rav Benedict in the journal Moriah, Sivan 5745. Rav Benedict points out that in the Maharal’s sefer Gevuros Hashem, which extensively discusses the Pesach Seder, there is no mention of the Ke’ara being arranged this way.
39. See Chayei Odom, kelal 130 dinei haseder biketzara 1; Taamei HaMinhagim #520.
40. See S.A. 473:4; Pri Megaddim Mishbetzos Zahav start of siman 486; S.A. 271:9, M.B. 271:41. See also Matteh Moshe siman 613 quoting the Maharil (Minhagei Maharil page 95).
41. See S.A. 473:4; M.B. 473:17; Piskei Teshuvos 472:11 and footnote 51. See also Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa, vol. 2 chap. 55 footnote 15; Halichos Shlomo Pesach chap. 9 footnote 65.
42. S.A. 527:2
43. M.B. 527:11
44. See Maharsham 2:36.
45. S.A. 527:16-17
46. See M.B. 527:48; Piskei Teshuvos 527:12.
47. S.A. 472:8, M.B. 472:24
48. S.A. 472:14, M.B. 472:44
49. S.A. 472:8
50. B.H. 472:8 ‘Shelo’ states that if one drinks the Arba Kosos with a pause between each cup, but does not recite the Haggadah in between, it is questionable whether he is yotzei.
51. M.B. 472:26
52. End of B.H. 472:8 ‘Shelo’.
53. S.A. 472:9
54. Rav Chaim Noeh, Shiurei Torah page 176. 86 cm³ = 2.91 fl. oz.
55. The Steipler Gaon, Shiurin Shel Torah page 65. 150 cm³ = 5.08 fl. oz.
56. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a.
57. See Eruvin 83a, that a revi’is is equivalent to the volume of 1½ eggs. Tzlach, Pesachim 109 argues that the eggs referred to by Chazal are twice the size of present day eggs. Rav Chaim Noeh, Shiurei Torah Sha’ar 3 disagrees with the Tzlach. See further M.B. 271:68; B.H. 271:13 ‘Shelo’; Chazon Ish, Orach Chaim 39. M.B. states that for Kiddush one should, lechatchila, consider a revi’is as equivalent to the volume of two present day eggs. Rav Dovid Feinstein, zt”l, Sefer Kol Dodi Al Hilchos HaSeder, states that the volume of a large present day egg is 2.2 fl. oz. Rav Bodner, Sefer Kezayis Hashalem, page 24 footnote 24, states that it has a volume of 1.87 fl. oz. He further states that he discussed the issue with Rav Dovid Feinstein, who agreed that this was a more accurate measurement. Rav Heinemann, shlit”a, measured a present day egg as having the volume of 1.9 fl. oz. The volume of two eggs would, therefore, equal 3.8 fl. oz.
58. S.A. 472:9; M.B. 472:30
59. Chok Yaakov 472:20 quoting Bach; Shulchan Aruch HaGra”z 472:19
60. Chok Yaakov 472:20. See also Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 60.
61. S.A. 472:9, M.B. 472:30
62. M.B. 472:33. ‘Rov revi’is’ is equivalent to ‘meloh lugmav’, the amount of liquid that a person can hold in his cheeks. B.H. 472:9 ‘veyishteh’ states that a larger person, whose meloh lugmav is greater than rov revi’is, would need to drink his personal meloh lugmav.
63. M.B. 472:30
64. M.B. 472:34 writes that ideally the rov revi’is should be drunk at one time. Kol Dodi explains this to means that the rov revi’is should be drunk without taking the cup from one’s mouth. See also his rebuttal of Machatzis Hashekel 472:1.
65. M.B. 472:34
66. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a. See M.B. 472:34; S.H. 472:49 concerning a person who took a longer time than this.
67. Kol Dodi quoting Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l. He further states that one should push himself to drink the Arba Kosos in this optimal manner. See also Pri Chadosh end of siman 483; Mikra’ei Kodesh (and footnotes entitled Harerei Kodesh) Pesach vol. 2 page 35.
68. See M.B. 472:37.
69. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a.
70. See M.B. 204:32; M.B. 272:16, that wine can be diluted one part in six and still retain the bracha of Borei Pri Hagafen. See Machaztis Hashekel 204:16 quoting Eliyahu Rabba; Pri Megadim siman 204 Aishel Avraham 16; Kol Dodi. The wine used for the Arba Kosos should not be diluted to this extent because such a mixture would be only minimally alcoholic. Hilchos Chag Be’chag (Chag HaPesach), page 422, states that it is customary to dilute ⅓ wine with ⅔ grape juice. Rav Heinemann, shlit”a, is of the opinion that the mixture should retain a 4% alcohol content.
71. M.B. 472:37. Teshuvos VeHanhogos 2:243 states that a sick person or old person may, lechatchila, use grape juice for Arba Kosos and notes that the Chebiner Rav and the Brisker Rav did so. See also Shulchan Aruch HaGra”z 472:17; Hilchos Chag Be’chag page 415; Halichos Shlomo Pesach 9:11. Concerning the dilution of grape juice, see Minchas Shlomo 1:4; Vezos Habracha page 116 and Hilchos Shabbos BeShabbos page 386 quoting Rav Elyashiv, zt”l. According to their viewpoint, grape juice that is used for Arba Kosos should not be mixed with more than a little amount of water.
72. M.B. 472:35. S.A. 472:10 states that even a person who does not generally drink wine because it is harmful or distasteful should force himself to drink the Arba Kosos.
73. S.A. 472:11. See also Rama 472:1; M.B. 272:10.
74. S.A. 272:8; Rama 272:8; M.B. 272:23; S.A. 472:12; M.B. 472:39.
75. M.B. 272:19
76. The laws of stam yayin do not apply to cooked wine. Igros Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 2:52 and Yoreh De’ah 3:31, states that these laws similarly do not apply to pasteurized wine. However, Minchas Shlomo 1:25 and Rav Elyashiv, zt”l, Kovetz Teshuvos 1:75, disagree. It is not clear whether the Igros Moshe would also treat pasteurized wine as cooked wine with regard to Kiddush. The Meiri, Bava Basra 97 is of the opinion that cooked wine should not be used for Kiddush, even if the cooking did not result in any taste change. Presumably, the Meiri would consider pasteurized wine as being in this category.
77. See Chok Yaakov 472:27; Shulchan Aruch HaGra”z 472:25.
78. S.A. 472:15
79. M.B. 472:46
80. M.B. 472:47
81. Chok Yaakov 472:27 quoting Maharil (Minhagei Maharil page 94); Kaf Hachaim 472:91. The Chavos Yair, in his sefer Mekor Chaim (Piskei Dinim 472:15), states that it is customary to give wine (or grape juice) even to small babies.
82. M.B. 473:1. M.B. says that some people have the custom to state this verbally. He adds that before reciting the Haggadah, one should verbalize or think that he is going to fulfill the mitzvah of sippur yetzias mitzrayim. See also Haggadah Shel Pesach MiBeis Halevi page 93.
83. S.A. 473:2
84. See S.A. 472:7; Rama 472:7.
85. See S.A. 472:7; Rama 472:7; M.B. 472:21; S.H. 472:31.
86. There is a Torah obligation to eat matzah on the first night of Pesach and a rabbinic obligation on the second night, as stated by M.B. 475:44. M.B. 472:44 states that women have the same obligation as men.
87. See M.B. 343:2-3; M.B. 269:1; Halichos Shlomo Pesach 9:43.
88. See S.A. 553:4; M.B. 553:21-22; B.H. 553:4 ‘tov’; B.H. 460:1 ‘ein’.
89. Rav Shlomo Kluger paskened that matzah made by a hand powered machine is not acceptable for the mitzvah, whereas Rav Yosef Shaul Natansohn (author of Teshuvos Shoel U’meishiv) was lenient, as recorded in Sdei Chemed vol. 7 page 397. Concerning matzah made by an electric machine, the Maharsham 4:129, 9:31 was stringent and the Divrei Malkiel 4:20 was lenient. See also Chazon Ish, Orach Chaim 6:10; Hilchos Chag Be’chag page 337.
90. Rambam, Hilchos Chometz U’Matzah 6:1
91. M.B. 486:1 implies that one should eat the amount of matzah which has the same volume as a present day egg. Shiurin Shel Torah, page 65 and footnote on page 66, state that in order to meet this requirement it is appropriate to ensure that the first kezayis be approximately the size of ⅔ of a machine matzah.
92. Rav Dovid Feinstein, zt”l, Kol Dodi, writes that the matzah which is eaten for the kezayis should have the volume of 1.5 fl. oz. Sefer Kezayis Hashalem, page 91, states that this is equivalent to the size of ⅔ of a machine matzah. Kol Dodi further states that this measurement is given for the first night of Pesach, but on the second night of Pesach one can be more lenient.
93. This measure should ideally be used on the second night as well, in order to fulfill the stringency of eating two kezaysim. Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 66 writes that the Steipler Gaon noted that the Chazon Ish would take ¼ of a hand baked matzah as a kezayis for both Achilas Matzah and Koreich, and eat additional matzah during the meal while leaning so as to fulfill the mitzvah without any doubt. See further Orchos Rabbeinu ibid.
94. Testing was carried out in STAR-K labs.
95. B.H. 461:4 ‘yotzei’
96. See M.B. 461:17-18; S.H. 461:32. M.B. 458:4 states that there are scrupulous people who are stringent and do not let matzah become wet for the duration of Pesach, due to the concern that there might be some residual flour below the surface of the matzah which could become chometz upon contact with water. This is the custom of not eating gebrokts. See further Shaarei Teshuva 460:1.
97. M.B. 475:9
98. Shiurin Shel Torah page 67, based on Chasam Sofer 6:16.
99. See Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:41; Aruch HaShulchan 202:8; Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 70.
100. See Shiurin Shel Torah page 67.
101. S.A. 475:1; M.B. 475:10
102. M.B. 472:22
103. S.A. 475:1; M.B. 475:2
104. M.B.475:2
105. S.A. 475:1; M.B.475:2; M.B. 475:6; M.B. 475:8. Piskei Tesuvos 475:2 describes an alternative custom for the recitation of the brachos and division of the matzah. The leader of the Seder makes the bracha of Hamotzi and then divides the kezayis of matzah for each person at the Seder. He includes within the kezayis some of the matzah over which he made the bracha. Each individual then recites the bracha of ‘Al Achilas Matzah.’
106. M.B. 475:9.
107. Shiurin Shel Torah siman 11 states that, fundamentally, the Chazon Ish paskened in accordance with Rav Chaim of Volozhin, who stated that a kezayis is measured as the average size of a present day olive – which at a maximum would be the volume of ⅓ of a present day egg. Based on his statement that ⅔ of a machine matzah contains the volume of a present day egg, 29 of a machine matzah would contain the volume of a kezayis. See also sefer Kezayis Hashalem, page 24; Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 pages 66-69.
108. See S.A. 475:1. Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 70 quotes Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, as stating that the Chazon Ish did not put a whole kezayis of matzah in his mouth at one time, but ate it in the normal manner within three minutes. Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 66 similarly quotes the Steipler Gaon as saying that one should eat the matzah in the normal manner. See also Halichos Shlomo Pesach 9:41 and Halichos Shlomo Tefilla page 380, quoting Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.
109. See S.A. 475:1; M.B. 475:9; Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 69. B.H. 475:1 ‘kezayis’ questions the necessity of eating two kezaysim and quotes sources to the contrary. Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 pages 69-70 quotes Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, as stating that the Chazon Ish told him that the Halacha follows the opinion that it is necessary to eat only one kezayis.
110. As stated above, fundamentally the Chazon Ish paskened that a kezayis is measured as the volume of a present day olive, which is smaller than the volume of ¼ of a machine matzah.
111. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a . Kol Dodi shares this opinion. See also Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 66.
112. See S.A. 475:4; M.B. 475:34; B.H. 60:4 ‘yesh omrim’; B.H. 60:4 ‘ve’yesh omrim’; M.B. 60:10 quoting the Chayei Odom.
113. S.H. 477:4
114. M.B. 473:33
115. M.B. 472:45
116. See M.B. 443:2
117. See S.A. 473:5; M.B. 473:34. Kol Dodi states that it is customary to specifically use romaine lettuce.
118. M.B. 473:42
119. S.A. 473:5, M.B. 473:38
120. Chayei Odom 130:3, Shulchan Aruch HaGra”z 473:30, M.B. 473:42, Aruch HaShulchan 473:16.
121. Chazon Ish, Orach Chaim 124 comments on Pesachim 39a. See the letter written by the Steipler Gaon, which is reproduced at the end of Sefer Hilchos Chag Be’chag.
122. See Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 74.
123. S.A. 473:5; M.B. 473:34. M.B. 473:39 states that the horseradish has to be raw.
124. Aruch HaShulchan 473:14. See also Piskei Teshuva 473:18 footnote 102. Halichos Shlomo Pesach 9:48 discourages this.
125. See the letter that the Netziv wrote to his son, printed in Merumei Sodeh Pesachim 39a, in which he discourages using horseradish for Maror due to the difficulty of eating it.
126. S.A. 475:1; M.B. 475:13
127. S.A. 473:5, M.B. 473:41. See the letter written by Reb Akiva Eiger, printed in Chut HaMeshulash pages 205-206.
128. M.B. 486:1 states that with regard to Maror, which is nowadays a rabbinic obligation, one can measure a kezayis as being the size of half of a present day egg. Rav Chaim Noeh, Shiurei Torah page 191, states that half a present day egg has a volume of 28.8 cm³ = 0.97 fl. oz.
129. Chazon Ish, Orach Chaim 100 and 39:17, states that with regard to Maror one can measure a kezayis as being equivalent to the volume of ⅔ of a present day egg. Shiurin Shel Torah page 65 states that a present day egg has a volume of 50cm.³ Therefore, a kezayis will have a volume of 33.3 cm³ = 1.13 fl. oz. Shiurin Shel Torah siman 11 states that, fundamentally, the Chazon Ish paskened in accordance with Rav Chaim of Volozhin, that a kezayis is measured as the size of a present day olive which at a maximum would have the volume of ⅓ of a present day egg. He also states that a person who has difficulty eating maror can rely upon this measurement, which calculates as 17cm³ or 0.58 fl. oz. Also see the letter written by the Steipler Gaon, which is reproduced at the end of the Sefer Hilchos Chag Be’chag.
130. Kol Dodi
131. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a. This is in accordance with the view of Rav Chaim Noeh.
132. Sefer Kezayis Hashalem, pages 98-101, states that one large lettuce leaf or two large lettuce stalks contain the volume of a kezayis. This was calculated in accordance with the view that a kezayis is equivalent to 0.96 fl. oz.
133. M.B. 473:43; S.H. 473:60
134. Shiurin Shel Torah page 67, based on Chasam Sofer 6:16.
135. See Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:41; Aruch HaShulchan 202:8; Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 70.
136. See Shiurin Shel Torah page 67.
137. S. A. 475:1. M.B. 475:14 states that if a person does lean while eating the Maror it is also fine.
138. S.A. 475:1
139. See S.A. 475:1; Aruch HaShulchan 475:7.
140. See S.A 475:1; Rama 475:1; M.B. 475:17; M.B. 475:19.
141. See Rama 475:1; M.B. 475:18.
142. M.B. 475:16
143. See Kol Dodi and Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 75, who suggest that for Koreich one may use a smaller amount of Maror.
144. See M.B. 486:1.
145. Heard from Rav Heinemann, shlit”a.
146. S.A. 475:1
147. See B.H. 475:1 ‘ve’omar’.
148. S.A. 475:1
149. Kaf HaChaim 475: 36 quoting Pri Chadash
150. See S.A. 475:1; M.B. 475:24.
151. S.A. 477:1
152. S.A. 477:6; M.B. 477:58
153. M.B. 487:1 states that for Afikomen, which is a mitzvah d’rabanan, one may follow the smaller measurement of kezayis. However, M.B. 477:1 states that for Afikomen one should ideally eat two kezaysim of matzah. Two kezaysim following the smaller measurement of a kezayis is equivalent to one kezayis of the larger measurement. Furthermore, S.H. 477:4 states that the Afikomen is the primary matzos mitzvah according to Rashi and the Rashbam. Kol Dodi states that this is a further reason to take a volume of matzah consistent with the larger measurement of a kezayis. See, however, Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 67.
154. S.A. 477:1
155. M.B. 477:4; S.H. 477:4
156. See M.B. 472:22; M.B. 474:4; Igros Moshe O.C. 3:67.
157. See S.A. 477:1, M.B. 477:6; B.H. 477:1 ‘veyehei’.
158. S.A. 478:1
159. Igros Moshe O.C. 5:38#8
160. S.A. 481:1; M.B. 481:1; M.B. 478:2
161. S.A. 481:1
162. M.B. 481:1. See Be’er Heitev 481:1 concerning drinking coffee after eating the Afikomen.
163. Avnei Nezer O.C. 361
164. Avnei Nezer O.C. 361. See also the HaggadahMiBeis Halevi’ that the Brisker Rav was of the opinion that this may be done without any verbal statement.
165. Igros Moshe O.C. 5:38#8. See also Tosefos Maaseh Rav 52 that the Vilna Gaon skipped the Seder meal in order to eat the Afikomen before chatzos.
166. Rama 479:1
167. Likutei Maharich “hanhagas ha’seder
168. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 119:1
169. Yosef Ometz 788
170. Chayei Odom 130:19, Aruch Hashulchan 480:2
171. Remo 480:1, Aruch Hashulchan 480:1
172. M.B. 479:9, Halichos Shlomo page 315
173. S. A. 480:1
174. M.B 480:5
175. S.A. 480:1
176. Bach 486, M.B. 480:5
177. Chok Yaakov 480:4, M.B 480:5
178. Many recite it after the fourth kos or after Chasal Siddur Pesach.
179. S.A. 481:2
180. Siddur Ya’avetz
181. Chayei Odom 130:19
182. Rama 481:2, M.B. 481:4
183. M.B. 481:4