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Unread 04-19-2016, 08:05 PM   #1
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Question what's the real shiur of kazayis?

how much matza is a kazayis according to chabad? every place i look has a different amount...
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Unread 04-19-2016, 08:53 PM   #2
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According to R' Chaim No'eh, whose shiurim Chabad follow, a kezayis is a measure of VOLUME, not of weight. Therefore, a kezayis of matzah is the amount that would displace the same amount of water as an olive (I believe we generally hold that this is a large olive, the size of today's eggs).

This amount is approximately 1/5 of a thin-to-average shmurah matzah.

However, the Colel Chabad calendar contains a notation that a kezayis is "about an ounce." (In general, it seems that approximating the volume as a measurement of weight was intended to make things easier for people, but in this case it may have backfired, as demanding a larger shiur means less people do the mitzvah. Incidentally, the Chazon Ish, who is known for larger shiurim, purportedly gave people at his seder a piece the size of the palm of his hand to fulfill the mitzvah of eating matzah.)

The Rebbe did look over many editions of the Colel Chabad calendar, and I believe said it was kedai to follow it.

It is unclear to me whether this addition was made at a time when the Rebbe was giving suggestions and corrections, as the original edition of R' Chaim No'eh's calendar (which the Colel Chabad calendar is based on - see makes no mention of sizes of a kezayis.

Many Chabad Rabbonim rely on the Colel Chabad calendar over R' Chaim No'eh's stated opinion, and that's why you'll hear that a kezayis of matzah is about a half a shmurah matzah.
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Unread 04-19-2016, 11:42 PM   #3
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AMount of Matzo to be eaten

ANd if one has a health issue like diabetes or inability to bsorb matzo aren't leniencies made?
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Unread 04-20-2016, 04:45 AM   #4
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Last year there was a message from Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch:

1. The shiyur lchatchila is one ounce in weight (about 1/2 a
Shmura Matzah). This is more than twice Reb Chaim Noes Shiyur, but this
is the accepted Shiyur. Since this is a doreisa our Rabbinim tend to be

2. For one who is unwell, half that Shiyur is acceptable (that is
still a bit more than Reb Chaim Noe), i.e. of a matzah shmurah.

3. For public Sedorim, our Rabbonim hold that a one ounce shiur (about
1/2 a Shmura as mentioned) should be distributed, in the hope that they
will eat the whole shiur, or at least half of it, in the prescribed time.
Some comments I wrote last year:

1. The shiur listed here is also the recommended shiur according to the Eida Hacharedis (see of their guide for this year. 30 grams is 1 oz). This is more than enough . It should be noted that R' Chaim Noeh wrote this shiur of a weight of 1 oz himself (see here bottom of page, as well as here top of second column). All in all, this is a standard shiur given by Rabbonim to the general public to be safe. See Shevach Hamoadim, intro to the English translation of the Rebbe's Hagaddah, and here. In Luach Colel Chabad he writes that an exact Kazayis of Matzah is a weight of 26 grams, see the references here.

2. However, using R' Chaim Noeh's own shita, it's difficult to understand how he reached this conclusion, see b'arichus in R' YS Ginsburg's article. (As a possible explanation, RYSG cites what R' Chaim Noeh writes here, that bread and water have the same weight when squeezed with enormous pressure. That observation is also stated by R' Chaim Noeh here (top of 2nd column). But that still leaves more questions than answers).

Indeed, as many have written it seems that according to R' Chaim Noeh's own shita, and other sources, the actual shiur should be much less. See here and here (towards the end) who both cite much smaller shiurim. However, since it's a d'oraisa, rabbonim have been wary of taking responsibility for changing the shiur for everyone l'chatchila, except for those who are unwell etc, see here page 2. For them, since it's good enough shiur m'ikar hadin, they can make a bracha on this smaller shiur.

This is echoed in the psak of VRL that l'maaseh when necessary a 1/4 of a matzah is sufficient.

However, what they wrote that "for public Sedorim, our Rabbonim hold that a one ounce shiur (about 1/2 a Shmura as mentioned) should be distributed, in the hope that they will eat the whole shiur, or at least half of it, in the prescribed time." is lichorah a question of strategy not halacha, and .

3. Measuring volume is not as simple as dunking a matza in water, many who have tried have arrived at different results, depending on how much you squeeze the matza. see page 2 footnote 6. See also this article. R' Ginsburg in his article quotes an expert that the measurement should be made when the matza is in a plastic bag. There's also no reason to suggest that everyone does this on their own, it's enough for the experts to do it and then translate the result to a measure of weight which everyone can use. All the guides which give specific measurements in weight for matza have done just that.
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