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Is it the Vilna Gaon who maintains that it is a mitzvah to eat matzah (to eat matzah, in addition to abstaining from chametz) every day and night during the week of Passover, or somebody else? The main opinion is that it is a mitzvah to eat it on the first night(s) and reshut (optional) during the rest of the holiday, but he differs. For some reason I remember it being him, but is it somebody else?

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I have a hunch it's in Ma'aseh Rav. –  Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 15 '12 at 1:26
    
I have a theory that if you keep gebrokts (no wet matzos) you get the side benefit of having all your matza be in line with this kiyum. Wet or flavored matzos aren't kosher for the mitzva IIRC. –  Yaakov Kuperman Apr 15 '12 at 17:11
    
@Vram - It wouldn't surprise me... –  Adam Mosheh Apr 15 '12 at 19:39
    
@هه - If you want, you can find it, and post it as an answer with the mareh makom. –  Adam Mosheh Apr 15 '12 at 19:40
    
@YaakovKuperman You certainly can fulfill the mitzva with wet matza, provided it was not cooked and has not disintegrated. OC 461:4 –  Double AA Aug 29 '12 at 23:35
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1 Answer

The Vilna Gaon's opinion followed those who explain that one is not obligated to eat matza on the latter 6.5 days of Pesach, but if one did so one has fulfilled a Biblical injunction. This is parallel to the rule by Sukkot whereby one must eat in the Sukkah on the first night, but for the remaining 6.5 days one may survive on fruits and drinks and never sit in the Sukkah (except, of course, sleeping because one cannot go 72 hours without sleeping, cf. Shevuot 25a); yet we know that if one does sit in the Sukkah he has fulfilled a Biblical injunction.

The only reason that the obligation to eat Matza on the latter 6.5 days is called a "Reshut -- optional" is to contrast it with the obligation of the first night which is a "Chovah -- mandatory".

Source: Maaseh Rav 185. (See also this summary of the Gemara and Rishonim's discussion on the matter.)

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