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There is a custom(?) to abstain from eating matza 30 days before Passover so that the taste will be new. There are some sects of sefardic or teimani Jews who eat a type of matzah that is more akin to the lafa bread used to wrap shwarma or falafel. Do those who eat this kind of matzah similarly abstain from eating breads like pita or lafa 30 days before Pesach so that the taste is new to them?

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I don't know what the source for 30 days is, but the Mishnah Brurah (471:12) mentions a custom to not eat matzah from Rosh Chodesh. –  b a Feb 24 '13 at 6:15
    
    
I don't understand the question. What is kosher for sefardim is kosher for ashkenazim. We have different minhagim for how thick it is, but anything that is kosher to use is matza and is forbidden to be eaten on erev pesach. –  Double AA Feb 24 '13 at 6:56
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This sounds like "Can Ashk'nazim eat crackers before Pesach?". If it's not matza, what's the question? –  msh210 Feb 25 '13 at 3:15
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@HachamGabriel, "probably"??? –  Seth J Mar 25 '13 at 12:57

2 Answers 2

The basis of the prohibition of eating matzah on erev Pesach (which was later expanded to longer periods before Pesach) may be found in Yerushalmi Pesachim 68b:

אמר רבי לוי האוכל מצה בערב הפסח כבא על ארוסתו בבית חמיו והבא על ארוסתו בבית חמיו לוקה

'Rabbi Levi said: One who eats matzah on erev Pesach is like one who has intercourse with his betrothed in his father-in-law's house. And one who has intercourse with his betrothed in his father-in-law's house is lashed.'

The idea appears to be that one is spoiling one's taste for matzah by having it just before the appropriate time.

People attribute the following quip to Achad HaAm, but I've heard that it was really Bialik; I've also seen it attributed to Smolenskin:

ניסיתי את שניהם ולא מצאתי דומים

"I've tried both and did not find them to be similar."

Nowadays we have chametzdik matzah available year-round. I would guess that the minhag does / should encompass such chametzdik matzah, since it would spoil one's taste. But a flat chametzdik cracker would not fall under this custom.

In terms of laffa and soft matzah, I can echo the quip: I've tried both and they are not the same. Laffa tastes good. Soft matzah does not. It is just awful. No one would confuse the two.

(It is perhaps slightly better if you take it right out of the oven just then.) Our crisp matzah is 100 times better.

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The prohibition of eating matzah on erev Peasach (and therefore the extended customs) only applies to matzah which can be used for the mitzvah (see Egg matzah in early Nisan).

Therefore, it appears that laffa would be permitted since it not only can't be used for the mitzvah, but is actual chametz.

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matza ashira also does not taste like real matza, so the concern is not one of taam matza but of the technical consumption of matza. i don't know that the Mishna Brurah would permit, e.g., hand-shmura matza which had been left longer than 18 minutes on erev Pesach before the zman biur. that has the taam matza even though it cannot be used for the mitzvah, and seems to match the spirit of Rabbi Levi's statement. this seems to me to be a separate aspect and question. –  josh waxman Mar 25 '13 at 15:53
    
Laffa's are chametz? –  Double AA Mar 25 '13 at 16:53
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As far as I know....Why would they not be? –  andrewmh20 Mar 25 '13 at 17:48
    
@Joshwaxman The Mishna Brurah clearly states (my translation) "...But matzah which can fulfill the obligation at night is asur to eat all day of the 14th." There the issue is whether or not it fulfills the obligation. –  andrewmh20 Mar 25 '13 at 17:51
    
right, but chametzdike matza cannot fulfill the obligation at night, because they are chametz. this is an in-between case, no? –  josh waxman Mar 25 '13 at 20:16

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