The general law in the Gemara and brought in the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch is that one needs to lean while eating Matzah and drinking the 4 cups.

The question is: Is the leaning an essential condition of eating the Matzah itself [for example], and if so, if one ate matazh without leaning, which one has to go back and eat it, does one need to make another brocho of "Al Achilas Matzah", or is leaning an extra part of the Mitzvah, to emphasize the idea of freedom, and if one doesn't lean, then one still fulfills the Mitzvah of matzah, but only has to go back to eat it again to fulfill the extra concept of freedom, and thus does not need to say another brocho "Al Achilas Matzah"?

1 Answer 1


The sefer Peninei Halakha answers as follows:

האוכל כ’זית’ מצה בלא הסבה, כיוון שלא קיים את המצווה כפי שתיקנוה חכמים, לא יצא ידי חובתו, ועליו לחזור ולאכול כ’זית’ מצה בהסבה. וגם אם כבר ברך ברכת המזון, יחזור ליטול ידיו ויברך המוציא ויאכל כ’זית’ מצה בהסבה. אבל לא יחזור ויברך “על אכילת מצה”, מפני שלדעת ראבי”ה וראב”ן כבר יצא ידי מצוות מצה בכ’זית’ שאכל בלא הסבה (שו”ע תעב, ז, מ”ב כב).

One who has consumed the volume of a kezayith of masah without leaning, since he did not fulfill the miswah in the manner prescribed by the Sages, he did not fulfill his obligation, and accordingly should go back and consume a kezayith of masah while leaning. And even if he recited Birkhath ha-Mazon he should go back and wash, make a hamosi and eat a kezayith of masah while leaning. However, he should not go back and recite "al akhilath masah" because according to R. Eliezer ben Yoel HaLevi of Bonn and R. Eliezer ben Nathan one has already fulfilled their obligation of eating a kezayith of masah with the earlier consumption without leaning (SA 472:7 and MB 22)

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    thanks for the answer, is this a universal accepted halacha? Commented Apr 21, 2022 at 7:29
  • @YitzchakL There is hardly a single facet of halakhah that upon deeper analysis is "universally accepted" without any dissension. This approach is a moderated one intended to cover all bases (avoid a berakhah levatala whilst still engaging in the action lest one not have been yose in the first instance) and I would say is fairly normative. That said, if I have time after the hag I will try to add some more sources (unless someone else gets to it first). Commented Apr 21, 2022 at 17:52
  • Also it's interesting looking back on this, he just says "לא יצא ידי חובתו", but it's still ambiguous if he meant One didn't fulfill the obligation of leaning, or of the matzah itself Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 1:18
  • I believe the language is initially ambiguous in order to leave open the possibility that both aspects are potentially not fulfilled, however he ultimately instructs not to bless as according to some one has in fact at least already fulfilled the miswa of akhilath masa. Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 11:47

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