Ashkanazim are forbidden to eat kitniyos or matzah ashira (matzah made with fruit juices) on Pesach. If an Ashkanazi would be sick (or when dealing with an older person) and would have to eat either one of the two, what is better, to eat the kitniyos or matzah ashira?

Both are however permitted in a pressing situation (shas hadchak).

The Rema writes in Siman 462 Sif 4 that Matzah Ashira would be permitted for a sick person or older person.

As well in regards to kitniyos the Chai Adam in Clal 127 Sif 6 (The M"B I believe also brings this) writes that it's permitted for a sick person, older person or a child to eat kitniyos in a pressing situation.

So what is better (i.e. which one is a "weaker" prohibition) in a pressing situation, the eating of kitniyos or matzah ashira?

2 Answers 2


Hm. As I understand it, the reason Ashkenazim don't eat matza-made-with-fruit-juice is to respect a minority opinion in Tosfos, that it would create a certain form of chametz. But if someone is ill, we rely on the majority opinion.

Kitniyos is purely a custom, and one that was never decreed against those who are ill. Hence my guess is all else being equal, go with the kitniyos. (Although ... Chasam Sofer says you still get a mitzva for eating matza ashira all 7 days of Pesach, and R' Ovadya Yosef says if that's all you can eat on seder night then do so and you'll get at least some amount of mitzva ... not sure how to balance that into things.)

Keep in mind it can be far easier to find reliably-non-chametz certified matza ashira at almost any grocery store than it is to find many kitniyos.

  • 4
    RE your last point: That's really only true in the US AFAIK. In other countries where there are greater ratios of sephardim to ashkenazim (like Israel), there are plenty of certified kitniyot during pesach.
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 13:53

Using fruit juice alone if it can make something chomets is a machlokes. Rashi says it can and even quicker than the eighteen minutes. The MB 462:19 says therefore it has to be baked immediately. So since there is a possibility of chomets using fruit juice, kitniyos must be more preferable. Another answer has been written while I was posting this one. I understand it would make it proper chomets, and like the MB says if baked straightaway it would not be chomets at all.

  • The previous answer by shalom implied that using fruit juice would not conform with a minority opinion. I would like to know the source.
    – user2709
    Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 22:00

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