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According to a recent bulletin from Y. Herman's Guide to Chodosh:

CAUTION ON MATZOS FOR PESACH

Last year we noted that spring wheat flour is being added to winter wheat flour in the production of some hand matzos. At that time we were informed that all the added spring wheat has been from stored spring wheat to make sure that the matzos remains Yoshon. However, in some cases this year some hand matzos bakeries have not been able to obtain Yoshon spring wheat for this purpose. Therefore, some hand matzos this year may be Chodosh. The Guide to Chodosh will not survey all the bakeries to ascertain which will be Yoshon and which will not. Do not contact the Guide for information about this. Instead, call the mashgiach of your specific matzo bakery.

Does anyone know which brands are a concern and/or which are not?

(Also, on the assumption that the concern is supposedly [also?] with shemura - does that mean there were special shemura spring wheat harvests?)

  • Just a practical note: This is relevant only for the start of Pesach. – msh210 Mar 16 '18 at 5:01
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    @msh 3/8 is almost half... – Double AA Mar 16 '18 at 12:54
  • @Loewian I just confirmed with a rav at the Kof-K involved with the Lakewood matzos that all of the Lakewood matzos are Yoshon this year, that includes all hand made and all machine made. – Toras EMES 613 Mar 19 '18 at 21:41
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+100

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

I just spoke with the rav from the Kof-K who certifies the Lakewood Matzoh. He said that the Kof-K certifies all the Lakewood Matzoh - both the hand made and the machine made matzos. He informed me that all the matzos sold by Lakewood this year are Yoshon (including all hand made and all machine made).


Lakewood matzoh is Yoshon. This also includes their oat matzohs that may have at times been Chodosh in the past (this year the oat matzos are marked Yoshon on their website).

I had received the same information from Rabbi Herman and so I emailed Lakewood matzoh with this question. I received a response that all of the Lakewood matzohs are Yoshon but are not marked Yoshon. You can order matzohs from Lakewood and find their contact information for any questions at http://lakewoodmatzoh.com/ The Lakewood Shmurah Machine Made matzohs are under the Kof-K and they can be contacted as well about machine made (and perhaps hand made) - https://www.kof-k.org/AboutUs/ContactUs.aspx

According to the person from Lakewood matzoh, since all bakeries are Shemurah from the time of harvest, the only way the flour could be Chodosh is if the bakery didn't care about Yoshon. However, people tend to be careful about Yoshon when it involves the mitzvah of matzoh.

Orders for Shmurah Matzoh from Lakewood Matzoh should be placed by 4 PM on March 21, '18 (eastern time).

I would add that this does not imply that Lakewood Matzoh is the only reliably Yoshon matzoh for Pesach. There are probably a number of other choices, though I would recommend you contact other matzoh companies to determine their Yoshon status.

Also, matzohs that come from Israel with a reliable hashgacha are most likely Yoshon even if they import flour from outside of Israel, though you should check with each hashgacha to confirm whether this is the case with them. Close to two years ago I contacted a number of hashgachas including Badatz Agudas Yisroel, Chasam Sofer, (Badatz) Eidah HaChareidis, Rav Rubin, and Shearis Yisrael (among others) and they said their products are Yoshon.

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    Did you receive a response from the Mashgiach or the Lakewood company? The latter isn't necessarily reliable. (A friend of mine once had a caterer try to convince him that Yoshon is only a problem for 2 months after Pesach.) – Double AA Mar 16 '18 at 12:16
  • @DoubleAA It was someone from Lakewood. I think that the caterer would be different. Also, the claim that Chodosh is only a problem for two months prior to Pesach is far from true. Items start becoming Chodosh around July, perhaps some a bit earlier. However, as I noted in the answer, people can contact not only Lakewood, but also the Kof-K who certifies the Lakewood Machine Made. The handmade are under other kashrus certifications. I had contact the Kof-K about 3 years ago. At that time, he mentioned only the oat matzos had sometimes been chodosh. This year all their oat matzos are yoshon. – Toras EMES 613 Mar 16 '18 at 22:05
  • I know Chodosh starts in the summer. My point was how realistic it is for a reputable company to lie about this stuff, whether out of ignorance or not. – Double AA Mar 16 '18 at 22:30
  • @DoubleAA Just to let you know, I appreciate your comments and believe that sometimes caterers and others may be uninformed as to Yoshon. I think that Lakewood bakery is very familiar with Yoshon. I have emailed one of the rabbanim at Kof-K (who certifies the Lakewood machine made matzos) also asking him about the Yoshon status of Lakewood matzos - machine made, and if he is aware of the Yoshon status of handmade matzos, as well. I can update my answer, hopefully tomorrow with any information I receive from him. That would still allow 2 days for anyone considering Lakewood matzos. Thanks. – Toras EMES 613 Mar 18 '18 at 19:40
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    @DoubleAA I just confirmed with a rav at the Kof-K involved with the Lakewood matzos that all of the Lakewood matzos are Yoshon this year, that includes all hand made and all machine made. Thanks. – Toras EMES 613 Mar 19 '18 at 21:42

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