Passover Terms

OU Kosher Staff


Matza is made of specifically supervised flour and water, which must be baked before the dough has had time to rise, within 18 minutes or less. It is the only type of “bread” which Jews may eat during Passover, and it must be made specifically for Passover use, under rabbinical supervision. Eating matza on Passover commemorates the unleavened bread eaten by the Jews when they left Egypt in such haste that there was no time for the dough to rise. Matza containing eggs, wine, or fruit juice in addition to water is not considered acceptable for use at the seder. Shmurah matzah is made specifically for use at the seder.


Eating gebrokts (Yiddish, meaning “wet”) is a custom in which some Ashkenazim will avoid putting matza (or any derivative, such as matza meal) into any liquid to prevent the possibility that a clump of flour that was never properly mixed with water (rendering it still susceptible to leavening) may come into contact with that liquid.


The seder is a symbolic reenactment of the exodus, with a compelling message for young and old alike. The seder details the journey of the exodus from Egypt by Jewish slaves following a traditional order of blessings, eating symbolic foods, narratives, commentaries and song.

Even foods with minute amounts of chametz ingredients, or foods processed on utensils which are used for chametz-containing foods, are not permissible for Passover use. Practically speaking, any processed food that is not certified “Kosher for Passover” may potentially include chametz ingredients.