I Just Pass on the Matzah

I had a conversation this week with a 52 year old Yeshiva College graduate, who is firmly committed to Orthodoxy and even hangs around his Orthodox shul to always be available to make a minyan or help the rabbi.

He said that he was glad to get back to eating bread and cookies and along the way mentioned that any matza upsets his stomach and that he avoids matza meal all Passover. I asked what do you do for the seder? I was expecting an answer on the relative merits of spelt or oats. He answered “I do nothing. When the matza is passed, I just pass on the matza. I just keep passing it. I have not eaten matza for 8 years already.”

Whenever there is a survey done of ritual practice in Orthodox synagogues and you usually get results like 92% eat matzah on Passover, 93% fast on Yom Kippur. I generally ascribed the non-observant percentage to the elderly, infirm, adolescent and college rebellion, divorce, and psychological stress. This is the first time I heard from an unwavering Modern Orthodox shul regular who is not gluten intolerant in any way and has no medical condition that “I just pass on the matzah.”

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