70 Years: The Story of ‘Mivtza Matzah’

Marking 70 years since the launch of Mivtza Matzah, Vaad Or Vechom Hahiskashrus presents an overview of the history of the Rebbe’s campaign to distribute shmura matza to Yidden everywhere.

In connection with marking 70 years since the launch of Mivtza Matzah, Vaad Or Vechom Hahiskashrus is pleased to present a short overview of the history of this special campaign and their Mivtza Matzah resource site, filled with useful resources surrounding the launch and implementation of the Rebbe’s Mivtza Matzah Campaign.

Browse the site at OrVechom.com/Matzah


On Shabbos Parshas Hachodesh 5714, 70 years ago, the Rebbe publicly announced the importance of every Jew receiving Shmurah Matzah for the Sedarim. The Rebbe explained that it was a common practice for many years that the Rov of the community would distribute Shmura Matzah to their community members: 

“For some reason, this practice has ceased in most communities… I request – and if I were able to I would instruct – to restore this practice that Rabbonim should send Shmurah Matzah to their congregants. This practice is not limited to the Rov. Anyone who is in a position of influence – a Rov, Shochet, a reverend or a Shamash – if there is even one Jew that would use Shmurah Matzah if you send it to him, then be sure to send it to him.” The Rebbe went on to talk about the tremendous Brochos that this campaign will bring. Learn the full Sicha here.

That year, a few days before Pesach the Rebbe sent a letter to Mr. Zalman Shazar and enclosed three Matzos, explaining that “it is our custom to send Shmurah Matzah to friends and relatives.” The campaign has since been incorporated into the Sefer Haminhogim and has become an integral element of the mission of Chassidim in this generation.

The first instance we know of the Rebbe discussing this concept was in 5712, when Rabbi Zalman Abelsky of Kfar Chabad organized a Yud Alef Nissan Farbrengen. Not only did the Rebbe permit such a gathering, but he also requested that Matzah be distributed to all the participants. The Rebbe himself initiated the distribution of Shmura Matzah to Chassidim on Erev Pesach 5711, just months after formally accepting the Nesius. For further details on the Rebbe’s Matzah distribution, click here.

The Rebbe frequently addressed the topic of Mivtza Matzah in numerous early Farbrengens leading up to Pesach, particularly on Shabbos Hachodesh Mevorchim Chodesh Nissan. During these occasions, he would remind Chassidim of the Mivtza and elaborate on the special Brochos it brings upon both the giver and the receiver. See the Sichos from 5717572257235727Shabbos Hagodol 5724, and more here.

Over the following decades, Chassidim continued to do Mivtza Matzah with a Shturem each year. In 5721, Rabbi Yitzchok Gansburg initiated a campaign called “Matzah For Every Student.” Thousands of school children would visit the Matzah bakery in Kfar Chabad every year to experience the process of Matzah baking and they would receive a Matzah to take home to their families. The Rebbe funded many of these efforts and especially encouraged sending Matzah to soldiers. 

The Rebbe repeatedly emphasized the importance of reaching every single Jew, including the “fifth son” who does not even know about the Seder to attend it. At the Farbrengen of Yud Alef Nissan 5734, 20 years after the launch of the campaign, the Rebbe said, “As long as there is one single Jew, man or woman, child or adult, in your surroundings—and the meaning of “your surroundings” is the entire world, who does not have Shmurah Matzah, or has Shmurah Matzah but is unaware of its importance and message, there is no doubt that you must do something about it.” Learn the Sicha here or Listen on Ashreinu.App.

Over the years the Rebbe’s Mivtza Matzah campaign evolved into an all-encompassing campaign to provide Yidden with all of their Pesach needs: To ensure every Yid sells their chametz, participates in a seder, has access to kosher for Pesach food for all eight days, and has the opportunity to learn the halachos of Pesach through printed material and classes. Read more about the history of Mivtza Matzah and how it evolved from A Chassidisher Derher here. Browse the full resource site at Orvechom.com/Matzah.

You can join a new WhatsApp series from ‘the Daily Leben’ highlighting interesting and fresh content related to the launch and implementation of Mivtza Matzah over the years. To subscribe to the status, simply WhatsApp “Leben” to +1 (413) 591-8388 or click orvechom.com/leben and add the above number to your contacts.

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