How can one participate in Passover Seder while doing Bright Line Eating?

Sarah Katzin, a Bright Lifer in our community, asked her rabbi about the bare minimum requirements, and here is what she was told…

Many wonder how they are going to go about things at Passover, especially if this is the first Seder on Bright Line Eating. The question is, how will you keep your Lines bright and keep Pesach at the same time?

There are people in Bright Line Eating who choose to not partake at all of wine and matzah at the Seder. Jewish Law makes allowances for this, and it is permissible and even prescribed by Halacha that they adhere to the no-sugar, no-flour regimen. For people without diabetes and who are lower on the Susceptibility Scale, it may be possible to fulfil these Mitzvos in a managed way.

For a mitzvah, this can be done in a committed way if it does not interfere with your automaticity, integrity, identity, etc. We are not sure about people who are higher on the Susceptability Scale, but we have found that people who are in the 6-7 range on the Susceptability Scale are able to make this modifcation. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide what to do. We encourage you to make your program work for you. For some people, their decision may mean taking a sip of wine for each cup and a miniscule amount of matza. You may want to speak with your Rabbi in order to determine the minimum quantities required by Halacha in order to fulfil the Mitzvos.

Here are some suggestions…

One fulfills the mitzvah with either wine or grape juice. The required amount to fulfill the mitzvah for each cup is known as a “Revi’is.” This means that the cup itself should contain a Revi’is. It is recommended to have a cup that holds the minimum amount needed.

A revi’is of grape juice/wine is 3 fl. oz. Rov Kos (the majority of the cup), which is what you actually have to drink, is 1.6 fl. oz. to fulfill the halacha. It is customary to fill each one to the top and only drink a little each time, except the last one when you drink the whole thing.

To fulfill the mitzvah of eating matza on the first night of Pesach, you need to eat what is known as a “kezayis.” In the Seder, however, matza is eaten three times: once for “Motzi Matza,” once for the “Korech” sandwich, and once for “Afikomen.” It is up to you to decide whether you will participate the first time or for all of them. You may weigh and measure your matza out ahead of time and put them in baggies with labels. That way, you will feel committed to eat only that and not nibble on any other matza. This can help put you in the frame of mind of both committing to your Bright Lines and also lending importance to the matza not just as food but as a mitzvah with a holy purpose.

There are many deep lessons and concepts relating to matza, and it might be helpful to read up on them. That way the Seder meal will be less about the food and more about the meaning of the Yom Tov.

Amounts are as follows: Kezayis is approximately 0.7 oz. This comes out to about ¼ of a hand shmura matza or a ⅓ of a machine matza. For “Motzi Matza,” it is best to eat the full kezayis. For “Korech,” if you choose to have it, you only need to have ⅔ of a kezayis.

There is a third mitzvah on Seder night that has nothing to do with the sugar and flour Lines but could affect the BLE quantity Line. In order to fulfil the mitzvah of maror using lettuce, you will need to eat a minimum of a kezayis, once for “Maror” and the second time for “Korech.”

A Kezayis of lettuce is about 8″x10” of leaves or 3”x5” of stalks. Some Bright Lline Eaters exclude this from their vegetable quantity and treat it as a separate entity, and others include it in their vegetable allotment. Again, it is for each person to decide what is right for them. If you choose to eat matza and drink wine, then have it in addition to eating your normal Bright Line meal. They are religious food and separate from your BLE food.

Here is a quick summary of the “shiurim” (quantities)…

-Revi’is grape juice/wine = 3 fl. oz.
-Rov Kos (the majority of the cup) = 1.6 fl. oz.
-Cups one, two and three = Rov Kos
-Fourth cup = drink the whole thing

-Kezayis Matza = approximately 0.7 oz. (about ¼ of a hand shmura matza or a ⅓ of a machine matza)
-“Motzi Matza” = Kezayis
-“Korech” = ⅔ of a Kezayis
-“Afikomen” = Kezayis

-Kezayis of lettuce = about 8”x10” of leaves or 3”x5” of stalks
-“Maror” = Kezayis
-“Korech” = Kezayis