It has been claimed in various quarters that R’ Schachter has no issue in principle with “soft” matza. His name has been used, making such claims, and through a long bow, trying to associate R’ Schachter with the acceptability of particular types of ashkenazi machine made soft laffa style matza.
I heard R’ Schachter speak on this topic, and I came away with the distinct understanding that
- Soft Matza was certainly used in the past by Ashkenazim
- There are some Sephardim who have maintained their Mesora on how to make the traditional soft matza
- An Ashkenazi who wishes to eat from a Sephardi Soft Matza and rely on a particular Sephardi Mesora on how to make these matzos may do so if they wish, but they are relying on that well-known and accepted Sephardi hechsher.
- R’ Schachter in no way endorses any particular Matzos (hard or soft)
- Ashkenazim over the last 200 years have reverted to thin hard matzos. (R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach disagrees with R’ Schachter and says that an Ashkenazi should therefore only ever have hard matzos)
- R’ Schachter had absolutely nothing to say about new laffa style, some of which has also found its way into Melbourne, Australia, under R’ Rabi, and in no way should R’ Schachter’s comments be used to ascribe any acceptability to the kashrus thereof.
I understand that R’ Schachter has very recently made the above views known explicitly in response to queries about the use of his name on R’ Meir Rabi’s Kosher Business/Hechsher, which promotes Rabi’s soft laffa style product. I also understand that R’ Rabi is now aware of these clarifying comments.
There is a solution to this conundrum. R’ Rabi should open himself up to an overseas kashrus expert, such as Rav Moshe Heineman or indeed the OU or similar to come and oversee his laffa production before next Pesach, and formally put their imprimatur on his production. Heck, if it’s good, he can export it too, presumably.