The Industrial Revolution brought the mechanization of manual labor, and this reached the matzah baking industry in the mid-19th century. Although it was initially accepted in Western Europe, when it arrived in Galicia in 1857, it sparked a controversy between leading rabbinical authorities regarding the permissibility of its use. Tracing the development of the stages of this dispute leads one to the underlying reasoning of the opponents of the new machine. Beneath the veneer of a generic halachic difference of opinion, was the confrontation with modernity with modern technology as its expression.

This episode is based on the recently published excellent book regarding the history of the machine matzah controversy, which was published by Yisroel Tress

 

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