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    Round or square matzah? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why was the matzah round when I was a child, whilst these days it is square?

    A. Machine-made matzah is easier to bake and pack if it is square, though hand-baked matzah follows the traditional round shape.

    The Biblical verse in Ex. 12:39 referring to uggot matzot – cakes of unleavened bread – has often been explained as meaning circular cakes, because the root ug means to be round or to draw a circle, and hence round matzot are probably what our ancestors ate when they left Egypt.

    Some suggest that the round shape denotes eternity, since God and His providential care of the people of Israel are without end or limit.

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