The Matzav Shmoooze: The Bracha on Pizza

32

pizzaDear Editor,

Matzav.com reported a few days ago about a pizza study conducted by the USDA. One person saw this and realized that there may more to take out from this Pizza study than the fact that Americans love pizza.

There is a difference of opinion among the contemporary American Poskim of what bracha to make on Pizza.

While Eretz Yisroel Poskim all agree that one should make Hamotzi on pizza, (See Vizos Habracha P’ 21,230 in the name of R’ Elyashiv R’ Schienberg, R’ Shternbuch. Also see Visane Bracha in the name of R S.Z. Auerbach) in America it is questionable.

Why is that? Because the Bracha depends on whether most pizza is eaten as a meal or as a snack. While in Eretz Yisrael it is clear that pizza is eaten mostly as a meal, in America some Poskim were not so sure.

The Pizza study published on Feb. 11 documented when most Pizza is eaten in America. According to this study, an astounding 90% of the pizza eaten in America was eaten during meal times, while only 10% is eaten as a snack.

Rabbi Pinchas Bodner, well known Author of Halachos Of Brachos published by Feldheim, wrote a Teshuve, which was publicized in BMG, that although he writes in his Sefer that in America one should not make Hamotzi unless one is eating pizza for a meal, it is now clear that R’ Shlomo Zalman ZS”L would hold that one should make Hamotzi on Pizza even if it is eaten as a snack.

A Reader

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32 COMMENTS

  1. every family follows in the ways of their halacha & minhagim. Some hold you need to eat 2 slices of pizza before you can call it a meal others wash even on 1 slice & some people are more makpid to have a slice of bread with their pizza.

    It also depends on what’s considered a meal to YOU, how much satisfies you & fills you up etc…

    Do you know that if you have 2 full danished for breakfast you need to wash & bentch after cause this amount is kovea seuda (considered a meal) although the dough is mezonos. i.e. its not like bread dough or pizza dough

    you have many choices. you can:
    1)approach your personal rav/daas torah & ask him what he thinks.
    2)be on the safe side & wash with birchas hamazon (your benching would not be a bracha levatala)

    May HASHEM give you Hatzlacha & may you enjoy your pizza meal so that you can Thank Hashem for creating something like pizza (among many other amazing things in the world)

  2. @Dovid, this is not a “family mesora” type of thing.
    This is a serious halacha sheila, it does not matter how one’s father ate pizza.

  3. The minhag is like the Taz which says to make a mezonos on pizza, calzones, etc, unless you have a meal’s worth (2 or 3 slices).
    Puk chazi may ama dabar.

  4. This study along with Rav Bodner’s letter is hanging in Bais Medrash Govoha, with a few words from Harav Yaakov Forcheimer Shlit”a at the bottom disagreeing outright with the entire premise.

  5. #2-this is discussed by the poskim, notably the Rosh and the Raavid. It is not a family mesorah.

    All mixtures of flour and water is called “pas,” with pas habah bekissnin not choshuv enough for a bracha hamotzei. That would change by kveuis seuda, which is the shuir of kdai sevai, which is discussed by the afformentioned rishonim. The latter poskim discuss what is called kdai sevia. Don’t just wash becuase you do not know, ask a competent possik for a psak.

  6. Thanks!!

    I always get my psak from some anonymous poster who knows everything.

    PS my rov said it is not allowed to be on line at all…So there. You get off line.

  7. Actually here is the Teshuva he did speak about R’ Moshe’s Psak

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    ????? ????? ????? ??????

  8. Actually this is the whole Teshuva with Rabbi Forshiemers comment on the bottom
    ????? ????? ???? ??? ????, ??? ??? ????”? ???????? ??”? ????? ????? ?? “????”, ?????? ???? ????? ???”? ?????? ???? ???? ??????, ?? ???? ?????? ?????”? ???’ ????? ???? ????? (snack) (?”? ??”? ??”? ?”?). ???? ????”? “??? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ?????? (?”????”) ??? ?????? ??”? ?? ?????? ???? ????? ??????.”
    ??? ?? ?? ??????? ??? ?? ???, ?”? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ??????? ?? ???? ??? ?? ????”? ?????? “????” ??? ??? ??”?, ???? ??????.
    ??? ??? SURVEY ??? ?USDA ??? ???? ??? 175,71  ????? ???? ?? ?????? ???? ????”?, ??????? ????? ????? ???? ???? ??????, ??? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?????, ??? ??????? ??? ?? ??????? ????? ??? ??? ?? ????????.
     
     ??”? ???? ????? ???? ???? ?? ???? ???”? ??? ???? ?????? ???’ ????? ?? ???? “????” ?????.
     
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    ??? ????”? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ??????? ?? ????? ???, ??? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ?? ????? ?? ?????. ????? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ????”? ????????? ??”? ??? ??? ?????? ???? ????? ??? ??”? ?????? ????? ?????. ????? ???? ??? ????? ???? ????? ???? ????? ???? ?????. ??????? ?? ??? ????”? ??”? ?? ????, ?? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ?? ???? ??? ???? ???????.
    ???? ?????? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?? ??? ????? ???”?, ????? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ?????, ??’ ??? ????? ?? ?? ????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????. 
    ????? ????? ????? ??????

    Harav Yaakov Forcheimer Shlit”a
    ?? ??? ????? ???”? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ????”?

    When asked Harav Yaakov Forcheimer Shlit”a said the dough will hardly ever taste like a cookie but he just wanted to speak out all of the different sides.

  9. how is pizza different than an open-faced cheese sandwich (smeared with tomato sauce)? I never understood.

    If i eat a slice of bread with cheese and sauce, I wash.

    If i eat a slice of pizza, I wash.

  10. But how can one recite Birchas Hamotzi if the proper blessing is Mezonos? If one does wish to be Kovay-ah Seuda and thus is required to wash shouldn’t he/she wash upon an item that is a real Homotzi and then enjoy his pizza? Isn’t this the same with Mezonos Bread? how can one recite Hamotzi on bread which was made as a Mezonos, ie. juice in place of water?

  11. One must consider the following:

    It used to be that for every meal one ate bread in one form or another.

    Today many people do not eat bread for any “meals” except shabbos and Yom tov.
    Thus, one can say:

    1. Today a ‘meal’ does not include bread (so one must wash even on one slice of pizza – since its a ‘not meal’ meal on todays standards). or –

    2. Today’s “meals” are not considered meals only snacks (people are not ‘kovaiáh súdah’ all week long) and thus one will only wash if he has a meal i.e. 2-3 slices of pizza (k’vias sudah).

  12. Very interesting! Just spoke to my Rov. He explained to me that this is not based on a personal minhag but rather this is the halacha based on the shulachan aruch and mishna brurah. Kol Hakovad to Rabbi Bodner! I always respected his psak!

  13. If the Minhag was like the Taz people would make Mezonos on Pizza bagels which they don’t. You will not find one Posek who says that the Minhag is like the Taz. The Minhag is like the Mishna Berura who doesn’t even bring the Taz!

  14. although hacham ovadia says that one should make hamotzi it is not because of the reasons mentoned he simply holds that the way it prepared constitutes hamotzi mishna brura in the biur halacha as well maintains that it is a state of mind is it eaten as a meal or not other sepharadi poskim maintain that it is a matter of shiur less than 6 ozs mezonot more than 8 1/4 hamotzi in between it s a machlokes haposkim to get out of the sofek one should make sure to eat less than 6 or more than 8 1\4 this applies to all pas bekisnin according to these seph poskim this survey is irrelevant

  15. Harav Belsky in Mesorah vol. 1 writes: “???? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??? ??? ???? ???, ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ??????? ???? ?? ??? ??????, ?????? ???????? ??? ??????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????, ??????? ?? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ????, ??? ???? ?? ??. ???? ??? ??? ???? ????? ??????? ???? ??”? ??”? ???? ????, ??? ?????? ??? ??????”.

  16. I think there is an entirely different issue here. The mishna brura says, when discussing the din of pashtida, that we look at whether it is eaten as a meal or as a snack .But in the case of pizza although it may be normally eaten during a meal, it still does not fall under the category of bread.In other words, in those days any meal consisted of bread, therefore the way to determine whether something was bread or not, was dependent on whether it was used as a meal. However, today most people do not wash during supper. So the fact that pizza is eaten for supper does not prove that it is BREAD. In fact, it proves the opposite. It proves that its just a tasty food, like steak and fries. Pizza is not a substitute for bread.The definition of “pashtida”,the biur halacha says,is instead of eating the meat and bread separately, we eat it together.Pizza is not like that at all.

  17. Rabbi Forscheimer, DID NOT disagree with the Psak..when asked about it, he said he agreed with the PSAK that rabbi Bodner wrote..he just added, that in case the facts ever change and they have a sweet pizza, then the situation might be different..but now it is the way rabbi bodner writes it.

  18. The study indicated that most pizza was consumed during”lunch” or snack( the survey asked participants using the equivlent word for lunch). One has to define the term lunch, as many will eat a lunch that is just a light meal to carry them over to dinner, not the type of meal that one would eat if he was eating two meals a day- “seudas boker va’erev” as the shitta that is most meikal requires. Of course the more stringent shita of 3-4 eggs would require hamotzi, but the minhag in America seems to be lehakel (see Hilchos Brochos by Rabbi Forst) as can be seen by the amount of cake people consume without benching.

  19. To EEK:
    Dea Edito,

    Matzav.com eported a few days ago about a pizza study conducted by the USDA. One peson saw this and ealized that thee may moe to take out fom this Pizza study than the fact that Ameicans love pizza.

    Thee is a diffeence of opinion among the contempoay Ameican Poskim of what bacha to make on Pizza.

    While Eetz Yiroel Poskim all agee that one should make Hamotzi on pizza, (See Vizos Habacha P’ 21,230 in the name of ’ Elyashiv ’ Schienbeg, R’ Shtenbuch. Also see Visane Bracha in the name of S.Z. Auebach) in Ameica it is uestionable.

    Why is that? Because the Bacha depends on whethe most pizza is eaten as a meal or as a snack. While in E\etz Yis\ael it is clea\ that pizza is eaten mostly as a meal, in Ame\ica some Poskim we\e not so su\e.

    The Pizza study published on Feb. 11 documented when most Pizza is eaten in Ameica. According to this study, an astounding 90% of the pizza eaten in Ameica was eaten duing meal times, while only 10% is eaten as a snack.

    abbi Pinchas Bodne, well known Autho of Halachos Of Bachos published by Feldheim, wote a Teshuve, which was publicized in BMG, that although he wites in his Sefe that in Ameica one should not make Hamotzi unless one is eating pizza for a meal, it is now clea that’ Shlomo Zalman ZS”L would hold that one should make Hamotzi on Pizza even if it is eaten as a snack

  20. To #10 – When having bread with cheese on it the bread was baked first and the bracha is hamotzi. Here the shaila is on the Pizza dough since it was baked with the sauce and cheese.
    To #21 – No this is pas and the brocho is Hamotzi, The shaila is on pas haba bekisnin which is bread made differently than pizza.
    My Rebbe told me this psak of Hamotzi on Pizza over two decades ago because then also the izza industry said it was predominately a meal food.

  21. This utterly ridiculous . A study was also done that people mainly eat cheese danishes for breakfast. Do we now have to wash on them as well.
    This entire discussion is a machlokes betwn the Taz & M”A if Pashtida requires kvias seuda the M”B paskens like the M”A & the KS”A [askens like the Taz . The minhag in this case was always like the Taz unless anyone can explain why we don’t wash on franks and blanks. In any event if you are paskening from a website HaShem Yerachem . Also see http://oukosher.org/guide-to-blessings/ Rabbis Belsky & Schachter seem to concur that it`s still Pas Habah BeKisnin

  22. Breakfast may be different. How can you say the Minhag was always like the Taz? On what are you basing this? Those in the know say that R’ Moshe’s Psak was bec. in his days it was eaten as a snack the Minhag was based on R’ moshe. You can’t pick and choose Shitos and say that the Minhag is like them. There is such a thing as a Minhag Taos. Which seems to be the case over here (somewhat)

  23. If you look at the M”A and Taz you will see that a cheese danish is no different than pizza. The question is merely if filling are mevatel the shem lechem from dough. Be it meat cheese and the like.
    Dayan Fisher in VeZos HaBracha is quoted as saying the minhag is like the Taz

  24. Answer(My Opinion): if you eat 1 slice of a pizza well for sure it’s NOT hamotze but if you know you are going to eat more than one slice than go ahead Wash your hands and make hamotze. There are many opinions( Of Course) but we have to know what is the reason of these opinions(because of i guess… the dough amount or how much.. etc.).

  25. As far as we know the Psak from the Rabbi at

    145 East Broadway, NYC remains the same

    up to 2 slices is a mezonos and more than that

    is a Hamotzei.

  26. My posek said its mezonos. just like chocolate bobka even if there is no juice in the dough-since there is mainly cheese and sauce and cocoa in the cake it’s not like eating bread-if i decide like motze shabbos to wash to pizza i bite into a hamotze first

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