Pas Akum (part 4)

(Before reading this post please read Pas Akum parts 1, 2 and 3)

Jewish Participation In The Baking Process-

1. The prohibition of pas akum applies only if a non-Jew did the entire baking process. However, if a Jew contributed significantly the bread is considered pas yisroel.

2. There are three significant acts involved in the baking process: kindling the fire (or, in modern ovens, turning on the oven), placing the bread into the oven, and stoking the coals. If a Jew does any of these, the bread is considered pas yisroel. Therefore, if a non-Jew kindled the fire and placed the bread into the oven and a Jew merely stoked the coals once, the bread is pas yisroel. Nowadays, if a Jew were to turn off the oven before the bread is fully baked and turn it on again, the bread is pas yisroel.

3. As noted above, if a non-Jew lights a fire and places dough onto the fire and a Jew stokes tha coals then the bread is pas yisroel. The Rambam explains that stoking the coals is sufficient because it serves as a indicator that this fire could not be used to cook food for Jews without a Jew’s participation. He therefore rules that since a indicator is all that is required and not that the Jew actually contribute to the cooking of the food, any minimal heker including “throwing a toothpick” into the fire would suffice. The Rosh argues that there is no indication in the Gemara that such a minimal participation is acceptable. The Shulchan Aruch rules in accordance with the Rambam.

4. According to the Pri Chadash (18) one may l’chatchila rely on the opinion of the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch and throw a toothpick in the fire. However, the Aruch Hashulchan (27) maintains that one should only rely on throwing in a toothpick in a case of absolute necessity. Rather, one who wishes to prevent pas akum should initially do one of the three more significant acts (kindling the oven, placing the bread into the oven, or stoking the coals). In modern terms, in this author’s view, if one only slightly raises the flame or temperature of the oven it is similar to “throwing a toothpick” in the fire. However, if one raises the fire a significant amount it is similar to stoking the coals. (See also Chelkas Binyamin 88)

5. If a Jew participates in the baking process the bread is permissible, even if the rest of the baking process was completed by a non-Jewish baal habaayis.

6. It should be noted that regarding pas akum all agree that if a Jew lit the fire then the bread is pas yisroel. However, regarding bishul akum the Shulchan Aruch is of the opinion that turning on the fire does not suffice to create bishul yisroel.

Timers:

7. Harav Yitzchak Weiss zt”l (Minchas Yitzchak 4:28:4) writes that if a Jew set a timer that will ignite the oven, this is considered as if the Jew turned the oven and permits the bread even if a non-Jew placed it in the oven. Harav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a (Shevet Halevi 9:164), however, questions whether turning on the fire using a timer suffices, as the Jew is merely turning on the fire in an indirect way (grama). Harav Weiss acknowledges that the fire is being turned on indirectly, yet he feels that turning on the fire indirectly suffices.

8. Interestingly, the method that the OU recommends to accomplish pas yisroel is for the bakery to install an electric panel by a designated oven that enables that oven to be turned on off-site by a rabbinic field representative using a remote control telephone hook-up. This system meets the strictest of the kosher pas yisroel requirements and has received great approbation among leading rabbinic authorities. The device is known as the “Shain system,” named after a Rabbi Shain who made this innovation. It seems that even Harav Wosner would agree to the use of this device since the fire is turned on immediately by the Jew it is deemed as turning on the fire directly. As apposed to the use of a timer where, due to the delay, the Jew’s participation is deemed indirect.

9. However, Harav Moshe Heinemen shlit”a, in an article published on the Star-K website writes, “Can bishul Yisroel be achieved by setting a timer that will ignite the oven at set intervals? No. Since the Yehudi does not perform direct lighting of the oven it would not qualify for bishul Yisroel. In commercial settings (e.g. hotels, hospitals or factories) where large boilers provide the steam for the cooking equipment, bishul Yisroel requirements would be fulfilled if the Yehudi flips a switch or presses a button that directly ignites a boiler. If the action that is done by the Yehudi causes an indirect lighting of the oven, that action would not qualify for bishul Yisroel. Hence, dialing a number that in turn trips a switch that in turn lights an oven would be considered a “grama,” an indirect action that would not qualify for bishul Yisroel.” Harav Heinemen rules in accordance with Harav Wosner that lighting in an indirect way does not create bishul yisroel. In addition he seems to invalidate the Shain system, cited above, as he feels that this too is an indirect form of lighting. In Harav Belsky’s defense, most authorities maintain, regarding the laws of Shabbos, that an action that happens instantaneous can hardly be qualified as a grama.

כן מצאתי סברא זו במקום אחר בשו”ת ציץ אליעזר. שבסוף חלק ד’ מתשובותיו הביא הלכה בשם החזון איש בנוגע לממטרות, שמותר לפתוח את ברזי ההשקאה בשדה בערב שבת קודם הדלקת הנרות ולהשאירם פתוחים כל מה שצריך “וקודם שיסגור הברזים יסגור את הברז של הצנור הראשי המספק מים לכל הממטרות כדי שלא יגבר לחץ המים בצנור אחד השאר פתוח ע”י שסוגר את שני”, ע”כ. ובתשובותיו שבחלק ה’ (סימן ו’) הביא מכתב מהגאון רבי צבי פסח פראנק זצ”ל שיצא לחלוק על החזו”א מכמה טעמים וכתב דחומרא זו אין פנים בהלכה, וכתב: “ראשית אין סברא שסגירת בר זה יגרום להגדיל השטף בברז השני שע”פ רוב יש מים הרבה די להמיר, ובאשקיל עליה בידקא דמיא אמרינן דכחו לא הוי אלא כח ראשון לבד, ובנ”ד הוי כבר יש מים בהצינור ששוטפים והולכים להזרעים גם מקודם שנסגר הברז בביתו ושוב מה שיצאו הרי הם כח שני ולא כחו הוא”, עכ”ל הגרצפ”פ.
וכתב ע”ז הציץ אליעזר בלשון זה: “ובנוגע לטענה השניה די”ל דזה לא הוי כחו מכיון שיש כבר מים בהצינור ששוטפים והולכים להזרעים גם מקודם, נראה דיש מקום לדון ולומר דכ”ז היה ניחא אילו זרמת המים לא היו מתגברים מיד על אתר עם סגירת האדם את הברז, אבל מכיון שמתגברים על אתר מבלי שהיה כל שהו א”כ י”ל דכל בכגון דא מכיון שהכל בא מיד בפעם אחת ופעולה אחת דהיינו ע”י גרמת פעולתו, לא נחשב זה כח כחו כי אם כחו ממש וכו’ וכעין זה מובא גם בשם הדר”ג (שליט”א) [זצ”ל] בספר שביתת השבת (מלאכת טוחן אות נ”ז) לענין גדר גרמא, שכתב להוכיח דלענין חיוב במלאכת שבת דלא ליהוי גרמא תליא אי התחלת המלאכה נעשית תיכף עם סילוק ידים, דאי נעשית תיכף תו לא חשיב גרמא”, ע”ש.

ואגב ראינן דהגרצפ”פ ע”כ קסובר דשפיר שייך גרמא אף אי המעשה מתחלת מיד עם סילוק הידים, וממילא מובן דלשיטתו שפיר יכולים לומר בחשמל דהוי גרמא אף דנעשית מיד, אך צ”ע כי הגרצפ”פ בעצמו בתשובה הנדפס בספר שביתת השבת מפלפל ולומר דכל היכא דהתחלת המעשה נעשית תיכף עם סילק ידים ל”ה גרמא, וכמציין הבעל צי”א, ע”ש, ואולי חזר בו, וצ”ע

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ושו”מ בשו”ת יביע אומר (ח”א או”ח ס’ י”ט אות ב’) שהביא הגאון רבי עובדיה יוסף זצ”ל משו”ת זרע אמת (ס’ מ”ד) שעמד על הסתירה דבשבת (קכ:) אמרינן, לא תעשה כל מלאכה, עשייה הוא דאסור הא גרמא שרי, ואילו בב”ק (ס.) אמרינן, דזורה ורוח מסייעתו, אע”ג דלגבי נזיקין פטור דהוי גרמא בנזקין, לענין שבת חייב, דמלאכת מחשבת אסרה תורה. ותירץ דהיכא דהוי גרמא דלא עביד מעשה בשעת המלאכה רק עושה מעשה ואחר זמן ע”י מעשיו גרם שתעשה המלאכה מאליה ע”י ד”א, כגון במחיצות הכלים שמלאים מים, זוהי גרמא המותרת לענין שבת, אבל כשהוא עם המאלכה כגון זורה ורוח מסייעתו חייב, ע”ש. וע”פ דבריו הוכיח הגר”ע יוסף זצ”ל בנדידונו שם (לענין השתמשות במגביר רם קול ביו טוב) דאינו מקרי גרמא כשנעשית המלאכה תיכף, וז”ל: “ודון מינה ואוקי באתרין, שכיון שתיכף ומיד נעשית מלאכת ההבערה והכבוי ברוח שפתיו אין זה חשיב גרמא, ועשייה ממש הוא”, ע”כ. וכ”כ בשו”ת חלק לוי (חאו”ח ס”ס צ”ג), שכל שהפעולה נרגשת מיד חשיב כחו ולא גרמא, וכתב כן בדברי רש”י סנהדרין הנ”ל.

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Pas Akum (Part 3)

(Before reading this post please read Pas Akum parts 1 and 2)

The Definition Of Pas Palter:

1. The Rama (112:2) explains that although palter is a baker, pas palter, regarding the halachos of pas akum, is defined as bread that was baked with the intention to be sold. Therefore, the bread of a non-Jewish housewife who bakes bread to sell to others is considered pas palter even though it was not baked by a baker. Conversely, if a non-Jewish baker baked bread specifically for his family it is considered regular, prohibited, pas akum since it was not baked to sell.

2. The definition of pas palter depends upon the actual baking of the bread, not whether it was eventually sold or it was given as a gift. Therefore, if a non-Jew purchased bread from a baker and gives it as a gift to a Jew, the Jew may eat the bread. Conversely, if a non-Jewish housewife baked bread for her own family and decides to sell it instead, a Jew may not eat the bread. (Shulchan Aruch 112:7)

Jewish Owned Bakery:

3. The reason that the edict was partially relaxed and pas palter is permissible was because it was too difficult for most Jews to observe. However, the edict remains in effect when it is readily observed. Accordingly, the Shach rules that bread that is owned by a Jew and baked by a non-Jew is prohibited. In such a circumstance it is relatively easy for the Jewish owner of the bread to at least participate in some minimal fashion in the preparation of the bread. The only thing that is permissible is bread owned and baked by a non-Jewish baker. The Chochmat Adam (65:6) also rules in accordance with the Shach.

4. It would appear, accordingly, that bread baked in a Jewish owned bakery should be required to be Pas Yisrael even according to the most lenient opinions. However, Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe Y.D. 45) rules that one may be lenient in such a situation if it is difficult to ensure that the bread is Pas Yisrael. Rav Moshe argues that the Shach is strict only in a situation where it is very easy for a Jew to participate in the baking. However, if it is difficult to hire Jewish bakers, as is sometimes the case in large factories, one may rule leniently and treat the bread as pas palter. Just as the Rabbi’s forbade pas akum and yet they permitted pas palter due to the the fact that it is difficult for many Jews to use a Jewish baker. Likewise, the sages forbade Jewish owned bread baked by a non-Jew and they permitted it in a situation where it is difficult to hire Jewish bakers.

5. Rav Elazar Hakohen Kahanow zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Torah V’Daas, cites the view of Harav Moshe and questions his permissive view. He writes that according to the Shach, Jewish owned bread baked by a non-Jew was forbidden by the original ban and was not rescinded, therefore it should function like all rabbinic prohibitions and be forbidden under all circumstances. Even though in a factory setting it may be difficult to hire Jewish bakers, this case should still by forbidden under the prohibition of pas akum. (Hamesivta 5753 page 53)

What Is Considered Pas-

6. Only bread made from the five grains (wheat, barley, spelt, oats and rye) is considered bread regarding the rules of pas akum. However, bread made of other grains, such as rice bread or cornbread (into which no significant amount of flour from the five grains was added), is not considered bread with regard to the laws of pas akum. These breads are, by their very nature, inferior and eating them will not lead to intimacy. These breads are also exempt from the laws of bishul akum, since they are not fit to be served to nobility (See next chapter).

7. Cookies and Cakes: The Rama, in his Sefer Toras Chatas (75:12), writes that a sweet dough baked with a thick batter (belilah avah, such as cookies) has the status of bread and if baked by a palter, has the leniency of pas palter. Although, the bracha on such foods is Borei Minei Mezonos (which implies that they are not bread), since they can achieve the bracha of Hamotzei by merit of kevias seudah (eating them as a meal) they can be classified as pas palter.

The Rama is referring to the ruling of Pas Habaah Bikisnin. This teaches that one who eats cake, pie, or crackers as a meal (the amount of consumption required to be defined as a meal is beyond the scope of this work and for practical halacha a rabbi should be consulted) must treat the cake, pie or crackers as bread. He must wash, recite al netilas yadayim, and recite hamotzei, and then birchas hamazon after the meal. (See Shulchan Aruch O.C. 168:7)

Since all these foods have the potential halachic status of bread, they are subject to the rules of pas akum and pas palter, even when not eaten for a meal. [Were it not for this potential status of bread, these baked items would be considered bishul akum, and not pas akum. There status would then be stricter, since bishul akum is prohibited even when cooked by a professional chef – a palter.]

The Shach limits this ruling to Pas Habaah Bikisnin that is baked with a thick batter (Belilah Avah, such as most cookies). Pas Habaah Bikisnin that is baked with a thin batter (Belila Rakah, such as most cakes), rules the Shach, is subject to the rules of Bishul Akum.

Most authorities, including the Aruch Hashulchan (112:31), Beis Meir (112), Avnei Nezer (Y.D. 94:3) and Pri Chadash assume that even a thin batter of pas habaah bikisnin which is baked is treated as bread and has the rules of pas palter. This opinion is quite logical since this batter could have the status of bread, if one were to eat as a meal, they have the status of bread for our discussion. The Kashrus organization OU follows this view as well.

8. Bagels: Bagels are made by first boiling them in water and then baking them. One might think that since they are boiled they should be subject to the rules of Bishul Akum. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:33), however, writes that since the boiling does not render the bagels even minimally edible, the bagels are not considered to have been cooked. Therefore, bagels are subject to the rules of Pas Akum, just as one recites Hamotzi on bagels.

9. Doughnuts: There is a great debate amongst the poskim as to whether we treat doughnuts as pas (and it is treated as pas akum) or as a cooked item (and it has the rules of bishul akum). This argument is very closely related to a different argument amongst the poskim as to whether one recites the bracha of hamotzei on doughnuts or the bracha of mezonos and if the halacha changes if one eats enough doughnuts to constitute a meal.

The Shulchan Aruch cites an argument amongst the poskim regarding one who cooks or fries a thick dough (doughnuts), some feel that the bracha is mezonos (even if one eats a meal’s worth- Mishnah Berurah 168:70), while others recite the blessing of hamotzei. The Shulchan Aruch therefore concludes that those who fear Heaven should only eat such food during a bread meal. The Rama writes that the common custom is to recite mezonos and to follow the first view. (Shulchan Aruch Rama O.C. 168:13)

Harav Yisroel Belsky shlit”a, in a OU Kashrus Manual dedicated to the laws of Bishul Akum, writes that since normative halacha is to follow the view of the Rama and not to recite hamotzei on doughnuts therefore one can not treat it as bread and it does not have the laws of pas akum, rather it has the laws of bishul akum. It seems that this is also the view of Harav Herschel Shachter shlit”a.

Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l, however, writes that one may rely on those opinions that doughnuts are considered bread and are therefore allowed the leniencies of pas akum (Yechava Daas 5:53 and Halichos Olam vol. 7 page 106).

All would agree that a thin batter deep fried would not be considered bread.

10. Thin Dough – Crepe/Blintz: In the aforementioned OU Kashrus Manual, Harav Yisroel Belsky shlit”a and Harav Herschel Schachter shlit”a explain that the determining factor as to whether a food is a tavshil (cooked item and subject to the laws of bishul akum) or pas (and subject to the laws of pas akum) is whether one would recite hamotzei upon being kovea seudah on the food. As such, very thin crepe dough is a tavshil and is subject to the laws of bishul akum.

11. Pancakes and Waffles: Pancakes fried by a non-Jewish palter may be prohibited, depending upon whether or not they were fried in a significant amount of oil. Pancakes fried in a significant amount of oil are considered cooked, not baked. Even one who eats a meal of these pancakes recites a mezonos, not hamotzei. Therefore, they are included in the rules of bishul akum, not pas akum, and are prohibited even when made by a professional chef.

Pancakes fried without oil, or in a minimal amount of oil to prevent them from sticking to the pan, are considered pas and are permitted when fried by a palter. (Kaf Hachaim Y.D. 112:37,43)

The bracha for waffles is mezonos. According to most authorities one recites hamotzei upon being kovea seudah on waffles and such should be treated as bread and not a tavshil.(See Vezos Habracha page 28, Olas Yitzchak 36)

12. Glazed Bread: The Shulchan Aruch rules that bread that has an egg glaze is still considered pas and would have the permissible heter of pas palter. Although there is egg on the surface of the bread, and eggs are a tavshil and should be treated with the stringencies of bishul akum, it is deemed insignificant in comparison to the bread and is treated for this halacha as a part of the bread. The Rama, however, rules that bread that was made by a non-Jew and that is glazed with an egg is prohibited (assuming none of the leniencies of bishul akum apply).

In the OU Kashrus Manual page 47 it states, “This discussion raised the question that there should be a concern of bishul akum on white bread since it is glazed with egg (and the OU certifies white bread without addressing this)? Neither of the aforementioned reasons apply in this case because bread is served at shulchan melachim and the glaze is on the bread. Rabbi Luban noted that Gr”a (112:14) implies that Rama is discussing even a thin glaze of egg but Aruch Hashulchan (112:21) clearly rules that only a thick layer of egg is forbidden. Thus, according to Aruch Hashulchan there would be no concern of bishul akum for the glaze on white bread according to Gr”a there would be. Rav Belsky said that although the simple reading of Rama does not agree with Aruch Hashulchan’s interpretation, the glaze on the white bread is nonetheless permitted because it is barely visible and is not even the “b’en” which Rama refers to. Thus, although we do not agree with Aruch Hashulchan we can rely on it in this case. [However, the egg in French toast is quite visible and does not qualify for this heter].”

13. The following is a statement from the OU website: “Many cereals may be eaten during Asseres Yimay Teshuva because they lack tzuras hapas (for example shredded wheat and flakes). Rav Belsky and Rav Schachter also maintain that Cheerios is not considered pas, because of its small size and the way it is dried.”

Pas Akum (Part 2)- Pas Palter

(Before reading this article please read “Pas Akum Part 1”)

Pas Palter And Pas Baal Habayis-

1. The Tur writes that when the prohibition of pas akum was originally instituted, it was not widely accepted by Klal Yisroel. The reason that the decree was not accepted was that bread is a staple food upon which people’s lives depend, and the prohibition of bread baked by a non-Jew caused hardship for many Jews who lived in an area without Jewish bakers. [According to others this decree was officially rescinded by a later beis din because of the hardships it posed to daily living. (See Ran)]

2. According to virtually all of the authorities the decree was only rescinded to allow Jews to eat pas palter, or baker’s bread. However, one may not eat bread baked by a private non-professional non-Jew, pas baal habayis. [There are extreme cases of urgency when even pas baal habayis is permitted, see Shulchan Aruch 112:8 and Aruch Hashulchan 17-18.]

3. There is a logical difference between bread baked by a non-professional (baal habayis), non-Jew and bread baked by a non-Jewish, professional baker. The prohibition of pas akum was instituted because of the possibility of closeness and eventual intermarriage. This concern is reasonable only when a non-professional non-Jew bakes bread and gives it to his Jewish neighbor. Such a relationship can cause friendliness and camaraderie. However, when a professional baker sells bread (pas palter), it is strictly a business relationship, there is no social or intimate interaction and the chance of intermarriage is greatly diminished.

Sefardic Custom:

4. The Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 112:2) writes that one may only eat pas palter if there is no pas yisroel (Jewish baked bread) available. The poskim explain that according to Sefardic tradition, one may not eat pas paltar if pas yisroel can be found within one mil (this is approxamitely .72 or .6 of a mile according to the Chazon Ish and Rav Chaim Naeh, respectively). According to most authorities, this is the distance that one can walk in 18 minutes. One who is traveling may not eat pas paltar if pas Yisroel is available within four mil in the direction that he is traveling or one mil in the opposite or side direction. (Shulchan Aruch 112:16, Darkei Teshuva 95)

5. However, the Shulchan Aruch (112:5) notes that there are those (the Rashba) who rule that if the available Pat Akum is of superior quality to the available Pat Yisrael in a particular locale (or the type of bread that one wants is not available in pas yisroel), then in that locale it is considered that Pat Yisrael is not available and one may eat the pas akum. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:33) asserts that the fact that the Shulchan Aruch does not cite the dissenting opinion (the Tur) to the Rashba’s leniency indicates that the Shulchan Aruch accepts the Rashba’s leniency as normative.

6. Harav Binyamin Cohen shlit”a (Chelkas Binyamin 112:18:81) writes that according to the Shulchan Aruch one can not eat pas palter if there is pas yisroel available, even if the pas yisroel is more expensive. The aforementioned heter is only if the pas palter is of better quality. However, one may question this asssertion, as it is reasonable to contend that if the pas yisroel is more expensive then the pas palter becomes of “superior quality” in the eyes of the buyer as it is more affordable. And perhaps in this instance we can also consider it as if pas yisroel is not available. For normative halacha, a rabbi should be consulted.

7. A lenient ruling was expressed by the Kenesses Hagedolah. He writes that the Shulchan Aruch only forbade pas palter if the Jewish baker can single-handedly bake enough bread for the entire Jewish community if they are only buying Jewish bread. However, if the Jewish bakers can not bake enough bread for the entire Jewish community (even though they can supply the individual who needs bread) one may purchase pas palter. This teaching is also cited by Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Yechava Daas 5:53).

Ashkenazim Custom:

8. The Rama writes that one may eat pas palter even if pas yisroel is available. [Interestingly, the Ben Ish Chai (Shana 2 Chukas 2) cites the view of the Rama and writes that in Baghdad the common custom is to follow the lenient view of the Rama

9. The Shach (112:8) rules that even Ashkenazic Jews should follow the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch and refrain from eating pas palter when there is pat Yisroel available. The Shach adds that one may rely on the opinion of Rashba that one may eat pas palter when it is qualitatively superior to pat Yisrael. The Aruch Hashulchan (112:17) also writes that in his local the common custom is to rule stringently. Indeed, the Arizal feels that one should be very particular not to eat pas palter (Darkei Teshuva 112:18).

View Of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l:

10. Rav Menachem Genack in Mesorah 1:94 cites a ruling of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l to Rav Nata Greenblatt shlit”a that even those who are strict regarding pas palter might be lenient regarding factory produced bread (in a manner that one could not do with household equipment). Concern for social interaction and intermarriage is entirely irrelevant when purchasing factory produced bread, as there is no contact between the baker and the purchaser. There is room, by contrast, to be strict regarding the Palter discussed in the classic sources, as there is contact between the purchaser and the Palter, so there is some concern for intermarriage. One might argue, however, that “lo plug rabbanun,” that rabbinic decrees apply even when the reasons for their enactment do not. Rav Moshe suggests that Chazal’s edict never applied when the bread is baked using industrial equipment that is not used in a home setting. Chazal’s enactment does not apply to industrial baking, since such equipment is never used for baking in a context where there is contact between the baker and purchaser (home or bakery).

11. This is also quoted in Shu”t Rivevos Efraim (5:596) where he adds that Rav Reuven Feinstein confirmed that this indeed was his father’s opinion. Harav Yitzchak Weiss zt”l (Minchas Yitzchak 3:26) accept this leniency when it is combined with other questionable situations (as a snif lehakel). The policy of the OU is to only rely on the opinion of Rav Moshe if there are also other reasons to be lenient (refer to OU Kashrus Manual Bishul Akum page 15).

12. According to this view of Rav Moshe zt”l both Ashkenazim and Sefardim may eat factory baked pas palter, even if pas yisroel is available.

13. The Chazon Ish, cited by Harav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a, however, was unconvinced, and maintained that a factory setting would not be considered any different than any other type of bakery. (Shevet Halevi 6:108:6)

Aseres Yimei Teshuva:

14. During the Aseres Yimei Teshuva (the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) even Ashkenazik Jews should eat only pas yisroel and not pas palter. (Shach 112:9)

15. The Darkei Teshuva cites poskim who maintain that during these days one should not eat pas palter even if it is of superior quality to the pas yisroel.

16. We shall explain in the next post that if a Jew participated in the baking by turning on the fire, stoaking the coals or by throwing a piece of wood into the fire (regardless of the size) the bread is pas yisroel. The Pri Megadim (Sifsei Daas 8) writes that likewise during the Aseres Yimei Teshuva one may eat the bread if a Jew participated in the baking. It seems that he feels that this is permissible even l’chatchila. However, the Mishnah Berurah (503) implies that during the Aseres Yimei Teshuva one should avoid eating this bread. As he writes that if one has no other bread then one should have the non-jew bake bread with the participation of the Jew.

Shabbos:

17. The Mishnah Berurah (242:6) cites Achronim who state that, out of honor of Shabbos and Yom Tov, one should try not to eat pas paltur on Shabbos and Yom Tov (e.g. one should therefore refrain from eating Stella Dora® cookies on Shabbos).

18. If one has no pas yisroel available, one may use pas paltur for lechem mishnah on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

Forgetting The Torah (Part 2- Olives and Olive Oil)

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)

Please Read Forgetting The Torah (Part 1) before reading this post.

1. The Gemara (Horayos 13b) writes that one of the things that causes one to forget his learning is “one who eats olives regularly.” The Gemara later lists five things that restore ones studies. One of them is consuming olive oil. The Gemara adds that this follows the view of Rav Yochanan who said that just as oils cause one to forget seventy years of one’s learning, so too olive oil restores seventy years of one’s learning.

2. The Maharsha uses the above Gemara to explain why out of all of the seven species the only one which is a bi-product (of the fruit or grain) is olives. Olive oil, not olives is one of the seven species. The reason being that olives is a friut that is damaging to one’s memory. While, olive oil is beneficioul to one’s memory. Therefore, it is appropriate that olive oil and not olives are one of the seven species that are listed in the Torah as being special products of the Land of Israel.

אגב עיין במגן אברהם הנ”ל דאין זה אלא בע”ה אבל המאכל בכונה המשכחים את האדם מוסיפין לו זכירה כי הוא מתקן אותה, ע”ש. וכ”כ בנגיד ומצוה (די”ח ע”ב), שיכוין בשמות “קל אלקים מצפץ”, שעולים כמנין זית, ע”ש. אכן שו”מ בשו”ת שלמת חיים ס’ מ”א שנשאל להגאון רבי יוסף חיים זוננפלד זצ”ל בלשון זה: “במג”א ס’ ק”ע ס”ק י”ט בענין דברים המשכחים את האדם כגון זיתים וכו’ אין זה אלא בע”ה אבל האוכלים בכוונה כנודע מוסיפין לו זכירה כי הוא מתקן אותה, ושמעתי לכוין על זיתים כך ק-ל א-לקים י-ק-ו-ק בא”ת ב”ש היינו מ-צ-פ-ץ בגימט’ זית [בגוף השאלה היה כתוב השמות כהויתן ובהפסקת קוים וגם צרוף חשבון העולה במספרים]. מהו אם יש לסמוך ע”ז שלא להקפיד להרגיל את עצמו באכילת זיתים שאמרו ע”ז ובמס’ הוריות דף י”ג כשם שהזית משכח לימוד של ע’ שנה וגו’, אם אין מצוי לו שמן זית”. והשיב הגרי”ח: “תמהתי על שכ’ השמו’ הקדושים וכן לענ”ד לא יעשה ומכ”ש שלא הי’ צריך לכתוב אח”כ החשבון ולענ”ד אינו דרך כבוד ועכ”פ יזהר בדף הזה מאד כי נכתבים בו שמו’ הקדושים לשמרו היטב ולענין הדין אין ראוי להרגיל בזה במה שמפורש בש”ס ומכ”ש עניני שכחה אפשר יש בזה לתה דלאו השמר פן תשכח [עיין לעיל שהבאנו מכמה פוסקים דאין בזה כלל איסור דהשמר פן תשכח את הדברים וכו’ ע”ש] אבל יאכל אותם עם שמן זית ואז מה טוב לכוין”. ובסמוך לזה בסימן מ”ב הוסיף שהמג”א לא העתיק דברי האר”י זצ”ל כ”א לומר שאם רואים אדם שאוכל זיתים שלא להרהר אחריו אבל עדיי’ אני עומד בסברתי שאין ראוי להרגיל בזה וכו'”.

3. The concept of avoiding eating olives regularly is cited by Rabbeinu Bachya (Parshas Vayishlach Vateitzei Dina), Magen Avraham (170:19), Aruch Hashulchan (2:5), Ben Ish Chai (Shana 2 Pinchas 17) and Kaf Hachaim (157:27).

4. Regarding eating olives, when analyzing the Gemara carefully, the Gemara states, “One who eats olives regularly” and not just “One who eats olives.” Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a writes that that the word “regularly” is indeed specific, for if one eats them only sparingly and not regularly, this will not cause one any forgetfulness. The question is what is the definition of “regularly.” He continues to cite the Talmud Brachos 40a (regarding the medicinal value of eating lentils) that if one consumes them once in thirty days that is called regular consumption. Rav Kanievsky shlit”a, therefore, rules regarding olives that if it is as infrequent as once in thirty days then that is not considered regular consumption. He does note in a postscript that the Gemara (Shabbos 110a) implies that “regular” consumption is once every forty days. Which would mean that regarding olives that if it is as infrequent as once in forty days then that is not considered regular consumption.(Sefer Hazikaron 2:11 and in hosafos)

5. Rabbi Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld writes that if one consumes olives with olive oil there is no concern of forgetfulness. This solution is indicated in the Gemara cited above where it states that olive oil is beneficial to one’s memory (Salmas Chaim 41). Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l is cited as ruling that even one drop of oil would suffice to remove any hallachic problems (Halichos Shlomo chapter 2 page 23 in a footnote). However, Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a questions whether adding olive oil to olives suffices to remove the concern of forgetfulness.

6. Harav Yaakov Emden zt”l (Mor Uketzia 170) noticed that even the religious people of his day commonly ate olives and he wonders why they were not concerned about forgetting their learning. He explains, “That the Gemara was referring to one who eats raw olives and makes them the focal point of his meal. However, if the olives are cooked, salted or brined, which are commonly eaten as a snack, one need not be concerned that they will cause forgetfulness.”

It seems that the common custom is to rely upon the view of Harav Yaakov Emden zt”l. However, Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a cites the Meiri who writes that salted olives also cause one to forget his learning.

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