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.

Pas Akum (Part 1) – Bread Baked By Non-Observant Jews

The Source-

1. Our Sages forbade all bread baked by a non-Jew. This prohibition is referred to as pas akum. Chazal created this prohibition as a precaution against unnecessary socialization with non-Jews that could lead to intermarriage. (Avodah Zara 35b, Rambam Machalos Asuros 17:9, Tur and Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 112)

2. It should be noted that there is a separate, but similar prohibition against all food cooked by a non-Jew, known as bishul akum. In this chapter we will be discussing the prohibition of pas akum. Although both are foods prepared by a non-Jew and are governed by similar rules, they are different in some aspects. Regarding certain applications, pas akum is stricter than bishul akum, where as with regard to other applications, bishul akum is stricter.

3. Although the poskim use the term akum, which literally translates a worshiper of stars and constellations (avodas kochavim u’mazalos), or idolater, the prohibition of pas akum applies equally to any non-Jew, regardless in his belief. Therefore, bread baked by a Moslem or even a non-Jew who keeps the seven Noahide laws is subject to this prohibition. This prohibition was created to avoid intermarriage and therefore all non-Jewish bread is forbidden. (Darkei Teshuva 112:4, Sefas Emes 112, Halichos Olam vol. 7 page 91)

4. Chazal did not differentiate between different individual situations. Therefore, one may not even eat bread baked by a married old non-Jew who has no children, even though, in this case there is hardly any reasonable possibility of intermarriage. Similarly, even monk’s bread is prohibited, even though a monk is forbidden to marry. (Rama, Shach and Pri Megadim 112:1)

5. It should also be stressed that whenever we “permit” eating bread baked by a non-Jew, we are assuming that the bread is completely free of any non-kosher material and that it has been prepared in kosher utensils with a kosher oven. One who has not checked the ingredients of the bread and the manner in which it was prepared may not eat any bread from a non-Jewish (or an unreliable Jewish) baker.

Non-Observant Jews

6. The Tiferes L’Moshe (cited by Pischei Teshuva 112:1) maintains that bread baked by a Jew who publicly desecrates Shabbos is permissible. The reason for this prohibition is to avoid intermarriage which would not apply to bread baked by a Jew even if he desecrates Shabbos. This is also the view of Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Yabia Omer Y.D. 5:10) and the Tzitz Eliezer (9:41). Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l also seems to be leaning towards a lenient view (Y.D. 45).

7. The Sefer Shivilei Dovid (112:1) disagrees and he rules that bread baked by a public desecrator of Shabbos is forbidden. This is also the view of the Pri Megadim, Avnei Nezer (Y.D. 92), Pri Chadash (See Yabia Omer and Chazon Ish Y.D. 2:23), Chazon Ish and Rav Elazar Hakohen Kahanow zt”l Rosh Yeshivas Torah V’Daas (Mesivta 5753 page 50). The view of these poskim is seemingly problematic, as there is no concern of intermarriage there should be no reason for the prohibiton.

8. To answer this question it is necessary to introduce a similar halachic discussion. Our Sages forbade all non-Jewish wine, or even wine that was touched by a non-Jew, as a precaution to avoid intermarriage (Avoda Zara 29. The Rishonim write that one may not even drink wine that was touched by Jew who publicly desecrates Shabbos (Bahag Shechita, Beis Yosef 119 citing the Rashba).

9. The Chasam Sofer (Y.D. 120, see also Har Tzvi Y.D. 105) wonders why the wine is prohibited if one may marry a Jew who desecrates Shabbos and there is no concern of intermarriage. He explains, based on the Gemara in Chullin (5), that if one serves Idolatry he is punished that he has the hallachic status of a non-Jew. Similarly, one who desecrates Shabbos in the presence of ten Jews has the halachic status of a non-Jew. The reason for this is that we keep Shabbos because Hashem rested on the seventh day after creating the world in the first six days. One who does not keep Shabbos is thereby questioning the fact that Hashem rested after creating the world. Therefore, one who desecrates Shabbos is akin to serving Idolatry and is therefore punished that he strictly treated as non-Jew in halacha. Since he has the status of a non-Jew his wine is forbidden, even though there is no concern of intermarriage. This same line of reasoning can be extended to prohibit the bread baked by a non-observant Jew.

Publicly Desecrating Shabbos:

10. However, as we shall discuss, in many instances even the Chazon Ish, Pri Megadim etc. would permit break baked by a non-observant Jew. The Poskim stress that there are many requirements that one needs to meet to be classified in hallacha as a “public” desecrater of shabbos. And if one fails to meet these requirements he is considered a “private” desecrater of shabbos and keeps his status of a Jew in hallacha. The following are some of those requirements:

11. The Baal Haitur (cited in Beis Yosef Y.D. 44 and Tashbeitz 3:43) writes that only one who violates shabbos through working the fields (planting, threshing etc.) is deemed a public desecrater of shabbos. One who violates shabbos in any other fashion keeps his hallachic status of a Jew. Rav Akiva Eiger zt”l (Y.D. 264 see also Daas Torah Y.D. 2:27) writes that he does not understand the reasoning of the Baal Haitur. He also notes that he no other posek shares the same view and it is therefore difficult to rely upon his opinion for a hallachic ruling.

12. The Chaya Adam rules that if one were to refrain from breaking Shabbos in front of a rabbi (or ones parents) he keeps the hallachic status of a Jew. It is clear that he feels a level of embarrassment for his actions and is not turning his back completely on his religion.17

כתבו הפוסקים דכל שבוש מלחלל שבת בפני אדם חשוב כגון רב וכדו’ אין דינו כמחלל שבת בפרהסיא לענין זה שחשיב כגוי. וכ”כ החיי אדם (כלל ע”ה ס”ק כ”ו): “ישראל מומר או רשע שמחלל שבת בפרהסיא, אפילו אינו מחלל אלא באיסור דרבנן, הרי הוא כנכרי וכו’ ואם מתבייש לחלל בפני אדם גדול, לא מיקרי בפרהסיא”. אולם המנחת אלעזר (ח”ג ס’ כ”ד) חולק עליו. ובספר הליכות שלמה חלק ג’ דף שכ”ה הביא מהג”ר שלמה זלמן אורבך זצ”ל וז”ל: “וה”ה כשבוש בכך בפני אביו או אמו וכדו’ ואינו מחלל שבת במחיצתם, וכהיום רבים מאלה שלצערנו אינם שומרי תומ”צ הריהם בכלל זה”. ועוד שם הביא מתלמידים וז”ל: “ומ”מ מה שנמנע מלחלל שבת בפני אחיו וכדו’ היה נראה מדברי רבינו דאין לראות זאת אלא כנימוס בעלמא ולא מפני הבושה וכו’ ואף לענין הנמנע מלחלל שבת לפני אדם חשוב, הורה רבינו דאם ניכר להדיא שהימנעותו היא אך ורק מפני הנימוס גרידא ולא מפני הבושה, אין להקל”.

13. Rav Akiva Eiger zt”l (ibid.) feels that one is required to violate shabbos in the presence of ten shabbos observant Jews and only then is he considered one who violated shabbos on a public level. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Y.D. 70) disagrees and explains that this hallacha applies even if one breaks shabbos in the presence of ten non-observant Jews.

14. The Achronim disagree if one violates shabbos through a rabbinic act (ex. Muktza) if he then has the status of a public desecrater of shabbos or does the hallacha apply only to those who desecrate shabbos on a biblical level.(see Radvaz 2:796, Rav Akiva Eiger Y.D. 2 and Yabia Omer 1 Y.D. 11:24)

Tinuk Shenishba:

15. Even one who desecrates Shabbos publicly according to all of the authorities may still have the status of a Jew in halacha, as we shall explain. The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva (3:9), after defining minim, apikorsim, and kofrim as individuals who reject one of the many principles of Judaism, writes: “Among Israel, there are two categories of mumarim: a mumar in regard to a single mitzvah and a mumar in regard to the entire Torah. A mumar in regard to a single mitzvah is someone who has made a practice of willfully committing a particular sin [to the point where] he is accustomed to committing it… [This applies] even though [the sin] is one of the minor ones. For example, someone who has made a practice of constantly wearing sha’atnez or cutting off his sideburns so that it appears that, in regard to him, it is as if this mitzvah has been nullified entirely. Such a person is considered a mumar in regard to that matter. This applies [only] if he [commits the sin] with the intent of angering G-d. An example of a mumar in regard to the entire Torah is one who turned to the faith of the gentiles when they enact [harsh] decrees [against the Jews] and clings to them.”

16. In Hillchos Shechita (4:14) he writes that a Jew who serves idolatry or one who publicly desecrates shabbos is considered (in hallacha) like a non-Jew and if he slaughters, the animal is rendered a neveilah.

17. Thus the Rambam has described people who are deficient in their observance of the mitzvos. It would thus seem that all non-observant Jews fall into one of these categories.

18. This would indeed be the case if not for a distinction made by the Rambam. The Rambam in hilchos Mamrim (3:3) writes the following: “To whom does this all apply? Only to a person who denied the Oral Law consciously and instead followed after his frivolous thoughts… The children of these errant people and their grandchildren whose parents led them away and they were born among these Karaities and raised according to their conception, they are considered as ‘children captured amongst the nations and raised by them’ (Tinokos Shenishbu). Such a child may not be eager to follow the path of mitzvot, for it is as if he was compelled not to. Even if later, he hears that he is Jewish and saw Jews and their faith, he is still considered as one who was compelled against observance, for he was raised according to their mistaken path… Therefore it is appropriate to motivate them to repent and draw them to the power of the Torah with words of peace.” The Rambam is thus telling us a very novel concept and that is, in order to determine the hallachic status of any Jew we must first inquire into the many different factors which have determined his development and behavior.

19. The Poskim have employed the opinion of the Rambam and have ruled leniently regarding many Sabbath desecrators that they remain their status of Jews. Rav Yehuda Ettlinger zt”l (Binyan Tzion 23) writes that the derogatory label of a public desecrater of shabbos, which implies brazen rejection of the belief in the Creation of the universe, cannot be attributed to many German Jews who lit candles, made Kiddush etc., yet openly violated the laws of the Shabbos. He writes: “The only reason a Sabbath violator is considered a mumar is because he who denies creation and the Creator as well. However, this person confesses his faith by prayer, Kiddush etc. Certainly the children of these people never knew and never heard of the laws of Shabbos and they are in all respects… like a tinok shenishba bein ha-akum. This is the case unless it is clear to us that a particular individual is familiar with the laws of Shabbos and brazenly desecrates Shabbos in the presence of ten men despite this knowledge. Such a person is definitely considered a mumar.”

20. This heter can obviously not be applied blindly to all non-observant Jews as there are many Jews who do not fall under the category of tinuk shenishba. This, like all halachos, requires discretion and the consultation of a noted posek.

21. It is also worthy to note the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe 1:33). Rav Moshe was asked how to determine the status of many Jews who believe that G-d Created the universe, however, due to fear of losing their livelihood are forced to work on Shabbos. He ruled leniently regarding the matter and his reasoning may be applicable to our discussion. He begins by explaining that the reason a “public” desecrater of Shabbos has the status of a non-Jew while one who desecrates shabbos privately receives no change of status, even though both acts are inherently the same. He explains that desecrating Shabbos is only considered a brazen act of kefira (heresy) if one does so to attack G-d and Judaism. If one does so for reasons of monetary gain and the like should not be classified as a non-Jew. Therefore, when one violates shabbos privately we are allowed to assume that he is doing so out of necessity and not as an act of aggression towards G-d. This leniency is not given towards a public desecration of Shabbos because the act itself is perceived by onlookers as an act of aggression and even if he is adamant that he is doing so for personal reasons we do not believe him. If that is the case, advances Rav Moshe, the argument can be made that even if one publicly desecrates Shabbos if it is clear to all the onlookers that he is doing so only for monetary reasons (which was the case at the time of Rav Moshe as many Jews would daven Vasikin, make Kiddush and then drive to work) he remains a Jew in halacha. The same argument can possibly be made regarding the vast majority of non-observant Jews. Since the average onlooker excuses their actions as being based on a lack of education of Judaism and its laws and not as an act of aggression towards G-d, we cannot classify them as non-Jews in halacha.

22. Based on the above halachos, not all desecrators of Shabbos have the status of non-Jews in halacha and one would be permitted to eat their bread. It is therefore necessary to consult a competent Rabbi whenever the question presents itself.

Dancing At A Wedding

1.It is a mitzvah to dance before the chosson and kallah. (Shulchan Aruch 65)

2. The Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 23:6) rules that one must be careful when riding any animal to sit on a saddle. Sitting on an animal without a saddle can cause potential problems in the laws of tznius (modesty). Harav Chaim Palag’i (Ruach Chaim O.C. 669:8) therefore rules that a chosson should not be put on someone’s shoulders at his wedding. The Tzitz Eliezer (vol. 12 page 192) cites the view of Harav Chaim Palag’i as normative halacha. Harav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a (Shevet Halevi 6:103:2, 6:229) also prohibits placing the chosson on someone’s shoulders. Accordingly, the chosson would be lifted up on a chair.

עיין בדרושי חתונה מהאדמו”ר האמצעי מחב”ד דף קמ”ו שכתב: וכל עיקר המצוה להגביה ולנשאות החו”כ בהילוך רוב עם ואנשים חשובים יושבים אצל החתן

There were poskim who did rule leniently and allowed a chosson to be carried on someone’s shoulders. They explain that since the chosson is scared to fall there is no concern of inappropriate thoughts (see Az Nidberu 13:59 and Shalmei Simcha page 319). Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l feel that while there may be basis to rule leniently, it is preferred to act strictly. The Steipler Gaon zt”l also rules that it is best to be avoided. (see Shalmei Simcha ibid., Machaneh L’Chaim 10:25, and Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 1 page 224)

3. Mixed dancing at weddings is forbidden. As the Aruch Hashulchan writes, “Mixed dancing is one of the gravest sins.” It does not matter whether the men and woman are holding hands when they dance or if they are dancing together without physical contact.

הגאון רבי משה פיינשטין זצ”ל בשו”ת אגרות משה אה”ע ח”ב ס’ י”ג כתב: “הנה בדבר ריקודים בתערובות אנשים ונשים הוא דבר פשוט שאסור אף עצם הדבר, ולהרמב”ם פכ”א מאיב ה”א הוא לאו מדאורייתא שלוקין עליו, לבד איסורים אחרים הבאים מזה שעובד על ונשמרת מכל דבר רע שהוא האיסור על הרהור בנשים כדאיתא בכתובות דף מ”ו, והרבה פעמים גם על איסור הוצאת זרע לבטלה”. כמו כן מצאתי בבן איש חי פרשת שופטים שכתב שאפילו ריקוד נשים לבדן אסור לפני האנשים מחמת שיתגרה היצר הרע באנשים הרואים אותן. וראה בשו”ת מנחת יצחק ח”ה ס’ צ”ט שכתב דהוי אביזריעא דג”ע דבכלל יהרג ועל יעבור, וראה עוד בערוך השלחן ס’ תקכ”ט ס”ק ז’ שכתב דריקודי תערובות הן מעונות הגדולים ועונשים גדול גדול מאוד. וא”צ להאריך בזה. ועיין בספר ילקוט יוסף דף קצ”ה שכתב דחתן שחלק מבני משפחתו חילוניים, וחושש שירקדו ריקודים מעורבים, עליו לצוות לתזמורת שאם יתחילו בריקודים מעורבים יפסיק מיד את התזמורת. וראוי לכל חברי החתן שירקדו ביתר שאת וביתר עוז כדי למנוע ריקודים מעורבים.
הנה ע”פ הנ”ל מבואר שאסור לרקוד עם הנשים אף כשאינו נוגע להן, עוד יש לציין שהריקודין מעורבים אסורים גם משום הפריצות הכרוכות אשר אלו הרוקדים בתערובות אי אפשר להמלט מהן. גם אזכיר שבשו”ת אגרות משה או”ח ח”ד ס’ ל”ה כתוב דלרקוד אף עם פנויות טהורות הוא דבר אסור, וראה שם שא”א להתיר הנ”ל מאיזה טעם שיהיה. וכן עיין בזה בשו”ת שאילת אהרן מהג”ר אהרן פעלדר זצ”ל סימן י’

4. Spouses may not dance with each other at a wedding.

בשו”ת שאילת אהרן הנ”ל כתב, וז”ל: “ועכשיו נדון במה שטוענים אנשים ונשים שהם אינם רוקדים רק עם זווגם בזמן שהם מותרות להיות ביחד, ואף שלכאורה היא טענה יפה, אולם האמת הוא שגם זה אסור לפי הטעמים דלהלן. ראשית דבר, הלא כתוב ברמ”א (אה”ע ס’ כ”א ס”ה) וי”א דאין לנהוג אפילו עם אשתו בדברים של חיבה בפני אחרים, וממילא כ”ש וכ”ש כשמרקדים ומדקדקים בריקודים שעל ידי זה באים המסתכלים להתאוות באשתו ועוברים אף על הלאו של לא תחמוד אשת רעך (שמות כ’, י”ד) שודאי אסור לרקוד בפי אחרים. וע’ ט”ז בתחילת הסימן שם. שנית, כתוב בשו”ת זכרון יוסף (ס’ י”ז המובא בביאור הלכה ס’ של”ט) שנוסף למה שעוברים על דת ודין תורתנו הקדושה גם רעה גמלו לנפשם שעוברים על דת יהודית, וראה שו”ע (אה”ע ס’ קט”ו ס”ד). והנה, עוד מצאתי בשו”ת משנה הלכות (ח”ד ס’ ע”ב) ששאל על הפסוק (ירמי’ ל”א) אז תשמח בתולה במחול ובחורים וזקנים יחדיו, דלמה לא כתב הנביא אז ישמחו איש ואשתו ומסיק דמהאי פסוק נראה דכה”ג אסור לרקוד עם אשתו בפרהסיא, וראה בספר חסידים (ס’ קס”ח). ועוד בו שלישית, לפי מה שכתוב בכל בו (סוף ס’ ס”ו) דשמו חרם למנוע אנשים ונשים מלהיות במחול יחדיו ועיין ספר הצנע לכת (עמ’ 75 אות 87) שמציין כמה ראשונים ואחרונים מדורות שונים שגם כן תקנו חרמים נגד פרצה הזאת. והלום מצאתי בספר טל אמרתי על תורת מנהגי איסור (עמ’ ק”ב) שמצטט דברי הרד”קּ שכתב שהסכימו שלא ירקדו הנשואין עם הנשואות מפני שיש בזה נדנוד עבירה. מכל הנ”ל, פשוט וברור דלכל הפחות אסור לרקוד עם אשתו בפרהסיא, ואולי אף מעשה מגונה זו גם בכלל החרם. סיכום הדברים שלא לבד שאסור לרקוד עם אשה האסורה לו משום הבטה ונגיעה של חיבה ואיסורים אחרים, אלא אף אסור לרקוד עם אשתו בפרהסיא משום הנ”ל, וכן משום שעוברים על דת יהודית

5. Men are not allowed to watch the women dance. It is therefore imperative that a proper mechitzah be set up to obstruct the view of the woman dancing from the men. (Ben Ish Chai Shoftim 18)

6. The poskim rule that a man cannot dress up as a woman and a woman may not dress as a man during the dancing. Cross-dressing is forbidden and doing so at a wedding is no exception. (Mishnah Berurah 696:30)

If you have a question, comment, or an idea for an article please email me at avizakutinsky@gmail.com.

Foregetting The Torah (Part 5): Drying One’s Hands On His Clothing and Leaving A Sefer Open

(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.

Drying One’s Hands On His Clothing-

1. The Tashbeitz (287) writes that drying one’s hands on his clothing causes one to forget his learning. This opinion is cited by the Magen Avraham (158:13) and Mishnah Berurah (158:45).

2. The Aruch Hashulchan writes that one should not dry his hands on any garment, whether its his shirt or pants.

הפרי מגדים שם מסתפק דאפשר חלוקו ממש הא שאר בגדים לא, או אפשר כל בגדיו במשמע, והו”ד במשנה ברורה. ובערוך השלחן סי”ז כתב בפשטות ולא ינגב ידיו בחלוקו או בבגדו דקשה לשכחה.

Leaving A Sefer Open-

1. The Shach (Yoreh Deah 277) writes that there is an angel who attacks and causes forgetfulness for those who leave seforim open when they leave the room.

2. The Aruch Hashulchan maintains that this is only true if one leaves the room for an extended period of time. However, one may leave the sefer open if he is merely stepping out of the room momentarily (such as to use the bathroom). However, Harav Chaim Palag’i zt”l and Harav Ovadia Hadaya zt”l disagree and rule that one may not step out of the room even for a moment if the sefer is open.

כתב הערוך השלחן שם ס”ב דזה דוקא כשיצא לרחוב אבל הנכנס מחדר לחדר, או אפילו נכנס לרחוב לזמן קצר אין חשש. ובשמירת הגוף והנפש דף רע”ד הביא דכן דעת הגאון בעל שו”ת שואל ומשיב בספרו ידות נדרים.
אכן ראיתי בספר כף החיים מהגאון רבי חיים פלאג’י ס’ כ’ אות י”א שכתב: “ויזהר שלא יניח הס’ פתוח ויצא אפי’ ע”מ לחזור תכף כי גורם לדי שכחה כנודע”. וכן בשו”ת ישכיל עבדי ח”ה יו”ד ס’ נ”ו כתב דאין חילוק בין זמן ארוך לזמן קצר, דפשוט שזה המלאך שממונה ע”ז, משתדל למצאו הזדמנות, למלאת את צפקידו, ותיכף שרואה מי שהוא השאיר ספרו פתוח אפי’ לרגע, מכיון שהוא ממונה על השכחה, הרי מוצא לו הזדמנות זו, להשכיחו תיכף את לימודו ע”ש.

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Forgetting The Torah (Part 3)- Walking Between Two Women and Sleeping With Clothes Under One’s Head

(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.

Walking Between Two Women

1. The Gemara in Horayos (13b) writes that a man passing between two women can cause forgetfulness. Similarly, the Gemara in Pesachim (111a) states, “There are three things that should not pass between two men and a man should not pass between two of them. And these are a dog, a palm tree and a woman. And some say, also a pig. And some say, also a snake. And if they do pass in between, what is the remedy? Rav Pappa says that he should recite the verses found in Numbers 23:22-23, which begin with the word “Kel” (Almighty) and concludes with the word “Kel.” Alternatively, he should recite the verse in Numbers 23:19, which begins with the word “Lo” and concludes with the phrase ‘Lo Yekimenah.’”

2. This issue of not walking between two women is cited by the Aruch Hashulchan (2:6). The Chazon Ish (Sefer Hazikaron 2:19, Taameh Dekra 29) and Harav Elyah Lopian zt”l (see Rivevos Efraim 3:525) are both cited as being very diligent not to walk between two women.

3. Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld zt”l (Salmas Chaim 503) maintains that there is only a problem if a man travels between two women who are stationary. However, if all three are walking (as is common in busy streets), even if the man is walking in between the women, there is no concern of forgetfulness.

4. The Ben Ish Chai (year 2 Pinchas 17) writes that if two men travel in between two women it is permissible. In addition, the problem only exists if the two women are standing within four amos of each other.

5. Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a (Sefer hazikaron ibid.) posits that one may walk between girls who are under the age of twelve. This is also the view of Harav Nissam Karelitz shlit”a (Chut Shani Even Haezer page 69).

6. The Maharsham (4th edition 4:148) questions whether one is permitted to walk between two non-Jewish women. He concludes that if one wishes to be lenient he should recite the verses described in the Gemara cited above. The Sefe Otzar Hachaim (1034) discusses this issue and he offers a definitive ruling. He writes that one may not pass between two non-Jewish women.

7. The same law applies to one’s relatives. Therefore, one may not walk between his two daughter’s or his daughter and his wife. (Rivevos Efraim ibid. Sefer Shemiras Haguf V’Nefesh page 333)

8. The poskim write that if one needs to walk between two women, or if a woman is walking between two men, one should carry an item in his hand and that negates the issue. If one does not have an item to carry he should grab his peyos. (Rishfei Eish 334)

Sleeping With Clothes Under One’s Head-

1. The Gemara (Horayos 13b) lists sleeping with clothing under one’s head amongst five activities that cause one to forget his learning. This means that one may not substitute clothing for a pillow.

2. The Mishnah Berurah (2:2) rules that if one places something in between the clothing and his head (such as a pillowcase) it is permissible. A similar ruling was expressed by Harav Yaakov Emden zt”l (Sidur Hanhagos Haboker 2). Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a, however, disagrees with this lenient ruling.

3. Harav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld zt”l maintains that if the clothing does not belong to him he may use it as a pillow.

הקשו האחרונים מההיא דתנן בריש תמיד (כ”ה:) לא היו הכהנים ישנים בבגדי קודש אלא היו פושטין ומניחין הבגדי קודש תחת ראשיהן, ע”ש. והרי המניח כליו תחת מראשותיו בא לידי שכחה. ובשו”ת שלמת חיים ח”א סימן י’ תירץ הגאון רבי יוסף חיים זונפלד זצ”ל דדוקא כליו אסור אבל כשלובש בגד של אחר מותר ליתן תחת מראשותיו, ולכן בגדי כהונה שהם קודש ואינם כליו ליכא איסור. ועל חידוש זה דן הגר”ח קניבסקי שליט”א בספר הזכרון, ומסיק ולכן קשה להקל בכל זה. אכן מסיים: “מיהו בבגד חברו שאינו לובשו הוא אפשר שאינו בכלל כליו דלא דמי לכל הני דשם מיירי בלבשו בהם”. ועוד תירץ בשלמת חיים הנ”ל דדוקא ברגיל אסור. אכן הגאון רבי חיים קניבסקי שליט”א העיר דכאן בגמ’ לא הוזכר רגיל כמו שהזכירו גבי זיתים. וגם במהרי”ל הנ”ל מבואר להדיא דגם באקראי יש לחוש. וכן בשו”ת יביע אומר ח”ב יו”ד סימן ח’ חולק עליו ע”ש.

4. One may nap on his sleeve and it is not considered sleeping on clothing (Sefer Hazikaron).

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