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Behar 5768

By: Dr. Judith Fogel

Pigs in a blanket…Moshe Bateiva…Sausage rolls… And the age old question of Pat Kabaa Bikisnim This week in my shiur on Hilchot Brachot we learned about pat habaa bikisnim and therefore for the weekly dvar Torah I would like to take you down memory lane to the Midreshet Harova lunches. For all those vegetarians out there, do you remember the pigs in the blanket, moshe bateivah or sausage rolls (depending on your dialect)? For those non-vegetarians, do you remember those meat borekas that were ever so tasty? What bracha do you make on these types of items—referred to in halacha as pat habaa bikisnim. Does one need to wash netilat yadayim and say bircat hamazon for these food items or does one merely say mezonot and mein shalosh? The gemara in Massechet Brachot 42a tells the account of Rav Huna who ate 13 breads of pat habaa bikisnim and did not bench. Rav Nachman questions Rav Huna’s actions that since he was satisfied he was required to bench. A story is then relayed about Rav Yehudah who hears his son-in-laws family benching on pat habaa bikisnim and is astounded. Rav Yehudah explains that if one is kovea seudah on the bread type food then he is required to say Hamotzei. If, however, he does not establish a meal upon them he is not required to make hamotzei. The two major principles that arise from this gemara are that if one is kovea seudah on pat habaa bikisnim or one is satisfied by the bread type food one is required to wash and bench. Is it essential to fulfill both requirements or is one sufficient? Before we answer the question above, we need to define pat habaa bikisnim. The Rishonim disagree as to the definition of pat habaa bikisnim. There are three major approaches as cited by the Beit Yosef: 1. Rabenu Yona, the Aruch, and the Rashba hold that it is pockets filled with honey, nuts and spices. 2. The Rambam believes that it is dough that is kneaded with honey, milk, or oil and then spiced and baked. (The Beit Yosef adds that according to the Rambam the honey, milk, or oil must be more then the water in the dough.) 3. Rav Hai Gaon as cited by the Aruch believes that it is hard, Crispy Bread. In our times one can translate the above categories into: 1. Pie 2. Cake 3. Crackers Are these three categories mutually exclusive? Do the Rishonim disagree with each other or does each Rishon add on another example to the previous example? The Shulchan Aruch (OC 168:7) paskins that if one eats any of the three categories above, the rules of pat habaa bikisnim apply. All of the food items listed above have a description of bread—toar lechem—and therefore they have unique rules that apply to them. Some examples of foods today that are pat habaa bikisnim are crackers, pretzels, cakes, cookies, borekas, deli roll, and pizza. There are, also, some mezonot food that do not fall under the category of pat habaa bikisnim because they do not have a toar lechem—couscous, pasta, Kugel, and oatmeal. There are certain items which fall under debate such as certain breakfast cereals and waffles. What is the halacha when one eats the foods which have a toar lechem? As stated previously, one who is kovea seudah on any of these items must wash netilat yadayim and say bircat hamazon. Yet, we also mentioned the principle that one must be satisfied. Therefore, how do these two principles work in conjunction with each other? What exactly is the amount that is necessary to eat in order to be kovea seudah? There are three possibilites: 1. He is kovea seudah and eats enough of the pat habaa bikisnim upon which others would make a seudah and he is satiated from them. 2. Most people of his category establish a meal with the amount of pat habaa bikisnim that he ate even though he is not satisfied. 3. One eats other food items during a meal in addition to the pat habaa bikisnim and between all the foods that he eats it equals an amount upon which others are kovea seudah. Most Achronim establish that the amount for pat habaa bikisnim is three or four beitzim based on the amount of food one needs to use to make an eruv techumin (an eruv that allows one to leave the city more then 2,000 amot on Shabbat). There are others such as the Gra who believe that it is enough food that an average man eats at a meal. The Mishnah Brurah implies that one should follow the later, but it is best to also be suspect for the former. For Ashkenazim, that amounts to the volume of 200 grams or seven ounces. (If one would fill a cup of water to the top and then place the food item in the cup, it is the amount of water that would spill over.) Lemaaseh, Rav Moshe Feinstein (OC 3:32) paskins that one who eats a small amount of the pat habaa bikisnim, comparable to the amount of bread that an average person would consume at a meal if he were to eat others foods alongside that bread, and other food at the meal he would have to wash and bench. It is important to note that Rav Moshe states that the average amount of food that one consumes at a meal is based on the average amount that people in your category eat. For example an old man should judge a meal based on the average amount that elderly people eat. A teenage boy should judge the amount eaten at a meal based on the average amount that teenagers consume. Perhaps seminary girls should also have their own category. Therefore, based on Rav Moshe one would be careful not to eat too many crackers and fish at a Kiddush lest they need to wash and bench. There is also disagreement as to what food items can combine with the pat habaa bikisnim to equal three or four beitzim. Some say that it is specifically main courses that are eaten with bread such as meat, cheese and fish. Rav Moshe Feinstein seems to have a broader definition that even includes cakes that are eaten for dessert. There are other poskim who disagree and paskin that one needs to consume three or four beitzim of the pat habaa bikisnim alone without taking into account other food at the meal. In Vzot Habracha, he writes that he heard from Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach that one should be careful not to eat less then three or four beitzim with other food and come into the safek situation. The other option is to wash and say hamotzei on Bread. Therefore, a Midreshet Harova girl who plans on eating the schools lunch consisting of the meat filled pockets or the vegetarian sausages in an amount that is the volume of 200 grams should wash and bench. If she eats less then 200 grams of the pockets and sausages, yet she consumes other items at the meal she falls into a safek situation. Rav Moshe Feinstein says to wash and bench and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says to try and prevent that situation. If she wants to cover all opinions she should make hamotzei on bread and then eat the pockets and sausages. For questions and comments please free to contact me Shabbat Shalom Judith


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