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What Bracha Do You Make On Pizza?

pizzaIt was reported in the news 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 Ameri ca 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 Teshuva, which was publicized in BMG on Thursday, 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.

(Submitted by a YWN reader)

19 Responses

  1. In my opinion washing on pizza is one of the easier “chumros” to be makpid on as all pizza shops have a sink & washing cup & benching is 3-4 min longer than al hamichya. Sushi on the other hand is probably a bigger brocho problem-whats the ikker & whats the tuffel and nobody is going to wash before eating sushi.

  2. One has to visualize arrival at the beis din shel maalah and discovering that one of the maalachim was assigned to track this stuff and in reviewing your “rap sheet” (as would a judge reviewing a probation report before sentencing) you were dinged for 347 instances of the wrong baracha on pizza and sushi…..

  3. The shi’ur k’viyus s’udah on “mezonos” is 3 – 4 bei’im (6 – 8 k’zeisim). The average slice of pizza contains 9 k’zeisim. It follows that even if one is eating the pizza as a snack, there is an automatic k’viyus s’udah and one needs to wash and bentch.

    There may, regardless, be a chiyuv to wash (albeit without a berachah) due to the fact the pizza may be considered a tibulo b’mashkeh which requires washing al pi the Shulchan Aruch. The “eino ele mei’gasei ha’ruach” is referring to washing on DRY peiros as one would wash on bread. But wet foods, including cakes and peiros, require washing if dipped OR topped with one of the mashkim.

  4. wow this article is posted for an hour and akuperma didnt comment blaming something on the zionists.
    I guess he did tshuva…..

  5. Gadolhaorah I’m not sure what you’re intention was but if it was to poke fun at the very intricate laws of Brachos in such a public forum then there is going to be more than one Maalach waiting for you upstairs. I hope I’m wrong.

  6. There is a very famous Psak from Rav Moshe Feinsteim z”l that for 2 slices one must wash. So for American Jewry I believe that’s the end of the story.

  7. Years ago I asked my Rav what to do when eating pizza. He answered, “The Rebbetzin always serves bread with pizza, so there’s no question.”

  8. To No. 5

    Lighten up. Exactly the opposite…As long as one makes Bracha A in the belief that is what is dictated by the facts of a given situation, and based on the prior guidance of his/her local Rav or poskek, I doubt very much that one is at risk of losing their chelek of olam habah if it turns out that Baracha B was the correction choice. While we should always try to make an informed decision, if your wrong, its not like one discovers after the fact they had eaten treifus or something like that

  9. @avi732
    He said in the Teshuva that R’ Moshe would also agree it’s Hamotzi, R’ Moshe’s Psak was said when most people in America ate pizza as a snaxk (similar to how most people eat sushi now as a snack since it’s new)
    Here is a copy of the Teshuva
    ראיתי בספרך היקר ותן ברכה, פסק בשם הגרש”ז אויערבאך זצ”ל בענין הברכה על “פיצה”, וכתבתך בשמו שכיון שבא”י אוכלים אותה לרוב כסעודה, יש לברך המוציא וברהמ”ז אפי’ כשאכל אותו כחטיף (snack) (ע”פ המ”ב קס”ח י”ז). אמנם בארה”ב “קשה לידע אופן אכילתו שהרבה אנשים אוכלין פיצה לתענוג (כ”חטיף”) ולא לסעודה ומ”מ יש אוכלים פיצה בעיקר לסעודה.”
    הנה אף אם המציאות היה כן מאז, מ”מ עכשיו נתברר בברירות שאין המציאות כן היום אלא גם בארה”ב אוכלים “פיצה” ממש כמו בא”י, לרוב כסעודה.
    הנה יצא SURVEY מאת הUSDA שהם בדקו אצל 175,71  אנשים האיך הם אוכלים פיצה בארה”ב, ומסקנתם שכמעט תשעים אחוז נאכל לסעודה, ורק בערך עשר אחוז נאכל כחטיף, ואם המציאות הוא כן בהגויים מסתבר שגם הוא כן בהיהודים.
     וא”כ באתי לפנות להרב לידע אם נכון לפי”ז שיש לברך המוציא אפי’ כשאכל רק מקצת “פיצה” כחטיף.

    אחר דרישת שלום תורתו וכו’.
    אצל מרן הגרש”ז זצ”ל היה פשוט שבן ארץ ישראל צריך לברך המוציא אף אם אינו אוכל אלא כזית אחת של פיצה מכיון שרובם אוכלים שם פיצה כסעודה.
    אכן בארה”ב כאשר הפיצה הוצגה לראשונה לפני כחמישים או שישים שנה, רוב האנשים אכלו את האוכל של חידוש זה כחטיף. אנשים בכל רחבי אמריקה סמכו על פסק מהגר”מ פיינשטיין זצ”ל שעד שתי פרוסות ניתן לאכול בלי נט”י המוציא וברכת המזון. כידוע במשך זמן הפיצה הפכה מאוכל חטיף למזון מאוד רגילה. כששאלתי את מרן הגרש”ז זצ”ל על פיצה, לא היה לי שום דרך לברר בודאות איך רוב של פיצה היה נאכל באמריקה.
    מאחר ועכשיו יש לנו את התוצאות של מחקר גדול שבוצע על ידי ממשלת ארה”ב, שרובא דרובא אנשים אוכלים פיצה דרך סעודה, נר’ שיש לסמוך על זה לקובע שפיצה הוא כלחם ממש וברכתו המוציא וברכת המזון על אכילה קטנה של כזית. 
    ידידך ישראל פינחס באדנער

    גם אני מצטרף להנ”ל אם עם העיסה כטעם פת ואם טעם העיסה כטעם עוגה הוי כפהב”כ

  10. No one mentioned here if it makes a difference how the dough is made. I worked in a pizza shop that included a lot of milk in the dough recipe as opposed to just water. Does this effect the status of the brachah one can make? Also, who on here answering is a true Posek?

  11. as a person living in EY, I was under the impression that all pizza is mezzonos unless you eat more than 2 slice and then it is hamotzi.

    I believe this is based on the fact that pizza in EY is made with fruit juice or milk as opposed to all water in the dough.

    correct me if I am wrong.

  12. Avi732 – Rav Reuven ben HaRav Moshe Feinstein, Rosh Yeshivah MTJ Staten Island, has offered a different p’sak, so I guess he doesn’t think it’s the end of the story. Besides, as this article points out, some fundamental facts change which would change the p’sak.

  13. A pizza/ice cream shop in Cedarhurst displays a sign that states something to this effect: “You must wait 6 hours to eat fleishig after eating Pizza cheese unless it is cooked”
    Vus meint dus?

  14. gadolhadorah – there’s a yesod based on “lo bashamamayim hee” that if a daas torah paskened something that is the reality/halacha – so people who were following daas torah before would be chayav to follow the new ruling (assuming that’s what their daas torah decided/holds) but not that the past following a different ruling will be counted as aveiros or bad malochim – that would be the rav’s achrayus in shamayim if he had a faulty ruling….and if that was the emes that came out based on the factors/information and torah he knew then and now it became clear with more info that it’s otherwise I’m not sure he’d be held accountable either

  15. YWN is a great site but anyone who takes any notice of “A YWN reader” has a problem. Firstly quoting three Gedolim and deducing from that “While Eretz Yisroel Poskim all agree that one should make Hamotzi on pizza” is true needs to be reminded that all the Poskim quoted assured the Internet. Secondly since when does any thinking individual accept the words “all Poskim”? There is no such thing. If my Rov says the brocha on pizza is mezonos, that is the end of the story. I don’t need to ask anyone else, in fact I cannot ask anyone else.

  16. drugcommish: cheeses aged approximately 6 months or more (usually giving them a hard, crumbly texture and sharp taste) are referred to as hard/aged cheese and requires a waiting period of six hours before eating meat. If the cheese is melted AND mixed into the food there is a shita which holds the cheese no longer has the status of hard/aged.

  17. drugcommish – Cheeses aged approximately 6 months are generally hard, have a crumbly texture and sharp taste. In halachah they are considered hard/aged cheese and require a waiting period of six hours before eating meat for the same reasons we wait after eating meat; either due to a fatty film which costs the mouth, or pieces of food which remain between the teeth.

    There is a shita – the Yad Yehuda – which holds if the cheese is melted AND mixed into the food there is no need to wait.

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