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Bais HaVaad on the Parsha, Parshas Ki Seitzei

Cottage Loaf

Excerpted and adapted from a shiur by HaRav Yechiel Biberfeld   

August 24, 2023


An Amoni or Moavi shall not enter the congregation of Hashem, even their tenth generation shall not enter the congregation of Hashem, to eternity, because of the fact that they did not greet you with bread and water on the road when you were leaving Egypt…

Dvarim 23:4-5

This indicates that bread baked by non-Jews is permitted min haTorah. Chazal later enacted a prohibition on pas akum (Avodah Zarah 35b). Some Rishonim, including the Rosh, maintain that it is entirely permitted today, either because we come from places where the gzeirah was never accepted, or because a later bais din repealed it. The Rambam and others hold that the gzeirah included only bread baked by nonprofessionals (pas ba’al habayis), but bakery bread (pas palter) is permitted if no pas Yisrael is available, due to the critical role of bread in the diet.

The Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 112:1) follows the Rambam et al., while the Rama takes the compromise position that pas palter is permitted even if pas Yisrael is available, but pas ba’al habayis remains forbidden. A third approach, followed by some communities, has it that even pas palter is forbidden, even where pas Yisrael is unavailable.[1] According to the Shach, Ashkenazim follow the Rama and allow pas palter (see Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:33). Even according to the Shulchan Aruch, pas palter is permitted if it is of higher quality than the available pas Yisrael, or if it is of a different type, just as where pas Yisrael is unavailable.[2]

The Shach (112:9) says that during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah one must be careful (“tzarich lizaher”) not to eat pas palter, and the Minchas Yaakov says this applies even if the pas palter is of better quality than the available pas Yisrael. Moreover, the Mishnah Brurah (242:6) says it is proper to be careful (“nachon lizaher”) to eat only pas Yisrael on Shabbos due to kvod Shabbos. But R’ Shmuel Felder rules that pas palter products that one prefers over their pas Yisrael equivalents (e.g., Stella D’oro cookies, for some) are permitted on Shabbos, because a) Shabbos is less stringent than Aseres Yemei Teshuvah in this regard, and b) some Acharonim are lenient regarding pas palter on Shabbos other than for lechem mishneh.[3]

[1] See the continuation of the Shulchan Aruch in siman 112, which indicates this multiple times; see also Darchei Teshuvah (Y.D. 112:25) in the name of the Yeshuos Yaakov.

[2] Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 112:5; Aruch Hashulchan 112:16.

[3] See Sha’ar HaTziyon 242:18.

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