Pat Akum Part Three – The Parameters of the Edict by Rabbi Chaim Jachter

(2004/5765) In the previous two issues we reviewed the range
of opinions and practices regarding Pat Akum, Chazal’s
edict prohibiting eating bread baked by a Nochri. Some
opinions in the Rishonim and classic Poskim believe that
this edict remains in full effect. Others believe that this
decree was rescinded and Pat Akum is permitted if the
bread is obtained from a professional baker (Pat Palter).
Compromise opinions permit Pat Palter only if Pat Yisrael
(bread baked by a Jew or had at least some Jewish
involvement in the baking process) is not available or is of
inferior quality relative to the Pat Palter.
We also noted that the Shulchan Aruch records
the Minhag to follow the strict opinion regarding the Pat
Akum edict during the Aseret Yemei Teshuva. In addition,
we saw that the Magen Avraham and Mishnah Berura
write that it is proper to eat only Pat Yisrael on both
Shabbat and Yom Tov. This week we will explore some of
the parameters of the Pat Akum prohibition and its
application to cake, cookies, crackers, bagels, Dunkin
Donuts, bread crumbs, and Cheerios.
Jewish Owned Bread Baked by a Nochri
It is important to recall that even the most lenient
approach to Pat Yisrael does not believe that this edict
was completely rescinded. Even according to the lenient
opinion Pat Akum is permitted only if it is Pat Palter. The
reason that the edict was partially relaxed 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 (Y.D. 112:7) rules that the
Pat Akum edict applies even according to the most lenient
approach to bread that is owned by a Jew and baked by a
Nochri. 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
Chochmat Adam (65:6) and many other major Acharonim
(cited in the Chelkat Binyamin, 112: Tziyunim number 72)
rule in accordance with the Shach.
Thus, one should be careful regarding this
Halacha if one hires a Nochri to help at home. If the
Nochri helper bakes bread then one should be sure to
participate at least minimally in the baking process. If one
did not participate in the baking process the consumption
of the bread might be rabbinically forbidden.
Rav Binyamin Cohen (Chelkat Binyamin 112: p. 9
Biurim s.v. Sh’mei’kilim) suggests a possibility that in such
a case the bread might be permitted Bidieved (after the
fact), based on the Rama’s ruling (Y.D. 113:4) that the
Bishul Akum (food cooked by a Nochri) prohibition does
not apply Bidieved if one’s Nochri servant cooked food.
The reasoning is that Chazal prohibited Bishul Akum (and
Pat Akum) because of concern for social interaction that
might lead to intermarriage and this concern might not be
particularly relevant regarding one’s servant.
This lenient approach is questionable because of
two considerations. First, Rav Cohen (ad. loc. 113:35)

writes that it is questionable whether the Rama’s
leniency applies only to servants or even to hired
help. Moreover, we discussed in our previous issue that
it is not clear if the leniencies that pertain to Bishul
Akum apply to Pat Akum. Rav Cohen, on the other
hand, told me that although many Poskim rule that the
Eino Oleh Al Shulchan Melachim leniency does not
apply to Pat Akum, as we discussed last week, this
does not necessarily imply that every other leniency that
applies to Bishul Akum does not apply to Pat Akum.
Nonetheless, one should make every effort to avoid this
problem and one should consult his Rav should this
issue arise for a decision as to whether it is
permissible to consume the bread.
A Jewish Owned Bakery
It would appear, accordingly, that bread
baked in a Jewish owned bakery should be required to
be Pat Yisrael even according to the most lenient
opinions. Indeed, Rav Binyamin Cohen (Chelkat
Binyamin 112: p. 9 Biurim s.v. Sh’meikilim) notes that
under such circumstances it is relatively easy for the
store’s Jewish owners to ensure that the bread is Pat
Yisrael by ensuring that there is at least minimal
Jewish involvement in the baking of the bread. As we
saw in last week’s essay, this is relatively easy to
However, Rav Moshe Feinstein (Teshuvot
Igrot Moshe 1:45) rules that one may be lenient in
such a situation if it is difficult to ensure that the
bread is Pat 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, in case of
difficulty one may be lenient as is the generally
accepted practice regarding Pat Akum that we
discussed last week. Rav Moshe writes that one may
certainly be lenient if the bread bakers are non-
observant Jews, as Rav Moshe explains that he is
inclined to rule that the Pat Akum edict does not
apply to non-observant Jews (see Chelkat Binyamin, 112:
pp. 1-2 Biurim s.v. Am’mim for a discussion of the
debate regarding this issue and for Rav Cohen’s
ruling that one may be lenient regarding a non-
observant Jew who is classified as a Tinok
One might suggest that the resolution of this
dispute depends on how difficult it is for the Jewish
owner to arrange for the bread to be Pat Yisrael. If the
owner is involved with the daily operations of a
relatively small bakery, it seems difficult to be lenient. One
the other hand, if the Jewish owner is merely a “silent
partner” and is not involved with the daily operation of
the bakery, then it seems that we may rely on Rav
Moshe’s lenient approach.
Cakes, Cookies and Crackers
Thus far we have discussed the applicability of
the Pat Akum edict to bread. However, cakes,
cookies and crackers might also be included in this 

edict. In fact, it is very important to know which edict
applies to these items, Pat Akum or Bishul Akum, as
there are “advantages” and “disadvantages” to being
classified as either Pat Akum or Bishul Akum. The
leniency of Eino Oleh Al Shulchan Melachim (that the food
must be worthy of serving at a formal meal in order to be
forbidden as Bishul Akum) applies to Bishul Akum and
does not apply to Pat Akum according to many Poskim, as
we discussed last week. On the other hand, the leniency
of Pat Palter does not apply to Bishul Akum according to
almost all Poskim (see Teshuvot Minchat Yitzchak 3:26
and Mesorah 1:93-94). Thus, it is crucial to determine
whether cake and cookies are subject to the rules of Pat
Akum or Bishul Akum.
Tosafot (Beitzah 16b s.v. Ka Mashma Lan) cites a
difference of opinion about this matter. The first opinion in
Tosafot believes that the Pat Akum edict applies only to
bread upon which one always recites the Bracha of
Hamotzi Lechem Min Haaretz. According to this opinion,
cakes, cookies and crackers are subject to the rules of
Bishul Akum. On the other hand, Tosafot cites Rabbeinu
Yechiel who rules that cakes, cookies and crackers are
subject to the rules of Pat Akum. Tosafot presents two
reasons for Rabbeinu Yechiel. One opinion is that these
items are “baked in a manner that is similar to bread”. The
other opinion is that since one potentially recites Hamotzi
on these items, they are defined as bread.
Some background on the topic of Pat Habaah
Bikisnin is necessary to comprehend Rabbeinu Yechiel’s
second reason. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 168:7)
rules that one recites Hamotzi on cake, cookies and
crackers (Pat Habaah Bikisnin) if one establishes a meal
(Koveiah Seudah) on them. I recall hearing that Rav
Yosef Dov Soloveitchik explained this rule as follows.
Fundamentally, explained the Rav, Hamotzi is a Bracha on
a meal and not specifically on bread. The Bracha is
recited on bread since it is traditionally the centerpiece of a
meal. The Rav also explains that fundamentally Pat
Habaah Bikisnin is also defined as bread. However, when
one eats Pat Habaah Bikisnin and is not Koveiah Seudah
one does not recite Hamotzi since one is not eating a
meal. However, if one is Koveah Seudah on Pat Habaah
Bikisnin then the Bracha of Hamotzi should be recited (and
one should perform Nitilat Yadayim), as this Bracha is
recited only on “meal based bread”.

Accordingly, it is quite logical that Pat Habaah Bikisnin
should be subject to the rules of Pat Akum as, fundamentally, it
is bread. Indeed, the Rama (Y.D. 112:6) rules in accordance
with the view of Rabbeinu Yechiel. However, the Shach
(Y.D.112:18) limits this ruling to Pat Habaah Bikisnin that is
baked with a thick batter (Belilah Avah, such as most cookies).
Pat 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.
The Shach’s ruling seems to hinge on the two reasons
that Tosafot offers for Rabbeinu Yechiel’s ruling. If one follows
the first reason, one might argue that only Belilah Avah is similar
to bread. However, according to the second reason there seems
to be no distinction between a Belila Avah and a Belilah Rakah,
since one recites Hamotzi even on a Belilah Rakah if he is
Koveiah Seudah.
Although the Chochmat Adam (65:7) rules in accordance
with the Shach, Rav Binyamin Cohen (Chelkat Binyamin 112:64)
notes that many Acharonim reject the Shach’s distinction (see
ad. loc. Tziyunim number 202) and rule that Pat Habaah Bikisinin
is always subject to the rules of the Pat Akum edict, even if it is a
Belilah Rakah. Rav Cohen rules in accordance with the opinions
of these Acharonim. Thus, all Pat Habaah Bikisinin are subject
to the rules of Pat Akum. Rav Zvi Sobolofsky, in a Shiur he
delivered in Teaneck on this subject, agreed with this ruling.
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 (Teshuvot Igrot 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 Pat Akum, just as
one recites Hamotzi on bagels (Shulchan Aruch O.C. 168:14).
Rav Cohen (Chelkat Binyamin 112: p. 26 Biurim s.v. Kichlach)
adds that even if the bagels were rendered minimally edible by
the boiling, the subsequent baking might subject the bagels to
the rules of Pat Akum (as the Aruch Hashulchan, Y.D. 112:31,
seems to indicate). The Rama (Y.D. 113:9; regarding Bishul
Akum) permits food that a Nochri cooked to the point that it is
minimally edible and a Jew subsequently finished cooking. Rav
Cohen suggests (as does the Teshuvot Avnei Neizer Y.D. 1:100)
that this Halacha might also apply regarding Pat Akum
(Shulchan Aruch 112:12 seems to clearly support this
suggestion). Rav Moshe, however, seems not to subscribe to
this leniency. Perhaps it is because he believes that one cannot
apply the leniencies that apply to Bishul Akum to the Halachot of
Pat Akum.
Dunkin Donuts and Sufganiot
I have been told that Dunkin Donuts and Israeli style
Sufganiot are made from a Belilah Avah that is deep fried in oil.
The Rishonim debate whether one recites Hamotzi and separate
Challah on such items (see Tosafot Brachot 37b s.v. Lechem).
Rav Cohen (ad. loc. 112:64) rules that such items are subject to
the Halachot regarding Bishul Akum since our practice (Rama
O.C. 168:13) is to recite Borei Mini Mezonot on Dunkin Donuts or
Sufganiot even if one is Koveiah Seudah on them (unlike the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam that is cited in the
aforementioned Tosafot). Similarly, the Halacha
(Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 329:3) essentially rules that Challah
is not separated on such items.
Rav Sobolofsky noted that even though the Shach
(Y.D. 329:4) rules that one should separate Challah
without a Bracha on such items in deference to the opinion
of Rabbeinu Tam, the general practice outside Eretz
Yisrael (where the obligation to separate Challah is only
rabbinic in nature) is not to separate Challah on these
items. Thus, Dunkin Donuts and Sufganiot are subject to
the Halachot of Bishul Akum, unlike Rabbeinu Tam who
would rule that they are subject to the rules of Pat Akum.
Accordingly, Rav Elazar Meyer Teitz (who supervises the
Dunkin Donuts in Elizabeth and Teaneck) arranges that
the Mashgiach turns on the fire in the ovens of the Dunkin
Donuts that he supervises. In addition, it seems that
Dunkin Donuts might be excused from the Bishul Akum
prohibition as they are not Oleh Al Shulchan Melachim
(one would not serve them at a formal meal).
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (cited in Vizot
Habracha p.219 in the 5761 edition) rules that cereals
whose raw batter rises like bread dough, such as
Cheerios, Grape Nuts, and Wheat Chex have the status of
Pat Habaah Bikisinin. Thus, these cereals are subject to
the rules of Pat Akum and the fact that they are not served
at a formal meal is irrelevant according to many Poskim.
Accordingly, Rav Daniel Neustadt (The Weekly Halachah
Discussion p. 539) writes that those who do not rely on the
Pat Palter leniency throughout the year and everyone
during the Aseret Yemei Teshuva should avoid these
However, Rav Binyamin Cohen told me that the
common practice is not to treat these cereals as Pat
Habaah Bikisinin. For example, people do not recite
Hamotzi if they are eating two bowls of Cheerios together
with milk and a piece of cake. Thus, Rav Cohen said to
me that it seems to him that the common practice is to
follow the ruling of Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg who
rules (see Vizot HaBracha ad. loc.) that these cereals are
not Pat Habaah Bikisinin. Indeed, Andrew Malca of
Teaneck told me that Rav Hershel Schachter told him that
Cheerios are not Pat Habaah Bikisinin. Thus, these
cereals are subject to the rules of Bishul Akum and are
permitted since they are not Oleh Al Shulchan Melachim.
Accordingly, they may be eaten during the Aseret Yemei
Teshuva and throughout the year by those who do not rely
on the Pat Palter leniency.
Bread Crumbs
Rav Neustadt (ad. loc. p. 540) writes that during
the Aseret Yemei Teshuva one should avoid ice cream
sprinkled with Pat Palter cookie crumbs. Even though
Tosafot (ad. loc.) and the Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 112:6) rule
that the primary ingredient of the product (the Ikar)
determines its status regarding Bishul Akum and Pat
Akum, nevertheless the cookie crumbs cannot be disregarded since they are noticeable and not dissolved
into the ice cream (Rama ad. loc. and Taz Y.D. 112:10).
Rav Neustadt rules that the same applies to
bread crumbs on chicken or fish cutlets. This, however, is
debatable since the bread crumbs were cooked by a
Jew in the preparation of the cutlets. The cooking
might cancel the bread crumbs’ Pat Palter status and
render it as a new entity (Panim Chadashot Baooh
Likan). Teshuvot Avnei Neizer (Y.D. 1:100) explores
applying the Rama who rules (Y.D. 113:9; as we
mentioned in our discussion of bagels) that food is not
prohibited as Bishul Akum if the Nochri cooked the food
to a minimally edible state and a Jew subsequently
finished the cooking.
The Avnei Neizer suggests that the same could
be said if the Pat Akum is cooked even after it has been
baked. He argues that the Yereim (cited in the
Shulchan Aruch O.C. 318:5) who believes (in the
context of Hilchot Shabbat) that “Yesh Bishul Achar
Afiyah” (an item may be cooked after it is baked; which is
why we should not put Challah pieces into very hot
soup on Shabbat) would subscribe to this leniency.
Moreover, the Avnei Neizer suggests that everyone
would agree that bread that was cooked loses its status
as bread (see Brachot 38b) and if it is subsequently
baked then Panim Chadashot Baooh Likan (a new
entity has been created). Similarly, since in the process of preparing cutlets the bread crumbs are rendered
inedible by immersing it in raw egg batter, the subsequent cooking of the bread crumbs might redefine
the cutlets as a new entity.
However, Rav Cohen (Chelkat Binyamin 112:p. 46
s.v. Yesh Takana) notes that the Shulchan Aruch (Y.D.
112:12) cites the possibility of a Jew “correcting” bread
classified as Pat Akum by the Jew returning the bread to
the oven and enhancing the taste of the bread
(“Mitztameik Viyafeh Lo”), since he thereby participates in
the baking process. However, notes Rav Cohen, the
Shulchan Aruch implies that once the baking process is
completely finished and it is not possible to further
enhance the quality of the bread, there is no further
remedy for the breads’ status as Pat Akum. Furthermore,
Rav Cohen cites (Tziyunim 112:324) many Poskim who
seem to disagree with the Avnei Neizer’s leniency. Accordingly, bread crumbs that are Pat Palter
should be avoided during the Aseret Yemei Teshuva.
However, it seems that one would be permitted, Bidieved
(after the fact), to eat cutlets breaded with bread crumbs
that are Pat Palter based on the opinion of the Avnei
Neizer and the lenient considerations we outlined last
week regarding bread that is prepared in factories.
We see from our discussion of Pat Akum that
there is a firm basis for those who follow the lenient
approach to this issue. Nevertheless, there is also a basis
for those who wish to be strict regarding Pat Akum. The
Halacha, however, has insured that those who are lenient
and those who are strict are able to co-exist and avoid
strife. Nonetheless, the issue of Pat Akum should not
escape our attention, especially during the Aseret Yemei

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