How many slices are required to make you responsible to wash on Pizza?

  • The answer in this shiur too: Brachos Shiur -Rabbi Viner
    – user160
    Commented Jul 13, 2010 at 13:11
  • See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9644.
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 15:04
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    This is a great question; I up-voted and favorited it. However, it provides NONE of the necessary background information that this site ordinarily expects a question to have. (That is, @SimchasTorah needs to tell us on what assumptions the question rests)
    – SAH
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 6:30
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    @SAH unfortunately, SimchasTorah hasn't been around the site in years so is unlikely to update this very old question. Today we would ask for more information, but apparently we weren't as concerned about that in 2010. (That's before my time on the site, by the way.) Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 21:25
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    @SAH Many Ashkenazim consider pizza to be פת הבאה בכיסנין, based on the Taz (OC 168:20) who says that the cheese would give it that status. According to this practice, m'zonos would be recited over pizza unless someone eats the pizza as a meal (or eats a quantity large enough that it is generally eaten as a meal rather than a snack; it could also be that an amount of three or four k'beitzim is a ceiling above which it is automatically regarded as a meal).
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 2:23

6 Answers 6

  1. The opinion of Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l holds two slices makes you responsible to wash.(I believe this would be the Main Psak (Halachic Ruling) for American's)

  2. Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l, and Harav Elyashiv say any Pizza would require one to wash and bentch (V'zos Habrocha page 230).

  3. Rav Belsky Shlita Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Voddas and Posek for the Orthodox Union says
    two slices would only be a meal if they are eaten with something else, such as a knish. While I personally ascribe to 3 each person should seek Rabbinical counsel for this and all other question.

Square otherwise known as Sicilian pizza which is made by first baking the dough and then adding the cheese is always Hamotzei the same applies to Pita-Pizza made by taking a Pita and putting cheese and Ketchup on it the Bracha also maintains it's Hamotzie status.

The above is a summary of a recent Halachicly Speaking article available here: http://www.ladaat.net/siteimages/fl_4c1258431c6eb.pdf

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    Important point to add: washing/hamotzee and benching aren't always linked. According to the two-slice opinion: if you planned on eating two, washed and said hamotzee, then decided to stop at one (let's say you're not full, but you wanted to save room or something), you'd just end with al haMichya. Similarly (has this ever happened to you?), if you make a mezonos to just eat one slice, then decide you want (only) one more, you make a new mezonos, then bench afterwards. Not a hamotzee, as you won't be eating a new hamotzee's worth (2 new slices).
    – Shalom
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 7:15
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    R Moshe's (alleged) opinion doesn't apply anymore.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 20:33

Please refer to the final halacha in b'tzias hapas. The Shulchan Aruch rules that pashtida (dough filled with various fillings including meat, fish or cheese) is hamotzi even as a snack. The Mishna Berurah distinguishes this from pas haba'a b'kisnin in that the latter is mainly baked as a treat whereas pashtida is eaten for satiation. He says it's no different than a meat sandwich You just put the meat on before baking, but the intent is the same. I will let the reader opine for himself where pizza falls in.

  • Rabbi Welcher in Queens holds it's like pashtida and therefore you wash on one slice. But the common practice in America is two slices.
    – Shalom
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 7:11
  • Clearly Reb Moshe Feinstein did not hold that pizza is pashtida, otherwise he would never had said a shiur of two slices.
    – Yahu
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 23:37
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    Clearly Reb Moshe Feinstein did not hold that pizza is pashtida, otherwise he would never had said a shiur of two slices. At the time that the poskim ruled on pizza, people did not eat pizza as a normal meal. It was a treat. As my zeide used to say: "Who eats pizza for dinner?" Pizza has become a normal meal. I have heard people argue that pizza is a meal that you make when you don't feel like making a real meal and is still considered kinuach.
    – YDK
    Commented Jun 18, 2010 at 3:08
  • I'm told R Mordechai Willig holds this way as well.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 16:47

According to those who hold that pizza is Pat Habaah BeKisnin, Rabbi Jachter suggests, based on a Biur Halacha, that the amount required for washing should vary based on gender and age. The money quote:

"It should be noted that the Biur Halacha (168b s.v. Af Al Pi) asserts that the “objective standard” varies from group to group. He specifically mentions a distinction between young and old people. Thus, if an older individual plans to eat an amount of Pat Habaah BeKisnin that most older people consider to constitute a meal, he must recite Hamotzi even though a younger person would view that amount of food as merely a snack. Rav Daniel Wolf of Yeshivat Har Etzion (Yeshivat Har Etzion’s Daf Kesher volume 6) suggests that a distinction can be made between men and women regarding this matter, as men generally eat more than women. I have often wondered whether adolescent boys should be considered as a distinct group regarding this matter as well, since they tend to eat more than most other people. Personally speaking, I considered three slices of pizza to constitute a meal when I was a teenager, and as an adult I consider two slices of pizza to constitute a meal."

However, he notes that most disagree with this view entirely, including Rabbis Mordechai Willig, Ovadia Yosef, Yisroel Belsky, Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg, and Hershel Schachter, requiring a Hamozti even on one slice of pizza.

The full article can be found here: The Bracha on One Slice of Pizza

  • I believe the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch raises the question of age/gender relativity ... I think he leaves it as tzorech iyun?
    – Shalom
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 20:10
  • Rav Ruderman told my father that in Slobodka they would use the Biur Halacha only for theoretical learning of the lomdus of Halacha. For the final word on such a "Tzarich Iyun" question they would go to the Kovna Rov. I believe that this rule should apply to this most controversial sh'ailah as well.
    – Yahu
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 23:36
  • +1. I can sometimes go for 4 slices, but i count 3 as a meal too. My parents count 3 as more than a meal. :)
    – Scimonster
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 20:06

I thought that commonly pizza dough in the US was made mezzonot(so that one would need to eat the necessary shiur to pass into it being considered a meal).

Whereas pizza dough in E"Y is typically made as lehem and thus one slice needs washing.


Some kashrus orgnazations require apple juice in dough not all


Maran writes (Hazon Obadia Tu Bishvat, Berachot) that if the dough is made with butter or oil (as opposed to water) you should make Mezonot as long as you're not eating a Shiur of Keviat Seuda. However, if you can't taste the sweetness than you make Hamosi.

Or Lesion writes (vol. 2 pg. 97) that no matter what the dough is made of if the sauce is melted into the dough after the baking the Beracha becomes Mezonot.

I asked a few Talmide Hachamim if Hacham Ovadia would agree to that Or Lesion and they said he wouldn't.

  • Or anything in volume 2
    – sam
    Commented Dec 17, 2020 at 17:58

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