Submitted: Pizza – What type of message are we giving over to our children?


There is something that has been troubling me for a while, but I always thought it was just me. Fortunately, there has been more talk about the issue lately and I see that I was right, and everyone else is possibly just uneducated.

Pizza is Hamotzi according to most Poskim. I was brought up with this and most other people probably also were. All say that hamotzi is said on Pizza, even for one bite. You would think that in this town, since the Lakewood Poskim hold that it’s Hamotzi, most people would be saying the proper Bracha! (I personally spoke to at least 7 of the Yeshiva Poskim, they all held like this.)

It’s most painful for me when I attend Avos U’banim. Fathers and sons learning together is so beautiful! Then they end off the learning with Pizza and the children don’t bother to wash and make Hamotzi on the pizza. What type of message are we giving over to our children? It pains me. Of course I try to me ‘melamed zchus’ like I have been for years. But now, according to my research and most of the Poskim that I have either asked or seen quoted, it’s hard to believe that there are still so many people not saying Hamotzi.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of GreaterLakewood.

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  1. Shloimy,

    You raise a great question. I’m reminded of a story that is told where an individual went into a kosher grocery had pictures of big ” Rabbi’s” hanging on the wall. A customer who inquired about the hasgocha was told to look at the pictures. To which he responded if they were the proprietor and your picture was on the wall, I wouldn’t be concerned.

    Now to my point……… Why don’t you respectfully request a letter from the seven posekim you discussed it with?

  2. What type of message are we giving over to our children when we ask a sheila, get an answer and feel like that is the only way?

    That we are better than others? That we know everything and what other people rabbis say doesn’t matter?

    The condescending tone of this letter is what we are teaching our kids and this attitude of feeling that your psak is the only psak may be a factor in the high level of chutzpah in todays children.

    They feel like they know what’s right and anyone who argues is wrong and can be made fun of. (Even if he is an adult who one is required to respect)

    I spoke to my rav 3 days ago and was told differently than this letter. Even the writer of this letter agrees that there are some poskim who argue.

    What are we teaching our children? What type of message are we giving them? My psak or nothing? It pains me to see this attitude which is passed to our children that I am better than thou and if you’re not following my psak you’re wrong.

    The letter writer may have some merit to what he is saying, but this attitude is damaging.

    PS should I follow the psak of my Rav of the letter writer “shloimy” from the greater lakewood website?

  3. What kind of message are we sending our children if you need to serve Pizza each week to get them to come learn?
    Many Shul’s don’t serve Pizza & the children attend happily.
    Pizza is Hamotzi by the overwhelming majority of poskim. The letter writer is correct to bring this up.

    • Shepsil, I really hope you are not in chinuch. My son loves going to Avos Ubonim because he enjoys learning with me. The raffles, prizes, pizza etc. make him feel even better about it, as it re-enforces that not only is he doing something he enjoys, but it is also a positive, praiseworthy thing to do.

      And that is my son, who enthusiastically enjoys the learning. Not all children have the same joy from it at a young age, for them, it is even more beneficial to be rewarded for doing something positive in their “free” time, even though they may not enjoy it as much

  4. It seems from the words of person that wrote this letter that he knows himself that there are people that disagree with this Psak. So regardless if they’re even a minority you have no right to write such a letter because apparently those peoples Poskim that you’re observing hold that it is proper to make Mezonos on Pizza. What are you teaching your own children if this is your Way of life that everyone must do what I believe is true. I myself happen to be careful to make Hamozti but what gives you a right to judge people. Maybe post a letter that talks about not being so judge-mental. I think that is more important and critical and something that’s important to teach our children. For all generations in Klal Yisroel, We’ve had different opinions in psak halacha then each other and the most important thing is that people do what they are supposed to do themselves and follow the Rav that they ask their sheilos too.

  5. Shloimy look into this.. It is called pas haboh b’kisnin the classic case of pas habok bkisnin. Dough filled with cheese. Look what Shulchan aruch paskins… Is one sxlice called kovea seudah? There are many different shitos on how many slices does it take to be kovea.
    If the hamoen doesn’t wash on one slice they have plenty of shitois to rely on. Two slices or three is where there are less to rely on.

    There are more important issues of the day to be concerned with.

  6. Boruch Hashem, almost all people in Lakewood grew up frum and pasken the way their fathers and gtandfathers paskened, BMG poskim notwithstanding.

    My father taught me that pizza is mezonos. I have no reason to ask the BMG poskim, because I don’t have a Sheila.

    The letter writer is actually the problem. Why does it bother you what other people are doing? You clearly have emotional issues and could use some help.

  7. If you wash with a Barcha for hamotzi on one bite of pizza, you are clearly over an issur deoirisah, right?

    CLEAR bracha levatala.

  8. I don’t think he has emotional issues. His question is if 95% say it’s Hamotzi so 95% of people should be making Hamotzi. What are the chances that most people ask their questions to the 5% of Rabbanim who hold it’s Mezonos (unless they are looking for kulos). It’s well known that Rabbi Gissinger zt”l would not let the kids eat pizza unless they washed and made Hamotzi. Besides the fact that for kids according to everyone it’s Hamotzi, see Biur Halacha 168 6

  9. The letter writer is conveniently not mentioning that R’ Moishe Feinstein held that 1 slice of pizza is mezonos. What is wrong with following that?

  10. Guys. Nobody is arguing on R’ Moshe.
    Fact #1 In R’ Moshe’s days most pizza was eaten as a snack.
    Fact #2 The Halacha of Pas Haba Bikisnin is only if most people eat it as a snack, if most people eat it as a meal it is Hamotzai (see 168 17 in m”b).
    Fact #3 This is why most Rabanim say pizza is Hamotzi.
    Here is the challenge for everybody. The first person to find me three Rabbanim in Lakewood who say one slice of pizza is Mezonos will earn himself a $25 gift card to any restaurant in Lakewood.

    • The eating of Pizza really hasn’t changed since R’ Moshe’s days. to say that in his days it was more likely to be eaten as a snack is just not true. If anything, quite the opposite, as Pizza is more readily available now that it was in the past.

  11. @Shloimy

    I think a much bigger problem is the need to make a “macha” over everything.

    I challenge you to find 3 Lakewood Poskim who say you should post a letter on the internet about this issue.

    We constantly find in shulchan orech and mishna brurah not to do something, but if there is ANY side of kula, ain mochin

    May this be the biggest “chisaron”
    found in Klal Yisroel!

  12. Continuing on a trodden path is usually advisable.
    Sometimes however, the scenarios and variables change in a way that we can be confident that our forefathers would act different than the way they did, which was based on their scenarios.
    When significant evidence was brought to my attention, many things from my “Mezonos” menu disappeared.
    Just like Chinuch, per R’ Matisiyohu Shlit”a, can no longer be followed blindly by the way forefathers did things.
    We need to march forward with open eyes, and look out for current facts.
    As an aside, and on a more materialistic level, I also keep my devices’ anti-virus current, based on today’s facts 😉

  13. @Hamotzi LECHRM

    I have no problem with someone clarifying the Halacha.

    But you tell from this headline: “Pizza – What type of message are we giving over to our children?”

    Does that sound like someone clarifying Halacha?

  14. R’ Shloimy,

    I feel you missed the boat.

    This conversation no longer has to do with Halacha, I don’t need to find you 3 poskim that agree and I win a prize. That is childish.

    My point is simple. Your condescending words are a big issue far worse than the wrong bracha on pizza. You are showing how you feel that anyone who doesn’t agree with your psak is wrong.

    It pains you to see people making the wrong bracha? Does it pain you when kids disrespect an English teacher? Does it pain you when you have people who have zero derech eretz walking around the streets? Does anything bain adam lchaveiro pain you?

    I try to be melamed zchus, as I have for many years. However I can’t find any zchus for your gaavah, and acting like you’re solving the worlds problems by taking one side in a complicated halachic argument and stating it as fact.

    There are many nicer ways this could’ve been written, the author R’ Shloimy just missed the opportunity and is using what could’ve been a tremendous kiddush hashem to go degrade a large part of our holy nation.

  15. Stupid click bait headline!

    We teach our children to stay FAR away from Kanoim (aka hot heads / Mcharchei Riv)

  16. I was raised one slice is Mezonos, 2 is questionable.
    His letter is typical of Yiddishkeit today. Everyone who wants to be Machmir decides their way is the only way.
    It’s sad how on the last few decades R’ Moshe has been turned by many into a Modern-Orthodox (read: Conservative) Rabbi who was too Meikel.
    I for one will stick with R’ Moshe. I have zero fear standing before Hashem telling him I did what I did because R’ Moshe paskened it was muttar.

  17. @SM I beg to disagree with you, I can’t think of anything more beautiful then someone being pained over what he views as a laxity in halacha. Shloimy keep it up! Don’t let the naysayers get to you 🙂

    I asked my Rav tonight he said, I quote, “It is hard to hear how anyone can say pizza is mezonos nowadays.”

  18. This is what I hate about (some) Lakewood people. Why cant you just say Thank you for bringing it up, I will ask my rav (or better, just be quiet!) Why do your defenses automatically jump & you feel you have to put the guy down?? Do you all have inferiority complexes? You dont need to debate him or turn him into a therapy case or even get insulted. Dont like his writing style? (I dont either) but Move on!

  19. I wonder why the original letter writer felt it necessary to include the following sentence:
    “Of course I try to me ‘melamed zchus’ like I have been for years.”

  20. Do you mean “what message are we giving to our children?” Or you mean “what message are we giving over to our children?” I do not understand what you mean by “giving over.” Is it like given over the keys to a apartment or something?


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