From the Rav’s Desk: Pas Yisrael and Hafrashas Challah when purchasing frozen dough from Gentile

  1. Question: [Monday 6th Adar 1, 5782]

We are on Shlichus and do not have any kosher bakery available near us and are not able to bake bread all the time for all of our guests and ourselves throughout the week. I would like to know if we can purchase frozen dough from a Gentile bakery [making sure of course all the ingredients are Kosher, or from one that already contains a kosher supervision such as] and bake it ourselves. We of course are particular to only eat Pas Yisrael, and hence I would like to know if such bread would be considered Pas Yisrael. Likewise, what should we do regarding Hafrashas Challah?


Dough that is purchased from a Gentile and baked by a Jew is considered Pas Yisrael. Accordingly, there is no problem for you to purchase kosher certified frozen dough [such as from the company above of which this specific product in the link is under the OU] and bake it yourselves, and such bread would be considered 100% Pas Yisrael. Likewise, there is no need for you to perform Hafrashas Challah [even if you have enough for Shiur Challah when all the doughs or baked rolls are combined in one vessel], as if the company is owned by a Gentile, then it is exempt from Hafrashas Challah. [In my basic research, it seems that the owners of the above said company are not Jewish.] And if the company is owned by a Jew, then if it contains a Hashgacha, as the above product in the link, then you can assume that they already performed Hafrashas Challah as is required according to Halacha, and that would be one of their basic functions and duties of kosher supervision. If, however, you are buying the dough from a random bakery which does not contain a Hashgacha, then even if you make sure that all the ingredients are kosher, you need to find out if its owners are Jewish, and if they are then you would need to perform Hafrashas Challah onto the dough.  

Explanation regarding the issue of Pas Yisrael: Although the matters under debate, the Poskim conclude that the issue of Pas Akum is specifically with the bread that is baked by a Gentile and not with the dough that is made by a Gentile if it is then baked by a Jew. Hence, there is no issue with the above. [If even simply lighting the flame by a Gentile bakery can solve the issue of Pas Akum, then certainly a Jew purchasing the dough and baking it himself solves the issue.]

Explanation regarding the issue of Hafrashas Challah: Regarding the issue of whether the dough becomes obligated to have Hafrashas Challah performed to it, this depends on whether it is owned by a Jew or Gentile. If the dough company is owned by a Gentile, then it is not obligated in Hafrashas Challah, as it is ruled in the Mishneh, and recorded in the Shulchan Aruch, that if one buys or is given dough from a Gentile then since the flour and water were already kneaded and turned to dough while in the ownership of the Gentile, therefore, it is not obligated in Hafrashas Challah. The reason for this is because regarding this matter we follow who the owner was at the time that it was first turned into dough. Now, since a Gentile is exempt from Hafrashas Challah, therefore, if he was the one who turned the flour into dough then it is eternally exempt from Hafrashas Challah, even if it was later bought and baked by a Jew. If, however, the owner is Jewish, then the dough is obligated in Hafrashas Challah and if Hafrashas Challah was not performed by the owner, then it must be performed by the buyer. Now, the law is that a Jewish baker must perform Hafrashas Challah to his batch of dough even though he plans on selling it, and this applies even if he plans on selling it while it is still dough. Accordingly, it would be the job of any reputable Kashrus agency who is certifying the dough product to find out if the owner is Jewish, and then make sure that Hafrashas Challah is performed to the product prior to sale. If this was not done, or if one is simply purchasing the dough directly from a Jewish owned bakery without a kosher supervision, then the consumer would be obligated to perform Hafrashas Challah, even if he is only making a single roll that is much less than Shiur Challah, as it already became obligated in Hafrashas Challah when it was made by the bakery and contained the Shiur.

Sources: See regarding that dough of gentile does not contain any issue of Pas Akum: Shach Y.D. 112:1 that so is the implication of Michaber and Rama throughout the chapter; Rambam Machalos Assuros 17:13 and Rashba 1:228, brought in Beis Yosef 112; Toras Chatas 75:2 in name of many Achronim; Chachmas Adam 65:5; Hakashrus 19 footnote 9; Other opinions: Some Rishinim rule that the dough of a gentile also contains the prohibition of Pas Akum, and it hence must be made with Jewish involvement. [Ran Avoda Zara 13b and Tur 112, brought in Beis Yosef and Shach ibid] See regarding the issue of Hafrashas Challah: Michaber Y.D. 330:1 and Mishneh Challah 5:3 [dough of gentile exempt from Challah]; Michaber Y.D. 326:2 and Mishneh Challah 1:7 and Rambam Bikurim 6:19 [that a Jewish baker must separate Challah even if plans to sell dough]; See also Minchas Yitzchak 6:116; 8:108; Zera Yaakov Y.D.  81


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