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    Mezonot rolls – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Sometimes m’zonot rolls are served in order to avoid N’tillat Yadayim, Motzi and bensching. Isn’t this a confidence trick?

    breadA. The concept is Talmudic (Ber. 42a). Pat haba’ah b’kisnin is a baked item which contains ingredients other than mere flour and water. These days the custom is to knead the flour with fruit juice.

    Though the theory is that now it is more or less like cake, in most cases it looks and tastes like bread and if served in place of regular bread, should be treated as such with the Motzi blessing and bensching.

    This would certainly apply at an event such as a Bar-/Bat-Mitzvah or a wedding or a public banquet (such events take a long time and do not come under the category of an emergency like being in hospital or on an airplane).

    A common practical problem arises when an airline passenger is served a kosher meal with m’zonot rolls. On an airplane is it difficult to wash one’s hands in the ritual way so m’zonot rolls are regarded as an answer.

    However, there are other alternatives: don’t eat the rolls at all; take some crackers with you; take a small quantity of regular bread and get up at a quiet moment, wash your hands, make Motzi and eat the bread. If you do this shortly before the airline meals are served, you can regard the bread as part of the meal and afterwards bensch.

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