Pizza Worth its Weight
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Let's Talk Kashrus Episode 1 > Post=Pesach Pizza
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The Great Post-Pesach Pizza Rush.
Rabbi Fishbane: What you just brought up brings me to another subject. We just discussed potential issues with supermarkets and shops, but then there are the shailos related to restaurants, local bagel stores, and, of course, the pizza shops.
I just got an inquiry. Can we let our employees come in on Pesach to turn on the ovens, so that Motzaei Pesach we can get that first pizza out? We’re most vigilant right after Pesach that nothing’s going on, and it’s a big problem.
Rabbi Hisiger: Yeah, churning out that pizza within an hour of the zeman… What’s the secret? What’s the real story there? Is the dough sold?
Rabbi Fishbane: Yes, many times they’re selling dough, but if done halachically, people buy it.
Rabbi Hisiger: Do you have pizza on Motzaei Pesach?
Rabbi Fishbane: I’ve got to tell you, in my job as administrator, some years I go to Pesach hotels.
Rabbi Hisiger: Right. A topic for a different time.
Rabbi Fishbane: Oh my! Listen to this story. It happened at one of the Pesach hotels I was at.
In general, at many of these vacations, you almost wouldn’t know it’s Pesach. There’s nothing you can’t get! You’ll have buns at the Chol Hamoed barbecue made from tapioca or whatnot... So one of the things they do in Pesach hotels is a pizza shop. The whole Yom Tov you’re going to line up, you make your own pizza, and it’s delicious. One year, of course, they bring frozen pizza in the trucks, they sell it k’halacha, and Motzaei Yom Tov they start churning out the pizza.
Everything’s great - until they run out of frozen pizza! You’d think the olam at the Pesach hotel hasn’t eaten in a
week. Before Yom Tov, we give the staff what is called a “sensitivity training.” In addition to halachic concerns that we train them in, we’ll sometimes prepare them for what they are about to experience. I like to call it “three Thanksgiving meals a day.”
I often joke that Pesach hotels should start charging by weight. They weigh you when you come in, and weigh you when you leave, and charge you per pound.
Jokes aside, that year, on Motzaei Pesach, they ran out of frozen pizza. So they took the leftover kosher l’Pesach pizza, which was gluten-free, and no one knew the difference! It was so good!
So here’s my dilemma as a rav hamachshir. Do I get up and announce, “Rabbosai, stop washing netilas yadayim. It’s gluten free!” Do I reveal the secret?
Of course, we go with hala
cha, period. But I just remember that year because it was quite amusing.
So, yes, it is difficult to churn out enough pizzas and you have to be innovative, alert, and knowledgeable. For example, the pizza ovens, in order for them to be heated up and ready to churn out the goods, are kept on low during the second days of Yom Tov. There are shailos that you need to be prepared for.
Rabbi Hisiger: Thank you,
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