INSIGHTS INTO THE DAILY DAF
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
OPINIONS: The Gemara concludes that for Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin (lit. "bread that is served with condiments," from the word "Koses" which means to chew on a snack) one does not recite "ha'Motzi" or Birkas ha'Mazon. Rather, one recites "Borei Minei Mezonos." However, if one bases his meal on Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin (by eating an amount that is as much as people normally eat when they eat a full meal), then he does recite "ha'Motzi."
What is Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin?
There are three basic opinions among the Rishonim:
(a) RABEINU CHANANEL (cited by Talmidei Rabeinu Yonah), the RASHBA, and the TUR explain that this refers to bread-rolls made like pockets that are filled with sugar (or honey), nuts, and various types of condiments.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Berachos 3:9) explains that Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin refers to dough that was kneaded with honey, oil, or milk, or dough that was mixed with seasonings and then baked.
The BEIS YOSEF (OC 168) explains that even though the dough also contains water, if the other ingredients give it a noticeable taste such that people do not base their meals on it, it is still considered Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin. RASHI (41b, DH Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin) seems to require that the dough be kneaded with a very large amount of extra liquids or condiments in order to be considered Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin. The REMA (OC 168:7) says that Rashi requires the honey or other condiments in the bread to be almost the main ingredient and to give the strongest taste.
(c) RAV HAI GA'ON (cited by the ARUCH) explains that Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin is dough that is made into a hard, crispy bread (such as crackers or pastry dough).
HALACHAH: The BEIS YOSEF (OC 168; see also SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 168:7) writes that since the exact definition of Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin is in doubt, and blessings are mid'Rabanan, one recites "ha'Motzi" and Birkas ha'Mazon on any of the three types of foods mentioned above only when one makes a meal out of it. Otherwise, we consider each one to be Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin out of doubt, and the blessing is "Borei Minei Mezonos."