Question:

After Shabbos or on a weekday bread is left over from the meal. I like to eat and buy fresh bread. I’m afraid to throw bread out because of wasting, and it can cause “poverty”. What is the best way Halachically can a person disposed of bread without causing “poverty” or wasting? I can’t keep it in my freezer till Pesach when destroying bread is permitted. Its not feasible due to space. Please answer fully with souces. Help.

Answer:

Without getting into the issue if it is the proper to buy new and throw out the not so fresh bread (see Chut Shani Shmitta pg. 289-8). There are a few options dispose of the bread  properly.

  1. If the pieces of bread are less than a kzayis- Pieces of food that are less than a kzayis they may be discarded, but not in a degrading way (derech bizayon), such as stepping on them. If the crumbs equal more than a kzayis, according to some poskim they should not be thrown out.
  2. For pieces of bread or food that are larger than a kzayis, they can either be given to animals and birds, or they can be put into a plastic bag in the garbage.
  3. Essentially bal tashchis only applies when you do an action that ruins the tree or food, but not when the food gets ruined because of inaction. (See sources) Therefore if the food is left until it is no longer edible for humans, that would not be considered bal tacshchis, as no action was done, and when it isn’t edible anymore, it also isn’t bal tashchis to throw it out.

Sources:

  1. O:CH 180-3, M:B Ibid 10, see Eitz Hasadeh 35 ftnt. 3 who brings several reasons why bal tashchis does not apply to food that is less than a kzayis. It is noteworthy that R’ Sheinberg zt”l (Chidushei Basra on O:CH 180-4) held that throwing crumbs in the garbage is considered derech bizayon and should be put into a plastic bag beforehand throwing them out, however see Eitz Hasadeh ibid ftnt. 13 from R’ Eliyashiv zt”l that it is permitted if they are less than a kzayis.
  2. Even Yisroel 9-62(11), Eitz Hasadeh ibid ftnt. 13 in the name of R’ Eliyashiv zt”l and a number of other poskim, also see Bais Baruch on the Chayei Adam 45- 22*. As a side point see Moadim U’zmanim 8 at the end of michtav 2 (pg. 17-18) that food that will not be eaten by people that it isn’t considered ibud ochilim.
  3. Ma’adanei Yom Tov (Zanger) 134 who brings Chazon Ish regarding the Rambam Hil. Milachim 6-8, Igros Moshe Y:D 2-174 (3, D”H Vchain), Minchas Yitzchok 3-45).

Tags: baal tashchis

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