SECTION 195 The Laws Pertaining to [Combining] Groups Who Eat in Different Places [for a Zimun]. (1–4)

קצה חֲבוּרוֹת שֶׁאוֹכְלִים בְּהַרְבֵּה מְקוֹמוֹת מַה דִּינָם, וּבוֹ ד' סְעִיפִים:

1 When two groups eat [in different places] in one house,1 or in two houses2 that are not separated by a public domain, if some [of the people in one group] see some of the others [in the second group], they may join together in a zimun.3If not, they may not be joined for that purpose. Instead, each group should recite the zimun individually. If one attendant serves both groups, he combines them even if he did not eat together with them.

א ב' חֲבוּרוֹת שֶׁאוֹכְלוֹת בְּבַיִת אֶחָדא,1 אוֹ בְּב' בָּתִּיםב,2 שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ הָרַבִּים מַפְסֶקֶת בֵּינֵיהֶם,ג אִם מִקְצָתָן רוֹאִים אֵלּוּ אֶת אֵלּוּ – מִצְטָרְפוֹת לְזִמּוּן,3 וְאִם לָאו – אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפוֹת, אֶלָּא אֵלּוּ מְזַמְּנִין לְעַצְמָן וְאֵלּוּ מְזַמְּנִין לְעַצְמָן. וְאִם יֵשׁ שַׁמָּשׁ אֶחָד לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן – הוּא מְצָרְפָן,ד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא אָכַל עִמָּהֶם: ה,1

Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (Kehot Publication Society)

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2 All of the above applies when the individuals entered [the dining area] with the intent of joining together [for a zimun]. If, by contrast, they did not have any specific intent when they entered, they may not join together even though: a) they can see each other, b) they are in one house, and c) one attendant is serving them. [The rationale: Generally, a group] is not joined together for a zimun unless they sit down to eat together at one table,4 for then they are considered as a single entity and one blessing suffices for all.5 In this instance, however, each group is a separate entity. If, however, they enter and divide into two groups [to eat, but] intend to join together in one blessing, it is as if they [initially] entered and joined together as one group. For the fundamental factor that joins together and unites [individuals into one group for a zimun] is their [initial] intent to join together.

If, however, they entered [the dining area together] and [then] separated [into groups] without any specific intent and without thinking that they would join together, [there is no unifying factor that binds them together. Accordingly,] even if, at the time of the recitation of the blessing HaMotzi, they did have in mind to merge, their intent is no longer effective in joining them and unifying them [into a single entity. This applies] even with regard to the blessing HaMotzi itself, as stated in sec. 167[:17]. How much more so is this true with regard to Grace!

[Slightly different rules apply] when [the two groups] entered one after the other. Even if the second group had the intent of joining together with the first group, if when the first group entered they did not have any intent of joining with the second group, but rather entered without any specific intention, they may not be combined as a single group. Therefore, at large feasts, in places where the entries are staggered, every group should recite a zimun individually.6

ב וְכָל זֶה כְּשֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ מִתְּחִלָּה לְשָׁם עַל דַּעַת לְהִצְטָרֵף,ו אֲבָל בִּסְתָם אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפוֹת, אֲפִלּוּ רוֹאִים אֵלּוּ אֶת אֵלּוּ וְהֵם בְּבַיִת אֶחָד וְשַׁמָּשׁ אֶחָד לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן,ז שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפוֹת לְזִמּוּן אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן קָבְעוּ בְּשֻׁלְחָן אֶחָד לֶאֱכֹל יַחַד,ח,4 שֶׁאָז נֶחְשָׁבִים כְּגוּף אֶחָד, וּבְרָכָה אַחַת לְכֻלָּם,ט,5 וְכָאן כָּל חַבּוּרָה הִיא לְעַצְמָהּ, מַה שֶׁאֵין כֵּן כְּשֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ וְנֶחְלְקוּ לֵב' חֲבוּרוֹת עַל דַּעַת לְהִצְטָרֵף לִבְרָכָה אַחַת – הֲרֵי זֶה כְּאִלּוּ נִכְנְסוּ וְנִתְחַבְּרוּ בַּחֲבוּרָה אַחַת, שֶׁעִקַּר הַחִבּוּר וְהַצֵּרוּף הוּא הַכַּוָּנָה לְהִתְחַבֵּר.י

אֲבָל אִם נִכְנְסוּ וְנֶחְלְקוּ סְתָם שֶׁלֹּא עַל דַּעַת לְהִצְטָרֵף, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבִּשְׁעַת בִּרְכַּת "הַמּוֹצִיא" הָיָה בְּדַעְתָּם לְהִצְטָרֵף – שׁוּב אֵין כַּוָּנָתָם מוֹעֶלֶת לְחַבְּרָם וּלְצָרְפָם אֲפִלּוּ לְבִרְכַּת "הַמּוֹצִיא" עַצְמָהּ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קס"ז,יא כָּל שֶׁכֵּן לְבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן.יב

וְאִם נִכְנְסוּ זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַשְּׁנִיָּה נִכְנְסָה עַל דַּעַת לְהִצְטָרֵף עִם הָרִאשׁוֹנָה, אִם הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לֹא הָיָה בְּדַעְתָּהּ כְּלָל בִּשְׁעַת כְּנִיסָתָהּ עַל הַשְּׁנִיָּה לְהִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהּ, אֶלָּא נִכְנְסָה סְתָם – אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפוֹת.יג לְפִיכָךְ, בִּסְעוּדוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנִּכְנָסִים בָּזֶה אַחֵר זֶה – יְזַמְּנוּ כָּל חַבּוּרָה לְעַצְמָהּ:6

3 When some of the people ate inside a house and others ate outside, if the person leading Grace sits at the threshold [of the entrance to the house], he joins [both of the groups] together. Since he can see both groups by turning his head in either direction, it is as if some of the members of each group see the others, for he is considered part of both groups, since he fulfills the obligation for Grace on behalf of them all.

ג אָכְלוּ מִקְצָתָן בַּבַּיִת וּמִקְצָתָן חוּץ לַבַּיִת, אִם הַמְבָרֵךְ יוֹשֵׁב עַל הַמִּפְתָּן – הוּא מְצָרְפָן,יד,2 לְפִי שֶׁהוּא יָכוֹל לִרְאוֹת אֵלּוּ וְאֵלּוּ בַּהֲפִיכַת פָּנָיו לְכָאן וּלְכָאן, וַהֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִקְצָתָן רוֹאִים אֵלּוּ אֶת אֵלּוּ,טו שֶׁהוּא נֶחְשָׁב מֵאֵלּוּ וּמֵאֵלּוּ, שֶׁהֲרֵי מוֹצִיא אֶת כֻּלָּם יְדֵי חוֹבָתָם: טז

4 Whenever two groups are combined, it is necessary that they both hear the entire Grace clearly from the person leading Grace, or at least the blessing Hazan, as stated in sec. 183[:10] and sec. 193.7

When a person did not hear clearly the blessing of the zimun, i.e., Nevareich sheachalnu mishelo, “Let us bless Him of Whose [bounty] we have eaten,” he may not respond with the others: Baruch sheachalnu mishelo…, “Blessed be He of Whose [bounty] we have eaten….” Instead, he should respond Amen after the others recite this phrase. This follows the opinion of the authority who makes similar statements with regard to responding to [the pronouncement] Barchu (“Bless…”)in the synagogue [when one did not clearly hear that pronouncement from the sheliach tzibur], as mentioned in sec. 57[:2]. It was already explained there that, fundamentally, this opinion is not accepted as halachah.8

ד כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁמִּצְטָרְפוֹת ב' חֲבוּרוֹת – צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּשְׁמְעוּיז שְׁתֵּיהֶן כָּל בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹןיח בְּבֵאוּריט מִפִּי הַמְבָרֵךְ, וּלְפָחוֹת בִּרְכַּת "הַזָּן", כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קפ"גכ וקצ"ג.כא,7

וּמִי שֶׁלֹּא שָׁמַע בִּרְכַּת הַזִּמּוּן שֶׁהוּא "נְבָרֵךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלּוֹ"כב בְּבֵאוּר – אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַעֲנוֹת עִמָּהֶם "בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ", אֶלָּא עוֹנֶה אַחֲרֵיהֶם "אָמֵן",כג לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר כֵּן בְּ"בָרְכוּ" שֶׁבְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת,כד כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"ז.כה וּכְבָר נִתְבָּאֵר שָׁם שֶׁאֵין דְּבָרָיו עִקַּר: כו,8