Three men who have eaten together should recite Birkas Hamazon with Zimun, and it is a mitzvah to recite it over a cup of wine if possible. If wine is not available, beer, 'mead' or whiskey may be used, if they are common beverages of the locality. This is true in an area where grapevines do not grow within a day's distance from the city, and as a result, wine is expensive and therefore these other beverages are used instead of wine. Some authorities hold that even an individual reciting Birkas Hamazon should do so over a cup. It is the custom of those who are meticulous, when reciting Birkas Hamazon individually not to lift up the cup, but rather to place it on the table in front of them.


שְׁלשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ בְּיַחַד צְרִיכִין לְבָרֵךְ בְּזִמּוּן, וּמִצְוָה שֶׁיְבָרְכוּ עַל הַכּוֹס. אִם אֶפְשָׁר, צְרִיכִין לְהַדֵּר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כּוֹס יַיִן. וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר בְּיַיִן, יִהְיֶה שֵׁכָר אוֹ יַיִן דְּבַשׁ (מעד) אוֹ יַיִן שָׂרָף כְּשֶׁהוּא חֲמַר מְדִינָה, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁאֵין יַיִן גָּדֵל שָׁם כְּדֶרֶךְ יוֹם מִן הָעִיר, וְעַל כֵּן הוּא בְּיֹקֶר, וּרְגִילִים לִשְׁתּוֹת מַשְׁקִים אֵלּוּ בִּמְקוֹם יָיִן. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, דְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן אֲפִלּוּ בְּיָחִיד טְעוּנָה כּוֹס. וְנוֹהֲגִין הַמְדַקְדְּקִים כְּשֶׁמְבָרְכִין בְּיָחִיד, שֶׁלֹּא לֶאֱחֹוֹז הַכּוֹס בַּיָּד, רַק מַנִּיחִין אוֹתוֹ עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן לִפְנֵיהֶם.


The cup is filled first and then the hands are washed.


מוֹזְגִים אֵת הַכּוֹס תְּחִלָּה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹטְלִין לַיָּדָיִם (קפ"א).


If you drink some of the wine out of a cup whatever remains in it becomes blemished and is disqualified for use for Birkas Hamazon unless it is rectified by adding a little wine or water that is not blemished. Since the cup must be filled specifically for the sake of reciting a berachah, therefore, if the cup was blemished and you rectified it, you must pour it back into the bottle and from the bottle back into the cup for the sake of the berachah.


יַיִן שֶׁשָּׁתוּ מִמֶּנּוּ, כָּל הַנִּשְׁאָר בַּכְּלִי נַעֲשָׂה פָּגוּם, וּפָסוּל לְבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן עַד שֶׁיְתַקְּנוֹ, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁנּוֹתֵן לְתוֹכוֹ קְצָת יַיִן אוֹ קְצָת מַיִם שֶׁאֵינָם פְּגוּמִים, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְמַלֹאת אֶת הַכּוֹס לְשֵׁם בְּרָכָה, לָכֵן אִם הַכּוֹס פָּגוּם וְהוּא מְתַקְנוּ, צָרִיךְ לְשָׁפְכוֹ לְתוֹךְ קַנְקַן, וּמִתּוֹךְ הַקַּנְקַן לְתוֹךְ הַכּוֹס לְשֵׁם בְּרָכָה.


The cup used for the berachah must be whole, and even if the bottom base is broken, it is disqualified. Even the slightest notch in the rim of the cup or a crack in the cup disqualifies it. The cup must be rinsed from inside and washed from outside, or [if water is unavailable] it must be wiped clean. The beverage must be poured from the bottle for the purpose of reciting the berachah and the cup must be full. The one who leads the Birkas Hamazon should accept the cup in both hands to show his affection for the cup in that he longs to accept it with all his might as it is written:1 "Lift up your hands to the sanctuary and bless Hashem." He then removes his left hand and holds it only with his right hand without any help of the left (so it should not appear as a burden to him.) He should look at the cup so that he is not distracted, and he should hold it a tefach above the table,2 as it is written:3 "The cup of deliverance I will raise and upon the Name, Hashem, I will call." A left handed person should hold the cup in his "right" hand which is everyone else's left. It is proper to remove the empty dishes from the table [before Birkas Hamazon.]


הַכּוֹס שֶׁמְבָרְכִין עָלָיו צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְהֵא שָׁלֵם. וַאֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁבַּר רַק הַבָּסִיס שֶׁל מַטָּה, פָּסוּל. וַאֲפִלּוּ פְּגִימָה כָּל שֶׁהִיא בִּשְׂפַת הַכְּלִי, אוֹ שֶׁנִּסְדַּק, פָּסוּל. וְטָעוּן הֲדָחָה מִבִּפְנִים וּשְׁטִיפָה מִבַּחוּץ, אוֹ מְקַנְּחוֹ יָפֶה שֶׁיְהֵא נָקִי, וְשׁוֹפֵךְ מִן הַקַּנְקַן לְתוֹכוֹ לְשֵׁם בְּרָכָה, וִיהֵא מָלֵא, וְהַמְבָרֵךְ מְקַבְּלוֹ בִּשְׁתֵּי יָדָיו (לְהַרְאוֹת חֲבִיבוּת הַכּוֹס, שֶׁהוּא חוֹשֵׁק לְקַבְּלוֹ בְּכָל כֹּחוֹ) וּכְדִכְתִיב שְׂאוּ יְדֵיכֶם קֹדֶשׁ וּבָרְכוּ אֶת ה'. וּמֵסִיר אַחַר כָּךְ יָדוֹ הַשְּׂמָאלִית וְאוֹחֲזוֹ לְבַדָּה, בְּלִי סִיּוּעַ הַשְּׂמָאלִית (שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא נִרְאֶה כְּמַשָּׂא עָלָיו). וְנוֹתֵן עֵינָיו בּוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ. וּמַחְזִיקוֹ לְמַעְלָה מִן הַשֻּׁלְחָן טֶפַח, דִּכְתִיב כּוֹס יְשׁוּעוֹת אֶשָּׂא, וּבְשֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא. וְאִטֵּר יָד יֹאחֲזוֹ בַּיָמִין דִּידֵיהּ, שֶׁהוּא שְׂמֹאל שֶׁל כָּל אָדָם. וְיֵשׁ לְהָסִיר מִן הַשֻּׁלְחָן הַכֵּלִים הָרֵיקִים (קפ"ג)


If all those who are part of the group are of equal status and there is a kohein among the group it is a mitzvah to honor him with leading the Birkas Hamazon, as it is said:4 "You should sanctify him." But if there is a great Torah scholar in the group, he should lead the Birkas Hamazon. It is customary to have a mourner lead the Birkas Hamazon. This applies only when they are of equal status. It is also proper to honor with the leading of Birkas Hamazon, one who is generous, who despises illegal profits, and dispenses charity with his money, as it is written:5 "One who is generous shall be blessed." Do not read yevorach—"shall be blessed," but, rather, yevareich—"shall bless."


אִם בְּנֵי הַמְסִבָּה שָׁוִים בַּמַעֲלָה, וְיֵשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶם כֹּהֵן, מִצְוָה לְכַבְּדוֹ בְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְקִדַּשְׁתּוֹ. אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶם אָדָם גָּדוֹל וְחָשׁוּב, יְבָרֵךְ הוּא. וְנוֹהֲגִין לָתֵת לְאָבֵל לְבָרֵךְ. וְדַוְקָא כְּשֶׁשָּׁוִים בַּמַעֲלָה. וְרָאוּי לְכַבֵּד בְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן לְמִי שֶׁהוּא טוֹב עַיִן, שׂוֹנֵא בֶצַע וְגוֹמֵל חֶסֶד בְּמָמוֹנוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, טוֹב עַיִן הוּא יְבֹרָךְ אַל תִּקְרִי יְבֹרָךְ אֶלָּא יְבָרֵךְ (קפ"ג ר"א)


He who leads the Birkas Hamazon should begin by saying: "Come let us say the blessings," because all holy things require prior preparation. (He may also say in the Yiddish language Rabbosai, mir villen bentshen.) The rest of the assembled respond: Yehi sheim Hashem mevorach mei'ata ve'ad olam [Let the name of Hashem be blessed from now forever.] Then the leader says: Birshus maranan verabbanan verabbosai [With your permission, distinguished gentlemen] nevareich she'achalnu mishelo [Let us bless Him of whose bounty we have eaten] and the assembled respond baruch she'achalnu mishelo uvetuvo chayinu [Blessed is He of Whose bounty we have eaten and through whose goodness we live.] Then the leader repeats it and he also says: Baruch she'achalnu mishelo uvetuvo chayinu [Blessed is He of whose bounty we have eaten and through whose goodness we live.] In some communities the custom is that after the leader concludes uvetuvo chayinu: [And through Whose goodness we live,] the assembled respond Amein. In other communities, however, it is not the custom to respond Amein. There are also various customs in reference to saying: Baruch hu uvaruch shemo [Blessed is He and blessed is his Name.] Some have the custom that the leader says it [even] where only three men are present; whereas, others hold that it should not be said unless there are ten men present, because then Hashem's Name is mentioned, and it may be said. This is the proper custom. The assembled should not say it, and, certainly, one who recites Birkas Hamazon without zimun should not say it.


הַמְבָרֵךְ יֹאמַר מִתְּחִלָּה, הַב לָן וּנְבָרֵךְ, כִּי כָּל מִלֵּי דִּקְדֻשָּׁה בָּעִי הַזְמָנָה (אוֹ יֹאמַר בלע"ז, בלשון אשכנז, "רַבּוֹתַי מִיר וֶועלֶען בֶּענְטְשֶׁען) וְהַמְסֻבִּין עוֹנִין, יְהִי שֵׁם ה' מְבֹרָךְ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם. וְאַחַר כָּךְ אוֹמֵר הַמְבָרֵךְ, בִּרְשׁוּת וְכוּ', נְבָרֵךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ וְכוּ', וְהַמְסֻבִּין אוֹמְרִים, בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶׁלּוֹ וְכוּ'. וְחוֹזֵר הַמְבָרֵךְ וְאוֹמֵר גַּם הוּא, בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ וְכוּ'. וְנוֹהֲגִין בִּקְצָת מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁלְּאַחַר שֶׁסִּיֵּם הַמְבָרֵךְ וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִּינוּ עוֹנִין הַמְסֻבִּין אָמֵן. וּבִקְצָת מְקוֹמוֹת לֹא נָהֲגוּ לוֹמַר אָמֵן. גַּם יֵשׁ מִנְהָגִים שׁוֹנִים בְּעִנְיַן אֲמִירַת בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּבָרוּךְ שְׁמוֹ. יֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין שֶׁהַמְבָרֵךְ אוֹמְרוֹ כְּשֶׁמְזַמְּנִין רַק בִּשְׁלשָׁה. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, שֶׁאֵין לְאָמְרוֹ אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁמְּזַמְּנִין בַּעֲשָׂרָה, שֶׁמַּזְכִּיר אֶת הַשֵּׁם, אָז יֹאמְרוֹ. וְכֵן יֵשׁ לִנְהוֹג. וְהַמְסֻבִּין לֹא יאמְרוּהוּ. וּמִכָּל שֶׁכֵּן מִי שֶׁמְבָרֵךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן בְּלֹא זִמּוּן שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוֹ.


The leader should say the Birkas Hamazon aloud and the assembled, should quietly repeat every word with him and at the end of each berachah they should hasten to finish [their berachah] before the leader so that they may respond Amein to his berachah.


הַמְבָרֵךְ יְבָרֵךְ בְּקוֹל, וְהַמְסֻבִּין יֹאמְרוּ עִמּוֹ מִלָּה בְּמִלָּה בְּלַחַשׁ. וּבְסוֹף כָּל בְּרָכָה יַקְדִּימוּ לְסַיֵּם קֹדֶם לְהַמְבָרֵךְ, כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּעֲנוּ אָמֵן עַל בִּרְכָּתוֹ (קפ"ג).


After Birkas Hamazon the leader makes a berachah on the cup over which he said Birkas Hamazon and drinks a revi'is6 from it, so that he may recite the after-berachah [over the wine]. If the [contents of] cups of those assembled have become blemished, the leader should pour some of his [wine] into their cups after he recites the berachah Borei peri hagafen, [but]before he drinks from it, so that they, too, may say a berachah over cups that are not blemished. Similarly, if their cups are empty, he should, likewise, pour into them a little from the cup over which the berachah was said, but they should not taste of it until he who said the berachah tastes of it. But, if each of them have their own cups which are not blemished, the leader need not give them from his cup and they may taste of theirs before he tastes of his. If possible, the proper way [of doing it] is that each one should have a full cup.


אַחַר בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַכּוֹס שֶׁבֵּרֵךְ עָלָיו, וְשׁוֹתֶה שִׁעוּר רְבִיעִית כְּדֵי שֶׁיּוּכַל לְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה. אִם הַכּוֹסוֹת שֶׁל הַמְסֻבִּין הֵן פְּגוּמוֹת, צָרִיךְ הַמְבָרֵךְ לִתֵּן מִכּוֹסוֹ מְעַט לְתוֹךְ כּוֹסוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶם אַחַר שֶׁבֵּרֵךְ בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּשְׁתֶּה הוּא, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְבָרְכוּ גַּם הֵם עַל כּוֹסוֹת שֶׁאֵינָן פְּגוּמוֹת. וְכֵן אִם כּוֹסוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶן רֵיקָנוֹת, נוֹתֵן לְתוֹכָן מְעַט מִכּוֹס שֶׁל בְּרָכָה, וְלֹא יִטְעֲמוּ עַד שֶׁיִּטְעוֹם הַמְבָרֵךְ. אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ לָהֶן כּוֹסוֹת בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן וְאֵינָן פְּגוּמוֹת, אֵין הַמְבָרֵךְ צָרִיךְ לִתֵּן לָהֶם מִכּוֹס שֶׁלּוֹ, וִיכוֹלִין לִטְעֹם קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּטְעוֹם הוּא, וְכֵן נָכוֹן, וְטוֹב אִם אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לְכָל אֶחָד כּוֹס מָלֵא.


If the leader does not wish to drink from the cup, some authorities hold that he may give it to one of the other assembled guests to recite the blessing Borei peri hagafen and drink a revi'is7 and recite the concluding berachah. Other authorities hold that this should not be done, rather, the one who leads the Zimun should recite the berachah over the cup, and this is the proper way.


אִם הַמְבָרֵךְ אֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לִשְׁתּוֹת יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים דְּיָכוֹל לִתֵּן לְאִישׁ אַחֵר מִן הַמְסֻבִּין שֶׁיְבָרֵךְ בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן, וְיִשְׁתֶּה שִׁעוּר רְבִיעִית וִיבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים דְּאֵין לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן, אֶלָּא דַּוְקָא הַמְבָרֵךְ בְּזִמּוּן הוּא יְבָרֵךְ עַל הַכּוֹס, וְכֵן נָכוֹן לַעֲשׂוֹת (ק"צ).


If two men eat together it is a mitzvah for them to seek a third to join them for a Zimun. If the third person came after the two have already finished eating, and some additional food were brought to them as a dessert and they would eat it, then it is a mitzvah for them to invite this third person for zimun. They should give him a kazayis of food for which he would be required to recite a concluding berachah, and then he can join them for Zimun. Some authorities hold that the third person must eat bread; and others hold that any kind of grain food suffices. There are even those who hold that fruit and vegetables are sufficient; and still others who hold even if he does not eat [food], but merely drinks a revi'is8 of any kind of beverage except water, he may join them for Zimun, and this is the accepted practice. And though he didn't eat, but only drank, he can still say "[Blessed is He from whose bounty] we have eaten" since drinking is included in the category of eating. After the berachah Hazan es hakkol, [Who nourishes all] he [the third person] should recite the concluding berachah over what he ate or drank; [however] if the third person arrived after the other two already washed their hands with the water that concludes [the meal], he can no longer join them.


שְׁנַיִם שֶׁאָכְלוּ בְּיַחַד, מִצְוָה לָהֶם לְבַקֵּשׁ שְׁלִישִׁי שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם לְזִמּוּן, וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם בָּא הַשְּׁלִישִׁי לְאַחַר שֶׁהַשְּׁנַיִם כְּבָר גְּמָרוּ מִלֶּאֱכוֹל. אֶלָּא שֶׁאִם הָיוּ מְבִיאִין לָהֶם עוֹד אֵיזֶה דָּבָר לְקִנּוּחַ סְעוּדָּה הָיוּ אוֹכְלִין, מִצְוָה עֲלֵיהֶם לְצָרֵף אֶת הַשְּׁלִישִׁי לְזִמּוּן, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיִּתְּנוּ לוֹ לֶאֱכוֹל כַּזַּיִת שֶׁיִּתְחַיֵּב בִּבְרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה וְיִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם. יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, דִּבָעֵינָן דַּוְקָא פַּת. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, דְּסָגֵּי גַּם בִּשְׁאָר מִינֵי דָּגָן. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, דַּאֲפִלוּ פֵּרוֹת אוֹ יְרָקוֹת סָגֵי. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים עוֹד, דַּאֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל, רַק שׁוֹתֶה רְבִיעִית מֵאֵיזֶה מַשְׁקֶה, חוּץ מִן הַמַּיִם, מִצְטָרֵף, וְכֵן נוֹהֲגִין. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא אָכַל אֶלָּא שָׁתָה, יָכוֹל לוֹמַר, שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ, כִּי שְׁתִיָּה בִּכְלַל אֲכִילָה. וּלְאַחַר שֶׁסִּיְמוּ הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל, אָז יְבָרֵךְ הוּא בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה עַל מַה שֶּׁאָכַל אוֹ שָׁתָה. וְאִם בָּא הַשְּׁלִישִׁי לְאַחַר שֶׁכְּבָר נָטְלוּ יְדֵיהֶם בְּמַיִם אַחֲרוֹנִים, שׁוּב אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם.


If three men eat together, since they are required to form a Zimun, they are not allowed to separate. The same applies when four or five people eat together, not even one of them is allowed to recite Birkas Hamazon privately, because all of them are obligated in this Zimun. If the group consists of six or more but less than ten, they may separate in such a manner that there remains a Zimun for each group.


שְׁלשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ בְּיַחַד, כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּתְחַיְבוּ בְּזִמּוּן, אֵינָם רַשָּׁאִים לֵחָלֵק. וְכֵן אַרְבָּעָה אוֹ חֲמִשָּׁה, אֲפִלּוּ אֶחָד מֵהֶם אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְבָרֵךְ בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ, שֶׁכֻּלָּם נִתְחַיְבוּ בְּזִמּוּן. אֲבָל אִם הֵם שִׁשָּׁה אוֹ יוֹתֵר עַד עֲשָׂרָה, יְכוֹלִין לֵחָלֵק, שֶׁיִּשָּׁאֵר זִמוּן לְכָל חֲבוּרָה (קצ"ג).


If ten men eat together they must add Hashem's Name [to the Zimun]; that is, the leader says: Nevareich Elokeinu [Let us bless our God] she'achalnu mishelo [of whose bounty we have eaten], but he should not say: nevareich Leilokeinu [Let us say a blessing to our God]; and the assembled respond: Baruch Elokeinu she'achalnu mishelo [Blessed is our God of whose bounty we have eaten.] Since they must recite Zimun with Hashem's Name, they are forbidden to separate unless there are twenty or more; then they may separate in such manner that each group remains with enough to have Zimun with Hashem's Name.


אִם הֵם עֲשָׂרָה, נִתְחַיְבוּ לְבָרֵךְ בְּשֵׁם דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁהַמְבָרֵךְ אוֹמֵר, נְבָרֵךְ אֱלֹקֵינוּ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ וְכוּ' וְלֹא יֹאמַר נְבָרֵךְ לֶאֱלֹהֵינוּ, וְהַמְסֻבִּים אוֹמְרִים בָּרוּךְ אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ וְכוּ'. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁנִּתְחַיְבוּ לְבָרֵךְ בְּשֵׁם, אֲסוּרִים לֵחָלֵק, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הֵם עֶשְׂרִים אוֹ יוֹתֵר, אָז מֻתָּרִין לֵחָלֵק, שֶׁיִּשָּׁאֵר לְכָל חֲבוּרָה זִמּוּן בְּשֵׁם.


If the leader of the Zimun of ten errs, and the respondents erred as well and forgot to say the Name of Hashem as part of the Zimun, they cannot repeat the Zimun with Hashem's Name, since they already fulfilled their obligation of Zimun, except that they negated the mitzvah of mentioning Hashem's Name, which is an error that cannot be corrected. But if the respondents have not yet responded, since they have not yet fulfilled the obligation of Zimun, the leader should repeat the Zimun and include Hashem's Name.


אִם טָעָה הַמְזַמֵּן בַּעֲשָׂרָה וְגַם הָעוֹנִים וְלֹא הִזְכִּירוּ אֶת הַשֵּׁם בְּבִרְכַּת הַזִּמּוּן, אֵינָם יְכוֹלִים לַחְזֹר וּלְזַמֵּן בְּשֵׁם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁכְּבָר יָצְאוּ יְדֵי חוֹבַת זִמּוּן, אֶלָּא שֶׁבִּטְּלוּ מִצְוַת הַזְכָּרַת הַשֵּׁם, וּמְעֻוָּת שֶׁלֹּא יוּכַל לִתְקוֹן הוּא. אֲבָל אִם הָעוֹנִים עֲדַיִן לֹא עָנוּ אַחֲרָיו, כֵּיוָן שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִתְקַיְמָה מִצְוַת זִמּוּן, יַחֲזוֹר הַמְבָרֵךְ וִיזַמֵּן בַּשֵׁם (קצ"ב).


If seven men ate bread and three ate fruit or drank beverages in sufficient amounts to obligate them to make an after-berachah, they may recite Zimun with Hashem's Name. (In this case everyone agrees that it is sufficient even if some had only fruit or drink). It is a mitzvah to look for ten men in order to recite Hashem's Name. However, if only six ate bread, they cannot recite Zimun with Hashem's Name, because a substantial majority is required.


אִם שִׁבְעָה אָכְלוּ פַּת, וּשְׁלשָׁה אָכְלוּ פֵּרוֹת אוֹ שָׁתוּ מַשְׁקִין, בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁחַיָּבִין בִּבְרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה, יְכוֹלִין לְזַמֵּן בַּשֵׁם. (בְּכָאן כֻּלֵּי עָלְמָא מוֹדוּ דְּסָגֵּי בְּפֵרוֹת וּבְמַשְׁקֶה) וּמִצְוָה לְהַדֵּר אַחַר עֲשָׂרָה לְבָרֵךְ בְּשֵׁם. אֲבָל אִם רַק שִׁשָּׁה אָכְלוּ פַּת אֵינָם יְכוֹלִים לְזַמֵּן בַּשֵׁם, דְּרֻבָּא דְּמִנְכָּר בְּעֵינָן (קצ"ג קצ"ז).


As long as men eat together, even if they don't eat the whole meal together but they sat down to eat together and recited the berachah Hamotzi, even if each one of them ate from his own loaf, since they established themselves together, whether three or ten, they are not permitted to separate. Even if one of them wants to finish his meal before the others, they are not permitted to separate. But if they did not establish themselves from the beginning of the meal, rather after two of them ate, even if they ate only a kazayis9 and a third person came and joined them, if he finishes his meal with them, they are all required to recite the Zimun. But if the third person wants to finish his meal before them, since he did not start with them or finish with them, he is permitted to separate from them and recite Birkas Hamazon privately. Nevertheless, it is a mitzvah to wait in order to recite the Zimun. If there are extenuating circumstances or he fears the possibility of incurring a loss, even if he joined them at the beginning of the meal, he may finish his meal before the others and recite Birkas Hamazon privately. But if the need is not urgent, he must wait for the group.


כָּל שֶׁאָכְלוּ בְּיַחַד, אֲפִלּוּ לֹא אָכְלוּ כָּל הַסְּעוּדָּה בְיַחַד, אֲלָּא שֶׁיָּשְׁבוּ לֶאֱכֹל וּבֵרְכוּ בִּרְכַּת הַמּוֹצִיא, אֲפִלּוּ כָּל אֶחָד אוֹכֵל מִכִּכָּר שֶׁלּוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּקְבְּעוּ יַחַד, בֵּין בִּשְׁלשָׁה בֵּין בַּעֲשָׂרָה אֵינָן רַשָּׁאִין לֵחָלֵק. וַאֲפִלּוּ אֶחָד רוֹצֶה לִגְמֹר סְעוּדָּתוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּגְמְרוּ הָאֲחֵרִים, אֵינָן רַשָּׁאִין לֵחָלֵק. אֲבָל אִם לֹא קָבְעוּ עַצְמָם בִּתְחִלַּת הַסְּעוּדָּה, אֶלָּא שֶׁלְּאַחַר שֶׁשְּׁנַיִם כְּבָר אָכְלוּ, אֲפִלּוּ לֹא אָכְלוּ עֲדַיִן רַק כַּזַּיִת וּבָא הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וְקָבַע עִמָּהֶם, אִם גָּמַר סְעוּדָּתוֹ עִמָּהֶם, חַיָּבִים בְּזִמּוּן. אֲבָל אִם רָצָה לִגְמֹר סְעודָּתוֹ קֹדֶם לָהֶן, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא הִתְחִיל עִמָּהֶם וְגַם לֹא גָּמַר עִמָּהֶם, רַשַּׁאי לֵחָלֵק וּלְבָרֵךְ בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם מִצְוָה הוּא לְהַמְתִּין שֶׁיְבָרְכוּ בְּזִמּוּן. אִם הוּא אֹנֶס אוֹ מִתְיָרֵא מֵהֶפְסֵד, אֲפִלּוּ קָבַע עַצְמוֹ עִמָּהֶם בִּתְחִלָּה, מֻתָּר לִגְמֹר סְעוּדָּתוֹ קֹדֶם לָהֶם, וּלְבָרֵךְ בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. אֲבָל אִם אֵין הַדָּבָר נָחוּץ, צָרִיךְ לְהַחְמִיר (קצ"ג ר').


If three men ate together and one of them forgot and recited Birkas Hamazon privately, they may still recite the Zimun even after he finishes reciting Birkas Hamazon. And he may also respond Baruch she'achalnu, but if this third person had already joined the Zimun with two others, he can no longer join with the first group for Zimun. If two of the three recited Birkas Hamazon, even privately, the Zimun is defunct.


שְׁלשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ בְּיַחַד וְשָׁכַח אֶחָד מֵהֶם וּבֵרַךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ, יְכוֹלִין לְזַמֵּן לְאַחַר שֶׁגָּמַר זֶה בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן. וְיַעֲנֶה גַּם הוּא, בָּרוךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶׁלּוֹ וְכוּ'. אֲבָל אִם זֶה נִצְטָרֵף לְזִמּוּן עִם שְׁנַיִם אֲחֵרִים, שׁוּב אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִצְטָרֵף לְזִמּון עִם אֵלּוּ. וְאִם שְׁנַיִם בֵּרְכוּ, אֲפִלּוּ בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן, בָּטֵּל זִמּוּן (קצ"ד).


If three men ate together and two finished their meal and want to say Birkas Hamazon, and one of them has not yet finished his meal and does not want to say Birkas Hamazon, he, nevertheless, must interrupt his meal so they may say Birkas Hamazon with Zimun. He should answer with them and fulfill his obligation of Zimun. He should wait until the leader concludes the berachah Hazan es hakkol, and then resume his meal. He does not have to recite another berachah before eating since it was his intention to continue eating. After finishing his meal, he should say Birkas Hamazon privately. But two people need not interrupt their meal for the sake of one, unless they wish to do so in his honor, [as an act] beyond the letter of the law. If ten men ate together, four must interrupt their meal for the sake of six because they are the majority. But they need only wait until the leader says: Baruch Elokeinu [Blessed is our God.] After they finish their own meal, they should form their own Zimun without mentioning Hashem's Name.


שְׁלשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ, וּשְׁנַיִם גָּמְרוּ סְעוּדָּתָן וְרוֹצִים לְבָרֵךְ, וְאֶחָד עֲדַיִן לֹא גָּמַר סְעוּדָּתוֹ וְאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לְבָרֵךְ, צָרִיךְ הוּא לְהַפְסִיק מִסְּעוּדָּתוֹ, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְבָרְכוּ בְּזִמּוּן וְיַעֲנֶה גַּם הוּא עִמָּהֶם וְיוֹצֵא יְדֵי זִמּוּן. וְיַמְתִּין עַד שֶׁסִּיֵּם הַמְבָרֵךְ הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל, וְאַחַר כָּךְ יָכוֹל לֶאֱכֹל, וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ הָיָה לֶאֱכֹל עוֹד. וּכְשֶׁיִּגְמֹר סְעוּדָּתוֹ יְבָרֵךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן. אֲבָל שְׁנַיִם, אֵינָן צְרִיכִין לְהַפְסִיק בִּשְׁבִיל אֶחָד, אֶלָּא אִם יִרְצוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ לִכְבוֹדוֹ לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין. וַעֲשָׂרָה שֶׁאָכְלוּ בְּיַחַד, צְרִיכִין אַרְבָּעָה לְהַפְסִיק בִּשְׁבִיל שִׁשָּׁה שֶׁהֵם הָרֹב. וְאֵינָן צְרִיכִין לְהַמְתִּין, רַק עַד שֶׁאָמְרוּ בָּרוּךְ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְכוּ'. וּלְאַחַר שֶׁגָּמְרוּ הֵם סְעֻדָּתָן, יְזַמְּנוּ לְעַצְמָן בְּלִי הַזְכָּרַת הַשֵּׁם (סִימָן ר').


At larger banquets where there are many guests, it is proper to choose someone to lead Birkas Hamazon who has a powerful voice so that all the assembled can hear the leader recite at least until after the berachah, Hazan es Hakkol. If that is impossible, they should recite Birkas Hamazon in smaller groups of ten.


בִּסְעוּדּוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת שֶׁהַרְבֵּה מְסֻבִּין שָׁם, יֵשׁ לִבְחֹר שֶׁיְבָרֵךְ מִי שֶׁקּוֹלוֹ חָזָק, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׁמְעוּ כָּל הַמְסֻבִּין מִן הַמְבָרֵךְ לְכָל הַפָּחוֹת עַד הַזָּן אֵת הַכֹּל. וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר בְּכָךְ, יְבָרְכוּ בַּחֲבוּרוֹת שֶׁל עֲשָׂרָה עֲשָׂרָה.


Two groups that eat in one house or in two houses, if part of each group see one another, they may join to form a Zimun. If they cannot see each other, each group forms their own Zimun. If there is one waiter for both groups, he is the means of joining them, provided they originally came with the intention of combining into one group. Whenever two groups join, they must all be able to hear the leader recite at least until after the berachah Hazan es hakkol.


שְׁתֵּי חֲבוּרוֹת שֶׁאוֹכְלִין בְּבַיִת אֶחָד אוֹ בִּשְׁנֵי בָּתִּים, אִם מִקְּצָתָן רוֹאִין אֵלּוּ אֶת אֵלּוּ, מִצְטָרְפוֹת לְזִמּוּן. וְאִם לָאו, אֵלּוּ מְזַמְּנִין לְעַצְמָן, וְאֵלּוּ מְזַמְּנִין לְעַצְמָן. וְאִם יֵשׁ שַׁמָּשׁ אֶחָד לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן, הוּא מְצָרְפָן, וּכְגוֹן שֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ מִתְּחִלָּה עַל דַּעַת לְהִצְטָרֵף יַחַד. וְכָל הֵיכָא שֶׁמִצְטָרְפוֹת, צְרִיכִין שֶׁיִּשְׁמְעוּ כֻּלָּן מִן הַמְבָרֵךְ לְכָל הַפָּחוֹת עַד הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל (קצ"ה).


If you are with a group that is saying Zimun and you did not eat or drink with them, when you hear the leader say, Nevareich she'achalnu mishelo [Blessed is He from whose bounty we have eaten] you should respond, Baruch umevorach shemo [Blessed is His Name] tamid le'olam va'ed [forever and ever]. If it is a Zimun of ten and the leader, therefore, says: Nevareich Elokeinu [Let us bless Our God], you should also respond: Baruch Elokeinu [Blessed is our God] umevorach shemo [and blessed is his Name] tamid le'olam va'ed [forever and ever.] If you arrive after the leader has already said Nevareich [Let us bless, etc.], and you hear the respondents saying: Baruch she'achalnu [Blessed is He, etc.], or Baruch Elokeinu she'achalnu [Blessed is our God, etc.], you should [only] say Amein.


מִי שֶׁהוּא אֵצֶל הַמְבָרְכִים בְּזִמּוּן, וְהוּא לֹא אָכַל וְלֹא שָׁתָה עִמָּהֶם, כְּשֶׁהוּא שׁוֹמֵעַ שֶׁהַמְבָרֵךְ אוֹמֵר, נְבָרֵךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלּוֹ עוֹנֶה הוּא: בָּרוּךְ וּמְבֹרָךְ שְׁמוֹ תָּמִיד לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. וְאִם מְזַמְּנִין בַּעֲשָׂרָה, וְאוֹמֵר הַמְבָרֵךְ נְבָרֵךְ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְכוּ' עוֹנֶה גַּם הוּא, בָּרוּךְ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וּמְבֹרָךְ שְׁמוֹ תָּמִיד לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. וְאִם בָּא לְאַחַר שֶׁכְּבָר אָמַר הַמְבָרֵךְ נְבָרֵךְ וְכוּ' וְשׁוֹמֵעַ שֶׁהָעוֹנִים אוֹמְרִים בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ וְכוּ' אוֹ בָּרוּךְ אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ וְכוּ', עוֹנֶה אַחֲרֵיהֶם אָמֵן (קצ"ח).


If three men ate together, each from his own bread, and one of them ate bread of a non-Jew, and the other two are careful not to eat bread of a non-Jew, nevertheless, they can combine for Zimun. The leader should be the one who ate the non-Jewish bread, because he can eat together with the others. If one ate dairy foods and two ate meat, they may combine, and the leader should be the one who ate dairy foods, because he may eat with the others. But if the one who ate dairy foods doesn't drink wine or if all that is available is beer which is chadash,10 and he is careful not to eat chadash, then it is better for the leader of the Zimun to be one of those who ate meat, and have Birkas Hamazon said over a cup [of beverage] rather than to recite it without a cup. If one person ate hard cheese and the other two ate meat, some authorities hold they cannot combine into one group, while others hold that they may combine, since they could all eat from the same loaf of bread. We may accept the lenient opinion in this matter.


שְׁלשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ כָּל אֶחָד מִכִּכָּר שֶׁלּוֹ, וְאֶחָד מֵהֶם אָכַל פַּת עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים, וּשְׁנַיִם נִזְהָרִים מִפַּת עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים, מִכָּל מָקוֹם מִצְטָרְפִין לְזִמּוּן וִיבָרֵךְ זֶה שֶׁאָכַל פַּת עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים, שֶׁהוּא יָכוֹל לֶאֱכוֹל גַּם עִם הָאֲחֵרִים. וְכֵן אִם אֶחָד אוֹכֵל מַאֲכָלֵי חָלָב, וּשְׁנַיִם מַאַכָלֵי בָּשָׂר, מִצְטָרְפִין, וִיבָרֵךְ זֶה שֶׁאָכַל מַאֲכְלֵי חָלָב, שֶׁהוּא יָכוֹל לֶאֱכוֹל גַּם עִם הָאֲחֵרִים. אַךְ אִם זֶה שֶׁאוֹכֵל מַאֲכָלֵי חָלָב אֵינוֹ שׁוֹתֶה יַיִן, אוֹ שֶׁאֵין כָּאן אֶלָּא שֵׁכָר שֶׁהוּא חָדָשׁ, וְהוּא נִזְהָר מֵחָדָשׁ, מוּטָב שֶׁיְבָרֵךְ זֶה שֶׁאָכַל בָּשָׂר, בְּכוֹס, מִלְּבָרֵךְ בְּלֹא כוֹס. וְאִם אֶחָד אָכַל גְּבִינָה קָשָׁה וּשְׁנַיִם בָּשָׂר, יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים דְּאֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, דְּמִכָּל מָקוֹם מִצְטָרְפִין, כֵּיוָן שֶׁיְכוֹלִין לֶאֱכוֹל מִלֶּחֶם אֶחָד, וְיֵשׁ לְהָקֵל (סִימָן קצ"ו ובחיי"א).


If women ate together with men who were obligated in Zimun, they, too, are required to say Zimun and they must listen to the saying of Zimun. In reference to a 'minor,' it is customary not to include him for Zimun until he is thirteen years and one day old. Then he can join and even lead the Zimun, even though it was not ascertained that he has grown two pubic hairs. [This is a necessary requisite if one is to be considered an adult according to halachah.]


נָשִׁים שֶׁאָכְלוּ עִם אֲנָשִׁים שֶׁנִּתְחַיְבוּ בְּזִמּוּן, נִתְחַיְּבוּ גַּם הֵנָּה וּצְרִיכוֹת לִשְׁמֹעַ בִּרְכַּת הַזִּמּוּן. קָטָן נוֹהֲגִין שֶׁאֵין מְצְטָרֵף לְזִמּוּן, עַד שֶׁהוּא בֶּן י"ג שָׁנָה וְיוֹם אֶחָד, אָז מִצְטָרֵף וְיָכוֹל לְבָרֵךְ גַּם הוּא בְּזִמּוּן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִבְדַּק אִם הֵבִיא שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת.


If someone does not recite the Shema morning and evening, or one who publicly violates the mitzvos, cannot be counted for Zimun. A true convert may be counted for Zimun and he may lead and say: "For your parceling out as a heritage to our fathers" because it is written about our father, Abraham, "A father to many nations have I made you."11 And our Rabbis explain: "In the past you were merely a father to Aram, but from now on [you are a father] of all nations.


מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע שַׁחֲרִית וְעַרְבִית, אוֹ שֶׁהוּא עוֹבֵר עֲבֵרוֹת בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא, אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְזִמּוּן. גֵּר גָּמוּר מִצְטָרֵף לְזִמּוּן, וְגַם הוּא יָכוֹל לְבָרֵךְ וְלוֹמַר, עַל שֶׁהִנְחַלְתָּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ, דִּכְתִיב בְּאַבְרָהָם כִּי אַב הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם נְתַתִּיךָ. וְדַרְשִׁינָן, לְשֶׁעָבַר הָיָה אָב לְאֲרָם, מִכָּאן וָאֵילַךְ לְכָל הַגּוֹיִם (קצ"ט).