Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Weekly Halacha

Selected Halachos Related to Parshas Mishpatim

By Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

A discussion of Halachic topics related to the Parsha of the week. For final rulings, consult your Rav.


SELECTED HALACHOS RELATING TO PARSHAS MISHPATIM

PROBLEMATIC SITUATIONS OF ZIMUN

QUESTION: In order for the obligation of zimun to be in force, how many people have to be eating?

DISCUSSION: Three men who ate a meal together are Rabbinically(1) required to recite Birkas ha-Mazon together(2). One of them recites the zimun and the first blessing of Birkas ha-Mazon aloud, so that the others can hear him clearly. For this reason, when there is a big crowd, a man with a powerful voice should be chosen for the honor(3).

If two people sit down to a meal which includes bread, and a third person wants to join them, they should ask him to eat bread along with them so that they can recite zimun. If he refuses to eat bread, then even if he eats a k'zayis' worth of any food (approx. 1 fl. oz.), zimun is recited(4).

If the third person drank wine or any natural fruit juice, zimun may definitely be said(5). Many poskim rule that coffee or tea is also sufficient to require zimun(6). Some poskim allow even soda or lemonade(7), while others do not(8). If the third person drank water only, no zimun is said(9).

A minimum of seven people can get together for a meal including bread, and join with three other men who did not eat bread in order to recite the name of Hashem [Elokeinu] when reciting zimun, provided that the three men ate or drank something, as stated above(10).

QUESTION: What are the rules of zimun when five men eat together?

DISCUSSION: Five men who eat together must recite Birkas ha-Mazon together. They may not separate before the zimun is recited(11).

If one or two need to leave early, they should ask the other three to join them in the zimun. If only one of the other three joins them, the remaining two may not join with the one who joined previously, even if they all eat again together(12). If, however, there were six(13) or more men eating together and two of them finished early, the one who joins them for zimun may join the next two when they are finished(14).

QUESTION: May two groups of five people, sitting in a yeshiva dining room at two separate tables, join together for a zimun of ten and recite Elokeinu?

DISCUSSION: Zimun can only be said in one of the following two cases(15): a) by those who sat together at one table, even though each is eating his own meal; b) by members of one household, even though they are seated at separate tables. Therefore:

If the two groups consider themselves as members of one household ??in other words, they would have liked to sit together but could not do so because there was no room for all of them at one table ??then they may join together for a zimun of ten(16). The tables should be in close proximity to each other(17).

If, however [as is frequently the case], the groups are split according to classes or cliques, and each group wants to sit separately, then they may not join together for a zimun of ten, unless the two groups had the specific intention at the start of the meal to join together(18).

FOOTNOTES:

1 Sha'ar ha-Tziyun 197:16; 199:19, according to most Rishonim. See, however, Chazon Ish O.C. 31:1, who maintains that zimun is min ha-Torah.

2 O.C. 192:1.

3 Mishnah Berurah 193:17. A microphone should not be used.

4 O.C. 197:3 and Mishnah Berurah 22.

5 O.C. 197:2 and Mishnah Berurah 20. L'chatchilah, a revi'is (3.3 fl. oz.) should be drunk. B'dieved 1.7 fl. oz. is sufficient; Beiur Halachah, ibid.

6 Teshuvos v'Hanhagos 1:183; Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 130.

7 Aruch ha-Shulchan 197:5.

8 Harav Y.Y. Fisher (quoted in Vezos ha-Berachah, ibid.).

9 Ruling of the Mishnah Berurah 197:12. Shulchan Aruch Harav and Chayei Adam rule that zimun may be said over water.

10 O.C. 197:2.

11 O.C. 193:1.

12 Mishnah Berurah 200:9. Aruch ha-Shulchan 200:5 and Chazon Ish 31:5, however, hold that if they eat together again they can recite zimun.

13 Mishnah Berurah, quoting the Magen Avraham, says: seven or eight men, but Levushei Serad and Shoneh Halachos say six or more.

14 Mishnah Berurah 200:9.

15 Mishnah Berurah 193:18.

16 Harav S.Y. Elyashiv (quoted in Vezos ha-Berachah pg. 133). This is the reason why guests at a wedding may join together for a zimun even when there are not ten people at their table. See also Sova Semachos, pg. 111.

17 Beiur Halachah 167:11.

18 Harav S.Z. Auerbach and Harav C.P. Scheinberg (Vezos ha-Berachah, ibid.). There are other poskim who hold that yeshiva students can join together at any time, see Minchas Yitzchak 8:8 and Beis Baruch 48:24. Harav Elyashiv recommends that to avoid any questions and doubts, it is best that the groups clearly intend not to join together, as the Igros Moshe O.C. 1:56 suggests to a guest who cannot stay late at a wedding.


Weekly-Halacha, Copyright © 2002 by Rabbi Neustadt, Dr. Jeffrey Gross and Project Genesis, Inc.

Rabbi Neustadt is the principal of Yavne Teachers' College in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also the Magid Shiur of a daily Mishna Berurah class at Congregation Shomre Shabbos.

The Weekly-Halacha Series is distributed L'zchus Hayeled Doniel Meir ben Hinda. Weekly sponsorships are available--please send email to the moderator, Dr. Jeffrey Gross jgross@torah.org.

The series is distributed by the Harbotzas Torah Division of Congregation Shomre Shabbos, 1801 South Taylor Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118--HaRav Yisroel Grumer, Marah D'Asra


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Lag B'Omer & The Big Picture
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Pesach In Command
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Rachtza Through Shulchan Orech
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Introduction to Maggid
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Another Link in the Chain
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Love of Money, or Money of Love?
Rabbi Gavriel Prero - 5761

> Lag B'Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Searching for the Chametz Within
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Pesach Food
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

All The Days of Your Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Growth Period
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

There's One in Every Generation
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

ArtScroll

Reading, Reviewing, Reciting
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

A Physical Song
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Sefiras HaOmer and Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

The Students of Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information