SECTION 194 The Laws Applicable When Three Eat Together and Then Separate; [Whether They Can Be Included] in a Zimun. (1–3)

קצד שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ כְּאַחַד וְנִפְרְדוּ לְעִנְיָן הַזִּמּוּן, וּמַה דִּינָן, וּבוֹ ג' סְעִיפִים:

1 When three men ate as one, but forgot [the obligation of zimun], and each recited Grace individually, they have nullified [the mitzvah of] zimun; they may not go back and recite a zimun, because a zimun cannot be recited retroactively.1 Similarly, if two of them recited Grace [and did not recite a zimun], the third may not recite the zimun with them.2 If, however, [only] one of them forgot [the obligation of zimun] and recited Grace alone, the other two may recite a zimun with him. He may respond “Blessed be He of Whose [bounty] we have eaten…,” even though he did not eat anything after he recited Grace. [The rationale:] He had [originally] joined together with them when he dined [with them] before he recited Grace.3 Although he already recited Grace after he ate, that is not of consequence according to the authorities who maintain that when two men ate bread together, a third can join them for zimun even if he did not eat bread with them, only a vegetable, and thus was not obligated in Grace at all, as stated in sec. 197[:2]. True, if he ate [only] a vegetable and recited a blessing after partaking of it, he may nolonger join them in a zimun, because he already withdrew from them.4 Nevertheless, in this instance, the person [also] partook of bread and had previously sat down5 with them [to share a meal]. Therefore, he is not considered to have withdrawn from them to the extent that the others cannot include him in their zimun merely because of the recitation of Grace

Even according to the authorities who maintain that a third individual may not join [the other two] unless he partook of bread — and, as initial preference, weight should be given to their words, as will be explained there — this instance is, nevertheless, [different]. For this person did indeed [originally] partake of bread with the others and was [then] joined with them in [the obligation of] a zimun. True, since he already recited Grace individually, his potential to recite the zimun was nullified, because a zimun may not be recited retroactively.6 Nevertheless, this [reasoning] only suffices to nullify his recitation of the zimun and not that of the others who had yet to recite Grace. Therefore, they fulfill their obligation for zimun, although he does not.7

If the one person [who already recited Grace] did not recite Grace individually, but instead, recited the zimun with two other people, he cannot join with the other two with whom he ate, nor may they recite the zimun with him.

א שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ כְּאַחַת וְשָׁכְחוּ וּבֵרַךְ כָּל אֶחָד לְעַצְמוֹ – בָּטֵל מֵהֶם הַזִּמּוּן, וְאֵין יְכוֹלִים לַחְזֹר וּלְזַמֵן, שֶׁאֵין זִמּוּן לְמַפְרֵעַ.א,1 וְכֵן אִם בֵּרְכוּ שְׁנַיִם מֵהֶם – אֵין הַשְּׁלִישִׁי יָכוֹל לְזַמֵּן עִמָּהֶם.ב אֲבָל אִם אֶחָד מֵהֶם שָׁכַח וּבֵרַךְ לְעַצְמוֹ – יְכוֹלִים הַשְּׁנַיִם הָאֲחֵרִים לְזַמֵּן עִמּוֹ,ג,2 וְיָכוֹל לַעֲנוֹת "בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ" אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא אָכַל כְּלוּם אַחַר שֶׁבֵּרֵךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכְּבָר נִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם בַּאֲכִילָתוֹ קוֹדֵם שֶׁבֵּרַךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן.3 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּבָר בֵּרַךְ אַחַר אֲכִילָתוֹ – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם לְהָאוֹמְרִים שֶׁאִם שְׁנַיִם אָכְלוּ פַּת הַשְּׁלִישִׁי מִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם לְזִמּוּן אֲפִלּוּ לֹא אָכַל עִמָּהֶם פַּת אֶלָּא יֶרֶק וְלֹא נִתְחַיֵּב בְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן כְּלָל,ד כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קצ"ז.ה

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָאוֹכֵל יֶרֶק וּמְבָרֵךְ אַחֲרָיו בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה שׁוּב אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְזִמּוּן, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכְּבָר נִסְתַּלֵּק מֵהֶם,ו,4 מִכָּל מָקוֹם, כָּאן שֶׁאָכַל פַּת וְנִקְבַּע5 עִמָּהֶם – לֹא נִסְתַּלֵּק מֵהֶם בְּבִרְכָתוֹ לְעַצְמוֹ לְעִנְיָן שֶׁלֹּא יוּכְלוּ הָאֲחֵרִים לְזַמֵּן עִמּוֹ.

וַאֲפִלּוּ לְהָאוֹמְרִים שֶׁאֵין מִצְטָרֵף לִשְׁלֹשָׁה אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן אָכַל כַּזַּיִת פַּת, וְיֵשׁ לָחוּשׁ לְדִבְרֵיהֶם לְכַתְּחִלָּה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר שָׁם, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, כָּאן הֲרֵי כְּבָר אָכַל פַּת עִמָּהֶם וְנִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם לְזִמּוּן,ז אֶלָּא שֶׁמִּפְּנֵי שֶׁכְּבָר בֵּרַךְ לְעַצְמוֹ בָּטֵל הַזִּמּוּן מִמֶּנּוּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין זִמּוּן לְמַפְרֵעַ,ח,6 וְלָכֵן לֹא בָּטֵל אֶלָּא מִמֶּנּוּ, אֲבָל לֹא מֵהָאֲחֵרִים שֶׁלֹּא בֵּרְכוּ עֲדַיִן, לְפִיכָךְ, הֵם יוֹצְאִים יְדֵי זִמּוּן, אֲבָל הוּא אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא.7

וְאִם הָאֶחָד לֹא בֵּרַךְ לְעַצְמוֹ אֶלָּא זִמֵּן עִם שְׁנַיִם אֲחֵרִים – אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף עִם הַשְּׁנַיִם שֶׁאָכְלוּ עִמּוֹ, וְאֵין יְכוֹלִים לְזַמֵּןט עִמּוֹ: י,6

Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (Sichos In English)

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2 When three people ate together and one departed and went to the marketplace, he should be called and notified that the others desire to recite Grace, so that he will focus his attention, join together with them, and answer the blessing of the zimun with them. [Not only] do they fulfill their obligation, he, too, fulfills his obligation, even though he did not return and sit with them, but instead stood [outside], before the doorway, provided that he listens [to the recitation of Grace] until the conclusion of the blessing Hazan, as stated in sec. 193.8

When does the above apply? When three [eat together]. When, however, ten eat together [and one departs], he is not joined with them until he enters [the room] and sits [together] with them. For it is not befitting to mention [G‑d’s] name9 when there are less than ten people sitting together.

ב שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ וְיָצָא אֶחָד מֵהֶם לַשּׁוּק – קוֹרְאִים אוֹתוֹ וּמוֹדִיעִים לוֹ שֶׁרוֹצִים לְזַמֵּן, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּכַוֵּן וְיִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם וְיַעֲנֶה עִמָּהֶם בִּרְכַּת זִמּוּן, וְיוֹצְאִים יְדֵי חוֹבָתָם,יא וְגַם הוּא יוֹצֵא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹיב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּא וְיֹשֵׁב עִמָּהֶם, אֶלָּא שֶׁעוֹמֵד לִפְנֵי הַפֶּתַח,יג רַק שֶׁיִּשְׁמַעיד עַד סִיּוּם בִּרְכַּת "הַזָּן", כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קצ"ג.טו,8

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה, אֲבָל בַּעֲשָׂרָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁצְּרִיכִים לְהַזְכִּיר אֶת הַשֵּׁם – אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין עַד שֶׁיָּבֹא וְיֵשֵׁב עִמָּהֶם, שֶׁבְּפָחוֹת מֵעֲשָׂרָה שֶׁיּוֹשְׁבִים בְּיַחַד – אֵין דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ לְהַזְכִּיר אֶת הַשֵּׁם: טז,9

3 [The following guidelines should be adhered to when] three men eat together and none of them know all [the blessings of] Grace. Instead, one knows the first blessing, a second knows the second blessing, and the third, the third blessing.10 They are obligated in a zimun. Each one of them should recite the blessing he knows while the other two listen. This enables them to fulfill their obligation.11 The one who knows the first blessing should also recite the zimun. If he knows [how to recite the zimun]and they do not know how to respond, he should say: “Let us bless Him of Whose [bounty] we have eaten. Blessed be He of Whose [bounty] we have eaten and by His goodness we live.”

If [the one who knows the blessing Hazan] does not know [how to recite the zimun] — even though another [who does not know the blessing Hazan] does — they should not recite the zimun at all, for it is not possible to divide the blessing of the zimun and the blessing of Hazan among two [people. The rationale:] Fundamentally, the halachah follows the view of the authorities who maintain that “Let us bless Him…” is not an independent blessing at all, as explained in sec. 193, [but rather is part of the first blessing of Grace]. Instead, they should recite Grace without a zimun. The same law12 applies if two [eat together] and one knows two blessings and the other, the third.13

If one of the three blessings required by Scriptural Law is not known by any of the people who dined together, they should not recite [even the blessings] that they know, for all three of these blessings are contingent on each other. The fourth blessing, by contrast, is of Rabbinic origin. Even though none of those who ate together know it, [the recitation of] three blessings required by Scriptural Law are not contingent on it.

[Similarly,] with regard to these three blessings: If one knows the first part of one blessing and another its second part, [they should not recite Grace], because one blessing may not be divided among two people and [the recitation of] the other blessings are contingent on it.

There are authorities who maintain that three blessings of Grace are not contingent on each other. Their words should be given weight and one should act stringently regarding matters of Scriptural Law.14

ג שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁאָכְלוּ כְּאַחַת וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶם יוֹדֵעַ כָּל בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן, אֶלָּא אֶחָד יוֹדֵעַ בְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה וְאֶחָד הַשְּׁנִיָּה וְאֶחָד הַשְּׁלִישִׁית10 – מְחוּיָבִים בְּזִמּוּן, וְכָל אֶחָד יְבָרֵךְ הַבְּרָכָה שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ, וְהַשְּׁנַיִם שׁוֹמְעִים וְיוֹצְאִים יְדֵי חוֹבָתָם,יז,11 וְהַיּוֹדֵעַ בְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה הוּא מְזַמֵּן וְאוֹמֵר: "נְבָרֵךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלּוֹ, בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלּוֹ וּבְטוּבוֹ חַיֵּינוּ", אִם הוּא יוֹדֵעַ וְהֵם אֵינָם יוֹדְעִים לַעֲנוֹת.יח

וְאִם הוּא אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֶחָד מֵהֶם יוֹדֵעַ – אֵין מְזַמְּנִים כְּלָל, שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לָהֶם לְחַלֵּק בִּרְכַּת הַזִּמּוּן וּבִרְכַּת "הַזָּן" לִשְׁנָיִם, לְפִי שֶׁהָעִקָּר כְּהָאוֹמְרִים שֶׁ"נְּבָרֵךְ" אֵינָהּ בְּרָכָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָהּ כְּלָל,יט כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קצ"ג,כ,8 אֶלָּא מְבָרְכִים בְּלֹא זִמּוּן.כא וְהוּא הַדִּין12 אִם הֵם שְׁנַיִם וְאֶחָד מֵהֶם יוֹדֵעַ שְׁתֵּי בְּרָכוֹת וְאֶחָד הַשְּׁלִישִׁית.כב,13

אֲבָל אִם כָּל הַמְּסֻבִּים אֵינָם יוֹדְעִים אֵיזוֹ בְּרָכָה מִשָּׁלֹשׁ בְּרָכוֹת שֶׁל תּוֹרָה – לֹא יְבָרְכוּ כְּלָל מַה שֶׁיּוֹדְעִים, כִּי שְׁלָשְׁתָּן מְעַכְּבוֹת זוֹ אֶת זוֹ.כג אֲבָל בְּרָכָה רְבִיעִית שֶׁהִיא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכֻּלָּם אֵין יוֹדְעִים אוֹתָהּ – אֵינָהּ מְעַכֶּבֶת שָׁלֹשׁ בְּרָכוֹת שֶׁל תּוֹרָה.כד

וּבְשָׁלֹשׁ בְּרָכוֹת הַלָּלוּ, אִם אֶחָד יוֹדֵעַ חֲצִי הַבְּרָכָה וְאֶחָד חֲצִי הַשְּׁנִיָּה – אֵין בְּרָכָה אַחַת מִתְחַלֶּקֶת לִשְׁנָיִם, וְהִיא מְעַכֶּבֶת אֶת שְׁאָר הַבְּרָכוֹת.כה

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁשָּׁלֹשׁ בְּרָכוֹת שֶׁל בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן אֵין מְעַכְּבוֹת זוֹ אֶת זוֹ.כו וְיֵשׁ לָחוּשׁ לְדִבְרֵיהֶם, לְהַחְמִיר בְּשֶׁל תּוֹרָה: כז,14