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Q: I know that in order to be part of a zimun (a joint bentching, or reciting of Birkat Hamazon) the third person needed does not have the same requirements as the first two. Could you give me some specific parameters?
A: You are correct that there is a difference between the first two and a third. This is primarily because two who ate together form the basis of the zimun, even though they need a third in order to actually do the zimun. The main distinctions are in the following areas, which we present one by one.
Looking for a zimun - It is desirable for two who eat together to make some effort (within reason) to include a third to eat with them so that they can make a zimun (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 193:2). Similarly, seven should prefer- ably look for another three to do a zimun of ten, with Hashem's name (Mishna Berura 193:12).We do not find that one has any reason to look for another two for a zimun.
Forcing a third to answer - If two are interested in bentching and the third is not, the two can require the third to take part in a zimun (Shulchan Aruch 200:1). Even if the third does not respond, they fulfill their obligation of zimun, although the third does not, if he did not respond (Mishna Berura 200:3). One person who is ready for Birkat Hamzon cannot demand of the other two to answer for him, although they can if they want.
If one bentched without waiting - If three ate together and bentched without a zimun, they lost the opportunity to do so, even if one of them has not yet bentched.
However, if only one bentched and two did not, then they can do a zimun, which the third can respond to even after having bentched (Shulchan Aruch 194:1).
However, if the third ate something other than bread and recited a beracha acharona (blessing after eating), they cannot include him in the zimun (Mishna Berura 197:9).
What they ate - Zimun is only for Birkat Hamazon and not for other berachot acharanot. Thus, two must have eaten at least a kazayit (approx. half a slice) of bread.
However, a third person can answer the zimun even after having any food or drink, other than water (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 197:2). However, some Rishonim say that this is the case only regarding turning a regular zimun into a zimun of ten. According to them, if two ate bread and one ate fruit, they cannot do a zimun (ibid.). To stay out of doubt, S’faradim avoid the situation where two who eat bread together invite a third to eat something other than bread (other grain products are a question). If it happened that two ate bread and one ate something else, then they should do a zimun (ibid.). The minhag among Ashkenazim is that if the third prefers not eating bread, it is fine to give him something else to eat or drink and use him for the zimun (Mishna Berura 197:22).
Joining after the first two basically finished eating - The three must be united in their eating in some way, in terms of time and place. Yet if two ate together and a third came after they finished eating but had not yet bentched, he can create a zimun with them under the following circumstances. That which the third needs to eat is as above. Even if the two are not going to eat any more, they can still be united in their meal if they halachically may eat and would eat at least a little more if they were served particularly tasty food (Shulchan Aruch 197:1). If they already made preparations for Birkat Hamazon that preclude their continuing the meal (such as mayim acharonim - the details are beyond our present scope) then they cannot do zimun together. In a case where the two are still considered within their meal and the third concludes what he is eating, they may not bentch without zimun. However, if the group neither started nor finished together, they need not do a zimun (Mishna Berura 193:19). However, if they want to do the zimun, the two may use the latecomer even if he has not concluded eating (Piskei Teshuvot 193:6).
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While there seems to be little significance as to which term is used, the Netziv tells us that the term used in each case indicates the relationship between the two tribes. While "hachonim alav" indicates that the second tribe was dependent on the main one, "ve'alav", as used in reference to Menashe, means that the second tribe was superior to the main one, Efrayim.
Ya'akov blessed Efraim in spiritual matters. Efraim was, therefore, the leader in the desert, because the entire existence of the Jewish people in the desert was based on miracles. In this and subsequent censuses in the desert, however, Menashe, the older of Yosef's sons, was "alav," superior to his brother. In preparation for entry into Eretz Israel, where daily existence is natural, it is the biological firstborn who must lead the people.
As the Netziv points out, living in Eretz Israel is natural for the Jewish people. Life in Eretz Yisrael means leading a normal, everyday existence - protecting ourselves, supporting ourselves, etc. We pursue our daily, mundane activities, having been promised that the "eyes" of God watch over us in Eretz Israel throughout the year (Devarim 11:12).
Rabbi Aharon Angstreich, Jerusalem
Excerpted with the permission of the copyright
Rav Moshe Feinstein explained that even if there is an abundance of food, a righteous person should seek to limit his involvement in the physical world. Thus, the second blessing allows a person to reach great heights in the service of G-d.
(2) Why does the Torah continue with the curses of the TOCHACHA after stating (26:40) that the people will CONFESS THEIR SINS AND THE SINS OF THEIR FATHERS? Shouldn't this confession lead to forgiveness?
The Chofetz Chayim answers that confession alone
is inadequate. Atonement is achieved only if the confession is accompanied
by true repentance consisting of regret over the past and a commitment not
to repeat the offense in the future - something which the Torah does not
indicate taking place during the TOCHACHA.
The SHLAH HaKadosh understands that these words teach that the Jews deserve such a terrible punishment for sinning precisely because of their lofty ancestry and possession of such a holy land.
Parsha Points to Ponder is prepared by Rabbi Dov
Lipman of Beit Shemesh
firstname.lastname@example.org • Answers will appear in the next issue of TT
That's 8 plus B'reishit. 9. What's the 10th?
Neither describes creation as the other 8 do, but one can suggest that with P'RU URVU, G-d was giving all living things the ability to continue His creation. Perhaps this VAYOMER LAHEM ELOKIM is the 10th Divine utterance. And/or G-d's providing sustenance for His creations allows for their continuity and hence can be seen as a final aspect of creation.
Another opinion, found in B'reishit Rabba, is
that the 10th and final term of creation is to be found in the second
perek of B'reishit: VAYOMER HASHEM ELOKIM, and G-d said, it is not good
for man to be alone... In other words, the creation of woman.
For the Ramban the Mishkan is a replacement of Mount Sinai that accompanies the people on their journeys. And for Yehuda HaLevi, the surrounding camps of the Israelites are akin to the protective bodily organs that encompass the human heart, like sentinels guarding the King's palace.
However, for the Abarbanel and Rashbam, Sefer Bamidbar is more an account of the wars with Moab, Midian and the Amorites. Thus, the arrangement of the camp with, "every man by his own standard," preceded by a roll call, is clearly a description of military preparation prior to the conquest of the land.
The Midrash reconciles these views: "Said Hashem to Moshe, 'Tell them to make a Mishkan in their midst as I am leaving My upper realm… and descending to dwell among them. [But also] make them ensigns… because they are My children… and they are My hosts, as it is stated, 'And bring forth My armies…' (Shmot 7:4)."
Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff