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In a zimmun, the leader asks permission from the others (BiReshut...)

What is the procedure for refusing this permission? Must I outrank him in some way, or does anyone have the privilege of refusing permission?

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You could always just abstain from participating. I think it's more of a nicety/warning than actual permission. –  YEZ Jun 8 at 3:06

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The nussach comes from the original procedure of Zimun.

The Ba'al HaBayit - if he so wishes - honors one of those present with Zimun - so that the latter reciprocates with the Birkat Ore'ach.

To acknowledge this permission-granted, in Nussach Ashkenaz, the honoree says "with permission of the Ba'al HaBayit" - Birshut Ba'al HaBayit.

So refusing permission is not part of the original ceremony.

In any other setting - like 3 colleagues eating in the cafeteria - the Halacha (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 45:17) says:

  • If 2 have finished eating and want to Bentch, the 3rd has to answer; he may restart eating after answering Amen to the first Bracha ( הזן את הכל )
  • If only 1 has finished eating and wants to Bentch, the other 2 may prevent him from doing so. It's not recorded how they do so; my guess is that they don't answer the opening "רבותי נברך" or Rabosai wir wollen bentchen. It does not make sense that they would answer "YeHi Shem..." with Hashem's name and then refuse him his Reshus.
    • If the 2 want to go beyond the letter of the law, or they want to honor the fast-eater, they may let him Betsch.

שלשה שאכלו, ושנים גמרו סעודתן ורוצים לברך, ואחד עדין לא גמר סעודתו ואינו רוצה לברך, צריך הוא להפסיק מסעודתו, כדי שיברכו בזמון ויענה גם הוא עמהם ויוצא ידי זמון. וימתין עד שסיים המברך הזן את הכל, ואחר כך יכול לאכל, ואין צריך לברך ברכה ראשונה, כיון שדעתו היה לאכל עוד. וכשיגמור סעודתו יברך ברכת המזון. אבל שנים, אינן צריכין להפסיק בשביל אחד, אלא אם ירצו לעשות לו לכבודו לפנים משורת הדין. ועשרה שאכלו ביחד, צריכין ארבעה להפסיק בשביל ששה שהם הרב. ואינן צריכין להמתין, רק עד שאמרו ברוך א-לקינו וכו'. ולאחר שגמרו הם סעדתן, יזמנו לעצמן בלי הזכרת השם

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