This a sequel to this question for which an answer cites O.C. 167:5 that likens one's table to an altar.

My follow up questions:

  • When? Only while eating? And is it only while eating a meal that contains bread, or any type of meal? What about a snack or if one drinks just water?
  • Is it only for a dedicated eating table? What if the table is used for eating as well as working?
  • nice hagdaros ๐Ÿ‘
    – alicht
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 18:56
  • What difference does it make that we could test if this status is present?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 19:03
  • @DoubleAA E.G., do you need to remove the knife for saying al hamichya? And for 2nd question, if it's a multi-use table maybe even for Birkat Hamazon you can leave a knife there.
    – DanF
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 19:06
  • @DanF Beis Yosef brings two reasons that one has to remove the knife. If itโ€™s because of ืฉืœื—ืŸ ื“ื•ืžื” ืœืžื–ื‘ื— and that doesnโ€™t applies to ืžื–ื•ื ื•ืช, then you perhaps have a ื ืคืงืดืž between that and the ืžืขืฉื” ืฉื”ื™ื” (since the ื—ื•ืจื‘ืŸ is discussed in ืขืœ ื”ืžื—ื™ื” also).
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 21:59
  • It is NOT considered Halachicly, only allegorically, so I think it's up to the person.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


As pointed out , the source is in Chagiga 27a.

Rashi and Tosafos both say that the reason being that one does Hachnosas Orchim at one's table.


ืฉื•ืœื—ื ื• ืžื›ืคืจ ืขืœื™ื• - ื‘ื”ื›ื ืกืช ืื•ืจื—ื™ืŸ:โ€

One's table atones - by inviting guests


ืฉืœื—ื ื• ืฉืœ ืื“ื ืžื›ืคืจ. ื“ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื›ื— ื”ืœื’ื™ืžื ื›ื“ืื™ืชื ื‘ื”ื’ื“ืช ื—ืœืง (ืกื ื”ื“ืจื™ืŸ ื“ืฃ ืงื’.):โ€

One's table atones. Because the power of Legima is great, as we see in Sanhedrin 103b

Note that Tosafos in the printed version points to Sanhedrin 106a - a typo

If we go to Sanhedrin 103b we learn:

ื"ืจ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ืกื™ ื‘ืŸ ืงืกืžื ื’ื“ื•ืœื” ืœื’ื™ืžื” ืฉื”ืจื—ื™ืงื” ืฉืชื™ ืžืฉืคื—ื•ืช ืžื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉื ืืžืจ (ื“ื‘ืจื™ื ื›ื’, ื”) ืขืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ืืฉืจ ืœื ืงื“ืžื• ืืชื›ื ื‘ืœื—ื ื•ื‘ืžื™ื โ€

Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says in the name of Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma: Great is Legima, as it distanced two clans from the Jewish people, as it is stated: โ€œAn Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the Lordโ€ฆbecause they met you not with bread and with waterโ€ (Deuteronomy 23:4โ€“5).

So we see that Legima is offering people food.

Putting it all together, I would propose that any location where one actually hosts guests has the atonement value of a Mizbeach. (This seems clear from Rashi; from reading Tosafos one could argue that even if it only has the potential to host guests but one hasn't yet done so, it would still qualify.)

I would also propose that any type of food being served would qualify, as the Ammonites and a Moabites were not expected to serve full meals; they were expected to be hospitable.

So to answer your #1: When? Once you've hosted guests at it, it has this special status.

And #2: Any surface - once it was used for hosting guests has this special status.

But I cannot find any concrete proof - just reading between the lines.

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