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The halacha as codified by Shulchan Aruch O.C. 167:6 is that if one interrupts between making Hamotzi and eating the bread, as long as the interruption is related to the meal (not just to eating the bread - see Beis Yosef 167:6 and Magen Avraham) it does not require the person to repeat their blessing.

If one of the people listening to Hamotzi, who has the same rules of interruption according to the Shulchan Aruch, says "thank you" when they are given their slice of bread before they take a bite, does this constitute an unrelated interruption, or can this display of manners be considered related to the meal?

Examples of what is related to the meal, as given by the Beis Yosef, are such things as saying to pass around the food (not just the bread) and telling someone to feed the animals.

  • same time-period judaism.stackexchange.com/q/11732/759 – Double AA Jul 23 '14 at 3:48
  • Note this may be one of those cases where if it's permitted it becomes obligatory. – Double AA Jul 23 '14 at 3:48
  • @DoubleAA It may also be a case where it's forbidden l'chatchila but is not considered a hefseik after the fact. – Fred Jul 23 '14 at 5:06
  • We try to minimize talking as much as possible, many people have the minhag not to speak at all even if it's about the meal – user3931926 Aug 12 '14 at 12:51
  • @Yez Do you mean the Rema 167:6? If not, could you please link to your Beit Yosef? – SAH Aug 24 '18 at 5:37
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I think the Magen Avraham understands that one is permitted to make a interruption to facilitate the beginning of the meal. So just like the leader can't start eating until he has clarified if his animals have eaten yet and the lack of that knowledge prevents him from starting to eat, so to the Magen Avram allows you to request that food be served to a person (even if he is not eating bread) since that person can not start eating until he has food.

Saying please and thank you is an expression of gratitude/hakarat hatov. However lack of expressing that does not prevent one from eating since the same could be accomplished by saying thank you after the first bite and neither is there a halacha that says "you are forbidden to eat until you say thanks to the one who passed you the food" So even according to the Magen Avram it would be forbidden.

However the Mishne Brurah learns (based on the Bach**) that the case the Mechaber is talking about is where everyone has washed and the request being made is to pass bread to someone who wants to make his own bracha and not a request to pass him food so he can start eating.** If this is the intent of the Mechaber then there seems to be no reason to think that based on this one would be allowed to say thank you.

** IMHO It could be that the Mishna Brurah also felt that the Magen Avram's p'sak was unclear and therefore chose to learn like the Bach

Source

SA OC 167:6 MB 39

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It would seem to be that the example of the mechaber is only in regards to thing that facilitate the eating of the food, IE. One cannot eat before he feeds his animals or to pass the food (Mesechtas Berochos 40a. The Gemorah in Mesechtas Gittin 62 says it is forbidden to “taste.”) Although you point out correctly that an interruption which is not specific to the eating of the bread is not problematic, nevertheless it should only be in regards to the eating of the food in general. Therefore, according to this logic, thank you ;which although is a well mannered thing to do, is only a nicety and not considered inherently a facilitatory action vis-a- vis the food.

  • 1
    I don't follow your logic... – Double AA Jul 24 '14 at 18:01
  • @DoubleAA please elaborate – Shoel U'Meishiv Jul 24 '14 at 18:02
  • You say "in regards to the eating of the food in general" and "not specific to the eating of the bread" are ok, but then if it is "not considered inherently a facilitatory action vis-a- vis the food" then it's not ok. Non-sequitur? Where is the logic? – Double AA Jul 24 '14 at 18:09
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    Why do you assume saying thank you has nothing to do with food in general? Seems to me that it does. – Double AA Jul 24 '14 at 18:29
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    Someone buys you flowers and you ask to pass them. That doesn't mean that in the context of food passing doesn't have to do with food. So too here. You are saying thank you for the food. – Double AA Jul 24 '14 at 18:33

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