Brachot 45a says that 3 people who ate "as one" are required to do zimmun ("Rabbotai Nevarech", etc.)

What constitutes "together"? For example, can any of these be done?

  • There is a rule that if the majority (2 out of 3) are ready to bench, the 3rd must stop eating and respond to the other two. He can then continue eating. When he is done, can he join a different group that has two, but began eating later?
  • 6 or 9 people ate together. Are they required to all bentch together as one group of 6 or 9, or can they form 2 or 3 groups of 3 each? (This is not exactly similar to the above, as they began together in the same group. The above, one person is joining a group that he didn't start with.)

Yes to both. From here:

Once three people eat together, they may not “break up” and recite Birchas Hamazon without a mezuman . Similarly, if ten men eat together, they may not break up into smaller groups that cannot say “ Elokeinu ”. If necessary, six people who ate together are allowed to split into two groups. The same applies to 7-9 people; 20 or more people can also break up, if necessary. A group of 10-19 people may not split.

If two men are ready to recite Birchas Hamazon , the third person who is still eating must stop and answer the mezamein . If two “new” people now sit down with the fellow who answered the mezuman , and the three of them eat a kezayis of bread together, another zimun can be made.

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  • in the OP's q' it sounds like the fellow did not eat a k'zayis with the next group – heshy Apr 10 '18 at 21:14
  • @heshy That is a very interesting point that I didn't consider. As you can see, I excerpted parts from a Star-K article. They don't imply any condition than when the 3rd person from group A joins group B, later, that he must eat another kezayit once he joins a new group. It seems that whatever he ate from the 1st group "carries over" to the new one. I didn't check any linked sources in the article to see why that works. – DanF Apr 10 '18 at 21:21
  • @heshy I think something in O.C. 193 and / or 200 answers your question. However, I haven't quite been able to "consolidate" the various scenarios to form a definitive answer. Maybe you can. – DanF Apr 10 '18 at 23:07
  • actually they write "and the three of them eat a kezayis together" – heshy Apr 11 '18 at 0:46
  • @heshy I do see that in the article, and that implies that the 1st person must eat something again while he joins the new group, even though he has had his kezayit with the 1st group. I was trying to determine if there was something in O.C. that suggests a "carry over" from one group to another, but it doesn't seem that way, unless I'm just not finding it or understanding the various scenarios. – DanF Apr 11 '18 at 15:43

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