Part I: Orach Chayim
Chapter 11 - EATING A MEAL
When a meal begins with bread, the bread is grasped with both hands
(167:3-4); a significant piece (but less than the size of an egg for
each person) is partly detached from the side of the bread (see 167:1);
the blessing "...Who brings bread out of the earth" is recited (167:2);
and the piece is detached. The person who recited the blessing should
eat some of that bread (167:20) immediately; if there was an irrelevant
interruption, the blessing must be repeated (167:6,7). If several
people are eating together (see 167:11-13), the host should recite the
blessing (see 167:14) and distribute bread to the others (167:18) after
they answer "Amen" (167:16). He should not recite the blessing for them
unless he too is eating (see 167:19-20); they should not eat before he
does unless they have their own bread (see 167:6,15), and he should also
be offered the other dishes first (167:17). On errors and cases of doubt
about the blessing see 167:8-10. There should be salt on the table
before bread is eaten (see 167:5); on the importance of eating salt
and drinking water see 170:22 and 179:6.
A person should preferably eat only with people whom he knows; see 170:20.
When several people are eating together, they should not talk (170:1),
should not stare at each other (170:4), should behave politely (see
170:2,6), and should do whatever the host asks (170:5). A person should
not be greedy (see 170:7-13) or behave in ways that others might find
distasteful (170:14-17,22). On giving some of the food to servants or
outsiders see 169:1-3 and 170:3,18-19,21. When it is required to wash the
hands between courses (see 173:1-2), they must be washed in water and
dried (173:3). On washing after going to the toilet during a meal see
170:1. Food should not be treated disrespectfully or in a way that may
spoil its appearance (see 171:1-5), and crumbs should be properly disposed
of (see 180:4).
After the blessing on bread has been recited, separate blessings need not be
recited on other foods that are served as part of the meal; but foods that
are not ordinarily part of the meal require separate blessings unless they
are eaten with bread (see 168:8;176:1;177:1-5). When a separate blessing
is required, it need be recited only the first time that food is served; see
179:5. Wine served during a meal requires a blessing ("...Who creates the
fruit of the vine"; 174:1) unless it was also served before the meal (see
174:4) or was expected (see 174:5;179:4); but other beverages served during
a meal or after wine do not require separate blessings (174:2,7). If a
second type of wine is drunk, the blessing "...Who is good and does good"
is recited unless it is not as good as the first wine (see 175:1-3,6); this
is not done by a person who is eating alone (175:4). One person may recite
the blessings on wine for everyone if they agree; see 174:8 and 175:5.
A person should not leave the room during a meal except to fulfill a religious
obligation (see 178:2,6), but if he intends to return or takes food with him
(see 178:4) he need not say grace (see Ch.14) before leaving (see 178:2),
and if he has kept his mind on the meal, or if others remained in the room,
he need not repeat the blessings when he returns (see 178:1-2). On a person
who is eating out of doors see 178:2-3. Dozing during a meal, or leaving to
go to the toilet, is not considered an interruption (178:7).
When preparations for saying grace have begun, a person should not eat or
drink without making a new blessing; see 179:1-3. The tablecloth should
not be removed, and bread should not be removed from the table, before grace
is said (180:1-2), and the knife should be covered up (180:5). Crumbs
should be cleared away from the place where the hands will be washed; see
180:3. The fingers should be washed (and dried; see 181:8) after the meal
(see 181:1,4-5,10), but no blessing is recited (181:7). Any liquid may be
used (181:9), but it should not be very hot (181:3), and it should not be
spilled on the ground (181:2). When many people are eating together, on
the order in which they wash see 181:6.
Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 Project
Don't Feel So Bad When I Feel So Bad
Rabbi Label Lam - 5759
Did You Hear?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763
After Six Comes Seven
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762
On A Personal Note
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773
Yom Kippur and the Pathways to Joy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756
To Avoid the Rough Road!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772
“The Secrets of Change”
Jon Erlbaum -
Our Next Big Move!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764
Must it Be the Same Old Me?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769
A Lesson for Life
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763
Guilt is Good!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770
I Want To Come Home, But I Don't Know If Dad Will Let Me In
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5775
'Sin... Don't Laugh!'
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755