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Chapter 42: 1-3
The Laws Pertaining to a Meal

1. A person who has animals or fowl who are dependent on him for their food is prohibited from eating at all until he feeds them, as [implied by Deuteronomy 11:15] " I will grant grass for your cattle in your field, that you may eat and be satisfied." Thus, the Torah gave precedence to an animal's eating before a human's. However, with regard to drinking, man comes first, as [Genesis 24:14] states: "Drink and I will also draw for your camels." Similarly, [Numbers 20:8] states: "And you will provide water for the congregation and their cattle."

2. A person should neither eat nor drink like a glutton. Neither should he eat or drink while standing. His table should be clean and covered properly, even if he is not eating food of special importance.

One should not hold and eat from a piece of food larger than a k'beitzoh. Neither is it proper to hold food with one hand and break off a piece with the other.

One should not drink an entire cup of wine at one time. A person who does so is a glutton. Finishing it in two sips is a mannered practice, but drinking it in three is a sign of haughtiness unless it is a large cup. Then, one may drink it in as many sips as one desires. Similarly, a person drinking from a very small cup may finish it in one sip.

3. A person should not take a bite out of a piece of bread and put it on the table, give it to a colleague, or put it on the serving dish, for his colleague may be disgusted by this.

One should not drink from a cup and give it to a colleague to drink the remainder. A person should take care not to drink from the remainder of a cup from which a colleague has drunk. In this instance, out of embarrassment, one's colleague may feel forced to drink.

   Laws Pertaining to a Meal
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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.

 


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