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Chapter 45: 4-6
Three or More People Reciting Grace

4. The cup over which grace is recited must be whole. If even its lower base is broken, it is unacceptable. Similarly, even a slight defect in its rim, or a crack, renders it unfit. The inside f the cup must be washed out, and its outside rinsed - alternatively, it may be wiped thoroughly - so that it will be clean.

One should pour the wine into the cup from the bottle for the sake of the blessing. The cup should be full. [It should be offered to] the person reciting grace, who should receive it with both hands (to show that the cup is dear to him and that he desires to accept it with all his strength), as [implied by Psalms 134:2]: "Lift up your hands in holiness and bless G-d."

Afterwards, one should remove his left hand and hold the cup with his right hand alone without support form the left (so that it does not appear to be a burden). He should look at it, so that his attention will not be diverted from it. It should be held a handbreadth above the table, as [implied by Psalms 116:13]: "I will lift u the cup of salvation and call upon the name of G-d."

A left-handed person should hold the cup in the hand which is "right" for him - i.e., his left hand. [Before reciting grace,] it is proper to remove all empty dishes from table.

5. A kohen is given the privilege of leading grace if all people at the table are equal stature, as [Leviticus 21:8] states: "You shall regard him as holy." However, if a great and prominent man is present, he should lead the grace. It is customary to let a mourner lead the grace, should all those present be of equal stature.

Is is proper to convey the honor of leading the grace upon a person who is gracious, who hated unjust gain, and is generous with his money. [Proverbs 22:9] states: "The gracious person will be blessed." The latter word "Yivorach" in Hebrew, may also be read as "Yevarach", meaning "he will bless."

6. All holy matters require preparation. Therefore, the person leading the grace begins with the announcement: Hav lan un'vorech (Let us recite grace) or its Yiddish equivalent: Rabbosai mir vellen bentshen.

Those at the table respond: Y'hi shem A-d-o-n-o-i- mevoroch me'attoh v'ad olom (May the name of G-d be blessed from now until eternity).

The leader then* recited: Bir'shus m'ranon v'rabbonon v'rabbosai, n'vorech she'ochlnu mishelo (With your permission , gentlemen, Sages, and teachers, let us bless Him of whose bounty we have eaten).

* {In many communities, it is customary for the leader to recite the previous response as well.}

Those at the table respond: Boruch she'ochalnu mishelo uv'tuvo choyinu (Blessed be He of Whose bounty we have eaten and by Whose goodness we live). The leader repeats this response. In certain communities, it is customary to respond "Amen" after the leader concludes with the words uv'tuvo choyinu. However, in other communities, it is not customary to respond in this fashion.

There are also different customs regarding the recitation of the phrase Boruch Hu' u'voruch shemo (Blessed be He and blessed be His name). In some communities, it is customary that this phrase be recited by the leader even when only three people recite grace together and G-d's name is mentioned. The latter practice is proper to follow. Those at the table should not recite this phrase. Surely, it should not be recited when reciting grace without a zimmun.*

* {The Mishnoh B'rurah 192:4 states that this phrase may be recited even when only three are reciting grace. However, it should be recited only by the leader.}

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.

 

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