#7

 

"ZIMUN" - "BENTCHING" WITH A GROUP

LAWS OF "ZIMUN"

When three or more people, aged thirteen and older, eat together, they must "bentch" together. This group which is formed is called a "Zimun". In this way, their praise to Hashem is considered greater, since it is done with a group. We learn this from Mishlay 14:28, as it is written, "In a greater number of people there is glory of the King".

There are two sources for making a "Zimun". Firstly, it is written, "When I will call out the name of Hashem, praise Hashem for his greatness". (Dívarim 32:3) Secondly, it says, "Praise the name of Hashem with me, in front of many, and let us bring more honor to His Name together." (Tíhilim 34:4) (Mishnah Bírurah 192:1)

According to most authorities, it is a Rabbinical obligation to make a "Zimun". (Shaar HaZion 197:16) The laws of "Zimun" are many. Here are a few basics.
1) The mitzvah of "Zimun" is for a meal where bread is eaten. (Mishnah Bírurah l93:6)
2) Three people who eat together, are required to make a "Zimun". (M.B. l93:6)
3) If two people sit together and eat bread, it is a "mitzvah" to find a third person to eat with them, so that they can make a "Zimun". (M.B. l93:7)
4) When two people eat bread together and want to invite a third person to make a "Zimun" with them, they may include a person even if he does not want to eat bread, so long as he drinks (anything except water), or eats any other food with them. (M.B. l97:22) This third person who has joined them without eating bread, answers to the "Zimun" and remains seated with this group until after the first "brocha" of "Hazon es hakohl". The others, of course, continue with Birkas Hamozohn.
5) Women cannot be counted as part of this group, even those women who are part of the family (for example, husband, wife, and son) because their requirements are different. (M.B. 199:16)
6) Women can answer to a "Zimun" if they ate with men. (M.B. 199:17)

LEADER OF THE "ZIMUN"

1) When a group of people sit together, each eating their own food, the honor of leading the group, should be given to the "Godohl BíChochmah" (the wisest in learning), since no one is considered a guest. However, if there is a guest at the table, then the guest should be asked to lead the "Zimun". (M.B. 201:1) The reason we ask the guest to lead us, is because the last "brocha" in Birkas Hamozohn was written so that the guest can give a blessing to his host. (Bíayr Haytayv 201:3)
2) When there are a few guests, the host may choose any one of them to lead the "Zimun" whether one is greater than the other. (M.B. 201:4)
3) If the host is willing to give up the special "brocha" which a guest would give him, then he is permitted to lead the "Zimun" himself. (Shulchan Oruch 201:1)
4) The host may choose any person eating at his meal, even someone who is not a guest (such as a family member). (Rama)
5) When a "Koh-hayn" and a Torah scholar are guests in the same home, there is no reason to choose the "Koh-hayn" rather than the Torah scholar. However, if the Torah scholar gives permission to the "Koh-hayn" to lead, then he may lead the "Zimun". (Shulchan Oruch 201:2)

BASIC TEXT OF THE "ZIMUN"

1) LEADER BEGINS:
Rabohsai nívoraych" or ("Rabohsai mir velen bentchen")
Gentlemen, let us "bentch".

2) ALL RESPOND:
"Yíhi shaym Adoh-noy mívohroch may-ato víad ohlom"
Let Hashemís name be blessed from now and forever.

3) LEADER CONTINUES:
"Yíhi shaym Adoh-noy mívohroch may-ato víad ohlom"
Let Hashemís name be blessed from now and forever.

[If ten people join in the "Zimun" add "Eloh-kaynu"]
"Birshus, moronon vírabonon vírabohsai, nívoraych [ten add: Eloh-haynu] she-ochalnu misheloh"
With permission of our Great Teachers, Rabbis, and gentlemen who are here, let us bless [ten add: our G-d] the One, that we have eaten from what is His.

4) ALL RESPOND:
"Boruch [ten add: Eloh-haynu] she-ochalnu misheloh uvtuvoh cho-yinu"
Blessed is He, [ten add: our G-d] that we have eaten from what is His, and through His goodness we live.

ONE WHO HAS NOT EATEN WITH THE GROUP, RESPONDS:
"Boruch [ten add: Eloh-haynu] umvoh-roch shímoh tomid, líohlom vo-ed"
Blessed is He, [ten add: our G-d] and His name is blessed continuously and forever.

5) LEADER REPEATS:
"Boruch [ten add: Eloh-haynu] she-ochalnu misheloh uvtuvoh cho-yinu"
Blessed is He, [ten add: our G-d] that we have eaten from what is His, and through His goodness we live.

LEADER CONCLUDES:
"Boruch hu uvoruch shímoh"
Blessed is He and blessed is His name.

The above is a basic outline of how to begin the Birkas Hamozohn. By #3 of the outline, you may add different titles, right after the word "Birshus" , depending who is joining you in this "Zimun". When your father is at the table and you are leading the "bentching", add "Ovi, Mohri" (my father, my teacher); for a great Sage, add "Mohraynu víRabaynu" (our teacher and our Rabbi); for your own teacher add "Mohri víRabi" (my teacher and my Rabbi); for "Koh-hanim" add "Koh-hanim"; and when you are a guest say "Ba-al habaiyis hazeh". Afterwards, you may continue with the words "Moronon vírabonon vírabohsai".

WHAT TO ADD IN THE HOUSE OF A MOURNER

When "bentching" in the house of a mourner, add the following by #3:

LEADER BEGINS:
"Birshus moronon vírabonon vírabohsai nívoraych mínachaym avaylim she-ochalnu misheloh"
With permission of our great Teachers, Rabbis, and gentlemen who are here, let us bless the One who comforts mourners, that we have eaten from what is His.

ALL RESPOND:
"Boruch [Eloh-haynu] mínachaym avaylim she-ochalnu misheloh uv-tuvoh cho-yinu"
Blessed is He [our G-d] who comforts mourners, that we have eaten from what is His, and through His goodness we live.

THE LEADER REPEATS: Blessed is He [our G-d] who comforts mourners, that we have eaten from what is His, and through His goodness we live.

THE LEADER CONCLUDES:
"Boruch hu uvoruch shímoh"
Blessed is He and blessed is His name.

WHAT TO ADD AT SHEVA BROCHOHS

A wedding is celebrated for seven days. To express their joy, we add this special "Zimun" to introduce Birkas Hamozohn.

LEADER BEGINS:
"Raboh-sai nívoraych" or "Raboh-sai mir velen bentchen"
Gentlemen, let us "bentch".

ALL RESPOND:
"Yíhi shaym Adoh-noy mívoh-roch may-ato víad ohlom"
Let Hashemís name be blessed from now and forever.

LEADER RESPONDS:
"Yíhi shaym Adoh-noy mívoh-roch may-ato víad ohlom"
Let Hashemís name be blessed from now and forever.

LEADER CONTINUES:
"Dívai hosayr vígam chorohn, víoz ilaym bíshir yo-rohn, níchaynu bíma-glay tzedek, shíay birkas bínay yíshurun bínay aha-rohn. Birshus, moronon vírabonon víraboh-sai nívoraych Eloh-haynu she-hasimcho bim-ohnoh víshe-ochalnu misheloh"
Remove pain and also anger, and then the mute (a person who was not able to speak) will sing with joy (In the World to Come, all handicaps will be healed.) Lead us in the ways of righteousness. Accept the blessing of the children of Jeshurun and the children of Aaron. With the permission of the great Teachers, Rabbis, and gentlemen who are here, let us bless our G-d for the joy and that we have eaten from what is His.

ALL RESPOND:
"Boruch Eloh-haynu she-hasimcho bim-ohnoh víshe-ochalnu misheloh uvtuvoh cho-yinu"
Blessed is He, our G-d, for the joy and that we have eaten from what is His, and through His goodness we live.

LEADER REPEATS:
"Boruch Eloh-haynu she-hasimcho bim-ohnoh víshe-ochalnu misheloh uvtuvoh cho-yinu"
Blessed is He, our G-d, for the joy and that we have eaten from what is His, and through His goodness we live.

LEADER CONCLUDES:
"Boruch hu uvoruch shímoh"
Blessed is He, and blessed is His name.

WHAT TO ADD AT A BRIS MILO

At the Birkas Hamozohn following a circumcision, we add the following introduction:

LEADER BEGINS:
"Rabohsai nívoraych"
Gentlemen, let us "bentch".

ALL RESPOND:
"Yíhi shaym Adoh-noy mívohroch may-ato víad ohlom"
Let Hashemís name be blessed from now and forever.

LEADER CONTINUES:
"Yíhi shaym Adoh-noy mívohroch may-ato víad ohlom"
Let Hashemís name be blessed from now and forever.
"Nohde líshimo bísohch emunoy, bíruchim atem la-doh-noy"
We give thanks to Your Name among my faithful. (The leader is speaking about the people who are seated and "bentching" with him. He calls them faithful because they have faith in Hashem.) You are blessed by Hashem.
"Birshus Ayl o-yohm vínohro, misgov líitohs batzoro, Ayl nehzor bigvuro, adir bamorohm Adoh-noy"
With permission of the fearful and awesome G-d, who is a tower of strength in times of trouble; Hashem who is all powerful, Hashem who is mighty in Heaven.

ALL RESPOND:
"Nohde líshimo bísohch emunoy, bíruchim atem ladoh-noy"
We give thanks to Your Name among my faithful. You are blessed by Hashem.

LEADER:
"Birshus HaTorah hakídohsho, tíhoh-ro hi, vígam pírusho, tzivo lonu mohrosho, Mohshe eved Adoh-noy"
With permission of the Torah which is holy, pure, and also clear, which was commanded to us as a tradition, by Moshe the servant of Hashem.

ALL RESPOND:
"Nohde líshimo bísohch emunoy, bíruchim atem ladoh-noy"
We give thanks to Your Name among my faithful. You are blessed by Hashem.

LEADER:
"Birshus ha-koh-hanim, ha-líviyim, ekro layloh-hay ho-ivriyim, ahohdenu bíchol iyim, avorícho es Adoh-noy"
With permission of the Koh-hanim, (and) the Levites, I will call to the G-d of the Hebrews, I will thank Him in all the islands, I will bless Hashem.

ALL RESPOND:
"Nohde líshimo bísohch emunoy, bíruchim atem ladoh-noy"
We give thanks to Your Name among my faithful. You are blessed by Hashem.

LEADER:
"Birshus mohrai vírabohsai, eftach bíshir pi usfosai, vísohmarno atzmohsai, boruch habo bíshaym Adoh-noy"
With permission of my teachers and my Rabbis, I will open my mouth and lips with song, and my bones will say: Blessed is he who comes in the name of Hashem."

ALL RESPOND:
"Nohde líshimo bísohch emunoy, bíruchim atem ladoh-noy"
We give thanks to Your Name among my faithful. You are blessed by Hashem.

LEADER:
"Birshus moronon vírabonon vírabohsai nívoraych (ten add: Eloh-haynu) she- ochalnu misheloh"
With permission of our great teachers, Rabbis, and gentlemen who are here, let us bless [ten add: our G-d] that we have eaten from what is His.

ALL RESPOND:
"Boruch [Eloh-haynu] she-ochalnu misheloh uvtuvoh cho-yinu"
Blessed is He [our G-d] that we have eaten from what is His and through His goodness we live.

LEADER:
"Boruch [Eloh-haynu] she-ochalnu misheloh uvtuvoh cho-yinu"
Blessed is He [our G-d] that we have eaten from what is His and through His goodness we live.

ALL RESPOND:
"Boruch hu uvoruch shímoh"
Blessed is He and blessed is His name.

Begin with Birkas Hamozohn.

Index Back Next

For your comments or to obtain further information please e-mail us at pictorial@pirchei.co.il