# From the Rav’s Desk: Can one who already bentched join a Zimun?

1. Question: [Monday, 9th Sivan 5783]

We were a group of 10 during a meal, three of which did not wash but did eat other foods which require an after blessing. The other seven washed on bread, however the problem is that one of them already Bentched. So basically, my question is, can a person count as one of the seven bread eaters for us to say Elokeinu by the Zimun even if he already Bentched?

No, he cannot as you must have seven bread eaters who have yet to Bentch in order to say Elokeinu. Hence, you are to either get another person to eat bread, or simply make a Zimun without Elokeinu.

Explanation:

It is a clear ruling in the Talmud and Poskim that even if a person already Bentched he can still join a Zimun. There are however a few caveats to this allowance:

• It only works if he ate bread and not if he ate other foods, in which case he cannot join if he already said an after blessing.
• It only works if he is in the minority. Meaning, that when making a Zimun of three, there must be at least two bread eaters who have not yet Bentched, in order to allow a third person who already Bentched to join. However, if two people already Bentched and one did not, then one can no longer make a Zimun.

Now, what is the law if one of the three already Bentched, while another ate vegetables, can they both still join the one person left for a Zimun? So, the Achronim write that they cannot as you always need to have the minimum majority of bread eaters who have yet to Bentch. Now, while this was written regarding a Zimun of three, logic would dictate that the same applies regarding a Zimun of ten, that just as there must be a minimum of seven people who have washed for bread in order to recite Elokeinu, so too these seven people must be before Bentching, while the other three could either be after Bentching, or having eaten other foods and are prior to Bentching. So explicitly rule the Gedolei Hachronim that if four people bentched then they can no longer say Elokeinu, and likewise logic would dictate that if one benctehd and three ate veggies then the six can no longer say Elokeineu and so explicitly rules the Kochav Miyaakov and so is brought in the Milaktim as the logical ruling to which I concord.