Siman 166 Seif 1
1. Some maintain that one is not required to avoid interruptions between washing and המוציא . Others maintain that he should be cautious and it is appropriate to be cautious. If one paused the amount of time it takes to walk 22 amos it is considered an interruption.
Siman 167 Seifim 20
1. One should break the bread where it is baked well (Regarding our bread it should be broken on the side and one should cut a little from the top and the bottom) and he should cut the broken piece. He should cut it only a little bit so that if he were to grasp the cut piece the rest of the loaf would lift up with it for otherwise it is considered a piece of bread rather than a loaf. It should remain attached to the loaf and he should begin the beracha. Upon completion of the beracha he should separate that piece so that the beracha will conclude while the loaf is complete. He should not break a small piece because he would look stingy nor should he break a piece larger than the volume of an egg since it will make him appear ravenous. On Shabbos one should not cut the loaf until after the beracha so that the loaves will be complete. If, however, one forgot and cut the loaf as he does during the week he causes no harm. It appears that the restriction against breaking a piece larger than the volume of an egg applies during the week when one is eating by himself but on Shabbos or if one is eating with many people and he must give an olive’s volume piece to each one of them it is permitted to cut a piece the size that one requires. See below siman 274.
2. One should recite המוציא לחם מן הארץ. (If many people are eating together they should pay attention and listen to the beracha and respond אמן and the one who recited the beracha should listen to their recitation of אמן .) He should pause between the word לחם and .מן
3. One should not recite the beracha before grasping the bread.
4. He should have both hands on the bread while he recites the beracha since his ten fingers correspond to the ten mitzvos involved in preparing bread. For this reason there are ten words in the beracha of המוציא , ten words in the pasuk מצמיח חציר לבהמה , ten words in the pasuk עיני כל אליך ישברו , ten words in the pasuk ארץ חטה ושעורה and ten words in the pasuk .ויתן לך
5. One should not recite the beracha until salt or relish (Rashi translates “relish” as anything eaten in conjunction with bread) that will be eaten with the bread has been brought out. If the bread is clean or spiced with spices or salt as our loaves are or if one intends to eat dry bread he is not required to wait. However, there is a mitzvah to put salt on the table before breaking the bread since the table is comparable to the altar and eating is comparable to the korban and the pasuk states על כל קרבנך תקריב מלח and it protects one from tragedy (see below siman 170).
6. One should eat immediately and may not speak between the beracha and eating. If one does speak he must repeat the beracha unless the conversation related to the meal. For example, if one recited the beracha on bread and before eating he asked for salt or relish to be brought or if he instructed someone to give food to Ploni or to feed the animal or anything similar he is not required to repeat the beracha. Nevertheless, l’chatchila he should not interrupt at all. The requirement to repeat the beracha if one spoke applies only when one spoke before the one who broke the bread ate but if one spoke after that it does not constitute an interruption. Even though the others did not yet eat, their obligation is already fulfilled when the one who broke the bread ate since they are not required to eat from the bread that was broken and it is done only to make the mitzvah more precious.
7. If Reuven washed his hands to eat and Yaakov was reciting Hamotzi with the intent to discharge others of their obligation and then Reuven dried his hands and recited the beracha of Al Netilat Yadayim it is not considered an interruption and he discharged his obligation with Yaakov’s beracha and is not required to recite the beracha of Hamotzi for himself.
8. If one ate without reciting Hamotzi and realizes while still in the middle of the meal he should recite the beracha but if he does not realize until after the meal he does not recite the beracha.
9. If one is uncertain whether he recited the beracha or not he should not repeat the beracha.
10. If instead of the beracha of Hamotzi one said Shehakol Nihyeh Bidvaro or Barich Rachmana Malka Mara Dehai Pata (in Aramaic) he has discharged his obligation.
11. If two or more people are together one should recite the beracha on behalf of the others. This applies only when they set a place to eat (or the ba’al habayis with the members of his household which is comparable to reclining) but if they were sitting without reclining, since they did not set a place to eat together each one should recite the beracha for himself. If they declared that they would eat “here” or in a particular place, since they arranged for themselves a place it is considered a set place even though they did not recline. Nowadays that we are not accustomed to reclining, sitting at a table or even without a table but with a single tablecloth we have set for ourselves a place. Even for a group that gathered together it is considered as though they have set for themselves a place. Even nowadays when people gather to eat together or with the ba’al habayis with his family they must share the same table or tablecloth.
12. If people were riding and they decided to eat they constitute a single group even though each person eats from his own loaf as long as they are all standing in a single location. If they were eating as the animals were walking they do not constitute a single group. If they were eating spread out in a field they do not form a single group even if they are eating at the same time and from a single loaf of bread since they did not set themselves in their place.
13. When they did not establish for themselves a place and each one should recite his own beracha if someone recited the beracha with everyone else in mind and they had in mind to discharge their obligation they have fulfilled their obligation.
14. If many people are eating together the most prominent person should break the bread. If two are equally prominent and one of them is a kohen there is a mitzvah to give him precedence. If the kohen is an am ha’aretz, a Torah scholar precedes him. If the kohen is also a Torah scholar but less of a scholar than the other fellow it is preferred to give precedent to the kohen but there is no obligation. See below siman 201. If the ba’al habayis is present he should break the bread even if one of the guests is more prominent (and the one who recites the beracha should first say, Birshut Morai Ve Rabotai).
15. Those present may not eat until the one who recited the beracha eats (but it is permitted to give each person his portion before he eats and but they must wait for him to eat.) If each one will eat from his own loaf and will not have the loaf that is in the hands of the one breaking the bread they may eat before him. On Shabbos each person must have lechem Mishnah besides the lechem Mishnah that is in front of the one who breaks bread and then each one may eat before the one who breaks the bread.
16. The one breaking the bread may not do so until most people finished answering Amen.
17. The one who broke bread takes food first but if he would like to honor someone more prominent he may do so.
18. The one who breaks bread places down a piece in front of each person and each one takes the piece himself and the one who breaks bread should not hand the piece to someone to eat unless he is a mourner (Persa Tzion Beyadecha alludes to the piece of hamotzi which given into one’s hand while in mourning).
19. One who is not eating may not recite hamotzi to discharge the obligation of others but he may recite the beracha for children even though he is not eating with them in order to train them in mitzvos.
20. Even on Shabbos when one is obligated to eat bread one may not recite the beracha on behalf of others if he will not eat. He may not recite the beracha for others when he will not eat except for hamotzi for matzah onthe night of Pesach and the beracha on wine for kiddush at night and during the day. One should eat the piece that he broke off before eating other bread so that it is eaten while hungry and this beautifies the mitzvah.
Siman 168 Seifim 17
1. If one has slices of bread and a whole loaf from the same variety he should recite the beracha on the whole loaf even if it was made from coarse flour (meaning bread that is not “clean”) and is small and the slices are “clean and large. If the whole loaf is barley and the slices are wheat and small one should place the slice beneath the whole loaf and break them together. This applies when one intends to eat them both but if one intends to eat only one of them he should break that one without regard for the other even if it is more important and more dear.
2. If two loaves are made from the same ingredients but one is large and the other is small he should recite the beracha on the larger one. If one has two halves rather than a whole loaf he should attach them together with wood or some other material that will not be seen and it is considered whole. One may even attach them on Shabbos.
3. Two rolls that were attached and baked and then one cut a slice from one of those rolls while the other remains whole, it is preferred to separate the cut roll from the whole one so that it should appear whole rather than leave it attached so that it should appear larger. One should not break the bread where it was attached to the other roll since it looks as though it was sliced already; rather he should break the bread on a place where it appears whole.
4. If one has barley bread and spelt bread he should recite the beracha on the barley since it is one of the seven species even though spelt is better. If one has bread of sifted flour and bread of coarse flour one should recite the beracha on the sifted flour bread. If both are from sifted flour but one is whiter than the other the beracha should be recited on the one that is whiter.
5. If one has bread of fine flour baked by a gentile and bread of coarse flour baked by a Jew, if he is not careful with regards to pas akum he may recite the beracha on either bread. If he is careful with regards to pas akum he should remove the bread of fine flour baked by the gentile from the table until after he recites hamotzi. If the ba’al habayis is not careful regarding pas akum and he only plans on eating the pas akum since it is “cleaner” but the members of his household will eat the “non-clean” bread baked by a Jew and both loaves are on the table he should break the “clean” bread baked by the gentile since he is the one breaking the bread and he intends to eat from that loaf. If the ba’al habayis is careful regarding pas akum and a Jew who is not careful regarding pas akum is reclining with him at his table, since the mitzvah is upon the ba’al habayis he should break the “clean” bread baked by the gentile and once he is permitted to break that bread he may eat it for the remainder of the meal. This applies only when he likes that bread but if he does not like that bread regardless of the fact that it was baked by a gentile he is not required to give precedence to that loaf.
6. When eating pas haba’ah b’kisnin one recites Mezunot and Al Hamechia. If one ate the quantity that others would eat as a meal, even if he is not sated from it he must recite Hamotzi and Birkat Hamazon. If when he began his intention was to eat a small amount and recited Mezunot and ended up eating a quantity that others would eat in a meal he should then recite Birkat Hamazon even though he did not recite Hamotzi when he began. If he ate a quantity that others would not consider a meal even if he did consider it a meal he only recites Mezunot and Al Hamechia since his thinking is nullified to the thinking of the general population.
7. Regarding pat haba’ah b’kisnin, some say that it is bread made in the shape of a pocket that is filled with honey or sugar and nuts, almonds and spices. Some say that it is dough made (kneaded) with honey, oil, milk or spices and then baked assuming that the taste of the fruit juice or spices is detected in the dough. (Some maintain that this is called bread unless there is such a large quantity of spices or honey so that it is sweet, where the honey or spices are just about the primary ingredient and this is our custom) and this is how Rambam should be explained. Some explain that it is bread whether with spices or not but it is made thick and dry and it is chewed. Halacha follows all of these opinions meaning that all of these “breads” are assigned the halachot of pat haba’ah b’kisnin.
8. Rolls made from a thick mixture called Ubliyash are considered bread and one recites Hamotzi and Birkat Hamazon. If the batter is thin and the cakes are thin, called Niblash, the beracha is Mezunot and Al Hamechia. If one made their meal with them the beracha is Hamotzi and Birtkat Hamotzi. If they are eaten during a meal but not as part of the meal they require a beracha before eating but not after eating. However, thin wafers upon which one puts confection are subordinate to the confection and the beracha on the confection covers the wafers as well.
9. The beracha on regular bread, even if one eats less than the volume of an olive is Hamotzi but there is no beracha recited afterwards if he did not eat an olive’s volume.
10. Havitza which is pieces of bread held together by soup, if they were cooked and contain an olive’s volume the berachos are Hamotzi and Birkat Hamazon even though it lost the appearance of bread. If it is not the volume of an olive the berachos are Mezunot and Al Hamechia even though they still have the appearance of bread. If they were not cooked but the pieces were stuck together by honey or soup, if the pieces contain the volume of an olive the beracha is Hamotzi even if it does not have the appearance of bread. If the pieces do not contain the volume of an olive but they have the appearance of bread, meaning that it is recognizable and evident that this is bread, the berachos are Hamotzi and Al Hamechia. If they do not have the appearance of bread the berachos are Mezunot and Al Hamechia. If the pieces were not cooked nor stuck together but ground very fine, even though the pieces do not contain the volume of an olive and do not have the appearance of bread the berachos are Hamotzi and Birkat Hamazon. (See below siman 184 what quantity one must eat to be required to recite Birkat Hamazon.)
11. There is an opinion that maintains that if crumbs are placed in water and the water turns white from the crumbs, they have lost their appearance of bread and one would only recite Mezunot and Al Hamechia.
12. There is an opinion that maintains that if bread was soaked in (red) wine one should only recite Mezunot and Al Hamechia. It would seem that this opinion applies only when the crumbs or pieces are smaller than an olive’s volume.
13. Even when the batter is thick, if it was cooked or fried one does not recite Hamotzi. This is true even if it has the appearance of bread and even if it is subject to the obligation of challah since the beracha of Hamotzi depends upon the moment of baking. Some authorities disagree and asserts that if the batter was thick even if afterwards one thinned it out by adding water and made Sufganiyot (dough that was kneaded into a sponge-like form) and cooked it in water or fried it in oil the beracha is Hamotzi. (The custom is to be lenient) Someone who is G-d-fearing will satisfy both opinions and will not each such foods unless he already recited the beracha on bread. This applies only if it has the appearance of bread after it was baked but if it does not have the appearance of bread afterwards, according to all opinions one does not recite Hamotzi and Birkat Hamazon since it is not called bread. However, that which has the appearance of bread one should not eat them unless one already recited a beracha on bread. This applies to dough that was not kneaded with oil or honey but was fried in it but if the dough was kneaded with these other ingredients the halacha was already discussed with regards to pas haba’ah b’kisnin.
4. Halut (ed. not challah) but (a type of bread that is scalded in boiling water) which was then baked in an oven is regular bread and one recites Hamotzi. Similarly, anything that has a thin batter that is baked in an oven without liquid is treated as bread and one recites Hamotzi and Birkat Hamazon. The same halacha is true if one baked it in a pan without liquid. A small amount of liquid that is smeared on the pan so that it should not burn is not considered a liquid. Something that has a thin batter and was fried in a liquid according to all opinions is not bread.
15. When eating Truknin which is made by forming a hole in the stove and in that hole flour and water that are mixed are poured and it bakes there, the berachos are Mezunot and Al Hamechia. If one made his meal with this food he should recite Hamotzi and Birkat hamazon. Trisa, which is made by mixing flour and water and pouring it on the stove so that the mixture spreads out does not have the appearance of bread at all and one recites Mezunot and Al Hamechia even if one makes his meal out of these foods.
16. When eating dehindaka bread which is bread baked on a spit and smeared with oil or liquid eggs as well as bread prepared for Kutach which is not baked in the oven; rather it is baked in the sun, the correct beracha is Mezunot.
17. The berachos on Pashdita that is baked in the oven with meat, fish or cheese is Hamotzi and Birkat Hamazon. This is true if it was baked in the oven without liquid but if it was baked in a pan with liquid one should not recite a beracha and it should be eaten only as part of a meal as was explained.