Monday, March 30, 2009

Can Someone Please Explain This Ruling? is reporting on a p'sak (halachic decision) by R. Eliyashiv regarding making a mezuman by the seder. He says that normally three people who eat together are required to make a zimun. However, he says, there are two cases on the night of the seder when three people eating together do not make a zimun. I'm going to present the second one that reports first.

1. People who eat together on Pesach but are makpid (particular) not to eat food that is prepared by others on Pesach. Since they cannot share each other's food, they are not counted for a zimun.

OK, that sounds logical to me. They may be eating in the same location, but they're not really eating "together." The other case is as follows:

2. A group of people where some only eat hand matzah and some only eat machine matzah. "Even though this is only a chumra," reports Matzav and in reality, they *are* allowed to eat each other's matzah, they cannot join for a zimun.

The second ruling truly surprises me. Here you have people who, by choice, are not eating each other's food, and they are not able to join for a zimun.

How is this really any different than if my two friends and I go to a fast food place and they order a burger with tomatoes (I hate tomatoes!)? I, by choice, am not eating their food -- and perhaps they don't like my choice of food. Does that mean that we cannot join for a zimun?

The Wolf

(Please, no snark. Serious discussion only)


Ezzie said...

There's a difference between someone who does not hold they *can* eat your food and someone who simply doesn't like it.

The better Q is if someone who is eating BaDaTZ can bensch with someone who is eating normal food. Presumably, that would be the same situation. (Interestingly, the problem is only one way.)

Garnel Ironheart said...

Actually the Shulchan Aruch deal with this concept in OC 196:3 and I'm not sure where these rulings came from, based on that.
"If three people ate together, one who is carefully not to eat non-Jewish bread, and one who doesn't care, or one of them is a kohen who's eating chalah (the halachic kind, not the Shabbos kind), even though the one who is careful cannot eat with the one who isn't careful, nor can the Yisrael eat with the kohen, since the one who isn't careful can eat with the one who is and the kohen can eat with the Yisrael, they can join together. But if it was kohanim and a non-kohen eating together, and the kohanim were eating chalah and also were careful not to eat non-Jewish bread, and the non-kohen was eating non-Jewish bread, then they don't join together. Similarly this is the ruling when three people have vowed against each other, they can't combine to make a zimun."
Now, the Mishnah Berurah explains that the reason that the kohanim and the non-kohen cannot combine in the second case, despite being able to in the first one, is because in the second case there are two factors - since they don't eat non-Jewish bread, they cannot eat the non-kohen's loaf. And of course, the non-kohen cannot eat the chalah. (see comment 8 on 196:3)
Now, since pas nochri is essentially a chumra, this could explain the first ruling. Since everyone in the group has the same minhag, it's like the second case with the kohanim eating chalah and the non-kohen eating pas nochri. There's no overlap.
But then the second case - machine and hand matzah - made no sense until I looked at your source.
Note the wording carefully:

>The first is two people who eat the seder together, but one uses only machine matzoh while the other only eats hand matzoh. Despite the fact that this is only a chumrah and technically, l’halacha, each one is permitted to eat the other one’s matzoh, nevertheless, they are not considered eating together for the sake of zimun.

Assuming this is accurate, then this means the hand matzoh person will not each machine matzah AND the machine matzah person will not eat hand matzah. Therefore it's exactly the same as the other case and analagous to the second case in the OC quoted above. I think that's your answer.

Joshua said...

I was going to comment to say more or less what Garnel although I think it makes slightly less sense than he gives it credit for. If there was no machine matzah available that person would almost certainly be willing and halachically obligated to have the handmand matzah. It thus isn't analagous to the situation in the Shulchan Aruch especially since many think that pas nochri is not a chumrah but a rabbinic injunction.

There's a separate but related issue: The chumra of only having machine shmurah is one of the dumbest chumrot in existence. The notion that it is a good idea to take on a chumra that was only possible some hundred or so years ago makes little sense at all. Possibly the only dumber pesach chumra is g'bruchs.

Mikeinmidwood said...

seems like you are right, but I dont know the halachos.

ProfK said...

Joshua, you are assuming that non-gebrokts is a chumrah, but for many it is the family minhag they follow and not done because they are trying to be machmir. We don't hold the minhag of non-gebrokts to play the game of holier-than-thou but because that's the minhag that has passed down for generations in our family. One man's chumrah may be another man's custom.

Joe in Australia said...

The custom of abstaining from matzah sheruyah came about because the way matzot were made changed. When they started kneading and baking them very quickly it became more likely that dry flour remained on the matzot, flour which could still become chametz. So the custom itself isn't dumb. Perhaps the way we bake matzot is dumb.

Pesky Settler said...

The food at the fast food joint is all being cooked by the same people so the 'level' of Kashrut is the same. (Although I have been to KD where someone comes in and asks for a hamburger 'Shomer Shabbes', which is code for 'I want the guy with a kippah to prepare my food').

bluke said...

This din only applies if neither will eat from the other. However, if A will eat from B even if B won't eat from A (e.g. A will eat hand even though he prefers machine) they are מצטרף based on an explicit gemara in Erchin (4a). The Gemara says that Kohanim, Leviim and Yisraelim are מצטרף to zimun together. The Gemara asks what is the chiddush. The Gemara answers that the chiddush is that the Kohanim are eating teruma or kodshim so even though the Yisrael can't eat the kohen's food they are מצטרף to zimun because the Kohen can eat the Yisrael's food.

Anonymous said...

also postedby Rafi G.

Joshua said...

Profk, no argument there. I specifically commented on g'bruchs in the context of it being a chumrah.