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Q&A From the Bais HaVaad Halacha Hotline

Eat and Run

Dayan Yehoshua Grunwald

November 11, 2021


Q I am at a wedding. If I stay for zimun and sheva brachos, I will miss my shiur. May I bentch and leave early?

A Wedding guests are obligated to bentch with a zimun of ten. According to some, they are also obligated to hear the sheva brachos. But the Mishnah Brurah (193:16), speaking generally about one who ate with a minyan but must leave early for a mitzvah, writes that he may make a zimun with just three. If even that cannot be done, he may forgo the zimun and go do his mitzvah (Mishnah Brurah 200:5). The Shoshanas Yisrael says this applies even at a wedding, when leaving early will cause him to miss sheva brachos. When bentching with a zimun of three, some say to recite the bracha of asher bara after bentching, but that is not the prevalent custom. Some say that the zimun should include shehasimcha vim’ono, but the common custom is otherwise (Lev Ita).

If one knows in advance that he will need to leave before the public zimun and sheva brachos, he should preferably start his meal before or after the others. Because he neither starts nor ends his meal together with the group, he incurs no obligation of zimun. Alternatively, he may eat his first kezayis in a different room from the other guests. Another option (per Igros Moshe O.C. 1:56) is to have in mind when beginning the meal that he is not joining the group.

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