1) HALACHAH: EATING BEFORE THE ONE WHO SAID "HA'MOTZI"
(a) TOSFOS (DH Ein ha'Mesubin) explains that those seated are not allowed to eat first when they are listening to the leader's blessing and are going to be eating from the bread that is *before the leader*. If those seated have in front of them their own loaves from which they will eat when the leader recites the blessing for them, they may eat before he eats.HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 167:15) cites the first explanation of Tosfos (a), that people should not eat before the one who says the blessing, unless they have their own breads in front of them. The MISHNAH BERURAH (167:83) points out that Shabbos is an exception. Even if they all have their own single loaf of bread before them, they may not eat before the leader, because they are required to eat from his Lechem Mishnah (his double portion of bread). If each person has his own Lechem Mishnah, then they do not have to wait for the leader to eat.
Another exception is if the leader makes a blessing on a complete loaf of bread, and they have in front of them only slices of bread. Those listenting must wait to eat until after the leader has eaten, because the blessing is preferred to be made on a full loaf rather than on slices.
47b2) HALACHAH: INCLUDING AN "AM HA'ARETZ" IN A "ZIMUN"
Although the Gemara states that an Am ha'Aretz may not be part of a Zimun, TOSFOS (DH Amar Rav Huna) says that nowadays we invite them to join. Today the ignorant people are not able to accept being inferior to Talmidei Chachamim, and they would completely separate from themselves the community if we do not involve them in our religious affairs.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 199:3) rules like Tosfos. The MISHNAH BERURAH (199:2) adds that a Jew who has gone so far away from the Torah that he purposely and maliciously transgresses the Mitzvos in public may not be included in a Zimun.
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
In the U.S.:
Tel. (908) 370-3344
Fax. (908) 367-6608
Toll free line for dedications: 1-800-574-2646