Forgotten Halachah MB 167

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    The Mishnah Berurah, Siman Kuf Samech Zayin (167), Sif Ayin Heh (75), teaches that when Jews who ate bread eat together, the person who leads zimun is required to say:
    “BeReishut Kohen”, if a Kohen who ate bread is sitting among them.

    40 years of experience with Orthodox Jews have shown me that this simple-and-easy halachah is forgotten by almost everybody, except for a very small percentage who are on a high madriegah, and make Limud HaTorah a very high priority for many years.

    Chazal teach that the easier a mitzvah is, the greater the onesh for being mebatel it.
    This mitzvah is very easy because it requires ZERO money and only two seconds of time.

    How can we be zocheh Binyan Beth HaMikdash, with Kohanim and korbanot, when most of us cannot even be bothered to say these two words?

    ☕️coffee addict

    I’ve heard it numerous times

    Also ברשות הרב or ברשות הבעל הבית


    this has not been my experience at all

    I dont think IVe ever not seen group ask if one was a kohein (then defer to him to lead) or if for whatever reason someone else is honored they ALWAYS say “Bershus kohein/kohanim (sometimes without actually asking reshus)

    I don’t think IVe ever NOT seen it done

    The Frumguy

    I would tend to disagree.
    Almost all of the times when I’m benching with a Zimun, the Mevarech says “Birshus Hakohanim.”
    Perhaps I hang out with folks who are “on a high madriegah.”


    Not sure which circles you are in, it seems to be standard practice where I have been going to shul.


    I always the Kohen being mechabed with benching at every pidon haben i have ever attended.
    Your being motziy shem rah

    Ari Knobler

    Big deal. You have found a practice that is seldom followed and now you’re feeling your oats.

    Question: When you are an invited guest while a זימון are present and you have been asked to lead the בּענטשן, do you do so over wine and then pass the בּעכער after the בּענטשן to the lady of the house? Rashi mentions this ancient custom in his commentary on ספר בראשית.

    Do you make sure to remove the wine on the table if it is not used in the בּענטשן? Because that is a law – not a custom, a law.

    This reminds me of a hothead pulpit rabbi who had found an obscure דין in the מגן אברהם that week and shouted on Friday night, “We are all מחלל שבת!” Terrific way to start people’s Shabbos, and also to fatuously proclaim his own ignorance and absence of human decency.

    There are literally thousands of defunct practices, which some consider laws and others consider customs.


    In many places they are mechabed the Kohen to lead the bentching.


    How can we be zocheh to Binyan Beth HaMikdash when you can’t be bothered to be Dan LeKaf Zechus?

    “… if a Kohen who ate bread is sitting among them” What happens when the person who leads the zimun isn’t sure or isn’t paying attention? Perhaps to insist on this Kavod, a Cohen needs to have his Yichus certified by a Bais Din?

    Besides that, look at Sha’ar Hatziune 65 where he says that there are situations where the person who leads the zimun does not need to ask permission from the Cohen. The point of this halacha is to be careful to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings when you take Kavod. Insisting on Kavod for the Cohen is exactly the opposite of what is intended.

    Sinas Chinam is what destroyed it. Ahavas Chinam is what will rebuild it. The cohanim have their job, but the Levi’im have their job and the Yisroelim have their job. We would all need to work together to make it happen.


    I hear Berishus Kohanim all the time before bentching.

    You must be in the wrong circles.


    You should also be saying Berishus Avi Mori if bentching with your father.


    I have a mixed family of some Levi’im and some Yisraelim. Benching (especially when the teenagers lead) is always a funny stumble around Birishus’s between Ba’al HaBayis, Levi’im, Avi MoRasi, Chumi, Saba, etc.


    I once asked my father-in-law, who is a Rav, the following:
    We say b’rshus Kohanim, because really, the kohen should lead the zimun. If someone else is leading it instead, he asks for permission. So if a kohen is eating at someone’s house, and is asked to lead the zimun, he’ll often say b’rshus baal habayis. But if the baal habayis leads, he’ll say b’rshus hakohen. So who actually has the right to lead the zimun? Is it the kohen, or the baal habayis?

    As an aside, when I was in yeshiva, there were some guys, who if they had eaten out, would say b’rshus baal habayis v’baalas habayis. This is wrong, because the woman is unable to lead the zimun, so you don’t need her permission.


    Just to clarify, there’s we don’t say bershus halevi. Leviim also have no kadima in aliyos if there is no cohen present.

    Da, I’ve never heard of any yeshiva bochur saying bershus baalas habayis.


    @Square_Root The madreigah of the people you hang out with is most unbecoming.


    @AvirahDeArah I know a prominent rosh yeshiva who is machmir to say “Birshus Hakohanim, Halevi’im” even though levi’im don’t take precedence over yisraelim for aliyos; I haven’t looked into it but I have heard that this is based on a minority shittah.


    I’ve almost always, if not always, heard birshus haKohein. Not sure where they missed out on that by you.


    DaMoshe > So who actually has the right to lead the zimun?

    I think that the kohen has the first right. In shul, he can not refuse and offer someone else the first aliya, but at home, he can let baal habais.

    Recall that the whole thing is for darkei sholom (see Gittin), so that there will be less machlokes about priorities. Thus, if you end up accusing people of something, you are not doing it right.

    Reb Eliezer

    The MB says that when we make hamotzei even the baal habayis should say birshus which is interesting.


    I regularly hear “Birshus kohanim.”

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