May one split his meal in two, and eat bread or Matzah only by the first part of the meal and only afterwards eat the main course after the bread is removed?
- Example #1: On Erev Pesach that falls on Shabbos, may one split his meal to two, eating Chametz in the first part of the meal, and eating Kosher for Pesach foods in the second part of the meal? For example, by night, may one eat Chametz only for Hamotzi and then clear the bread and serve the rest of the food either on that table or in a different area of the house? Also, by Shabbos day, may one continue eating Pesach foods after Sof Zeman Achilas Chametz and then Bentch?
- Example #2: May one serve Matzah only in the beginning of the meal prior to serving any other foods in order to avoid Gebrochts?
First Opinion-Requires new blessing: As is known, during a meal of Hamotzi over bread we do not recite a separate blessing over the meal foods eaten in the various courses being that they are secondary to the bread of the meal and included the blessing of Hamotzi, with exception to the desert foods that are not normally eaten with bread or as part of the course of a bread meal. Nonetheless, some Poskim rule that in order for the blessing of Hamotzi to cover the meal foods, and deem the meal foods as secondary to the bread, one has to leave the option open for him to continue to eat bread throughout the other courses of the meal. If, however, one decides (whether verbally or in his heart) to no longer eat anymore [bread] prior to one of the meal courses being served [or has no more bread to eat and does not expect to get more], then the remaining foods of the meal are not exempt with the Hamotzi blessing said over the bread, and one must thus recite a before and after blessing before and after eating these meal foods, prior to reciting Birchas Hamazon. It goes without saying that if one verbalized his desire to end his meal, such as by telling everyone that it is time to recite Birchas Hamazon, or through taking the cup wine for Kos Shel Bracha, [or through asking for the Mayim Achronim to be brought to the table], and then changed his mind to eat a piece of food that is not bread that according to this opinion a new blessing must be made over these foods even if he only intended to end his eating of bread and not the eating of the rest of the foods. This ruling applies even according to those opinions who rule that a new blessing of Hamotzi is not required to be recited over bread in such a case.
Second opinion-Exempts from new blessing in certain cases: Other Poskim argue on the above and rule that all of the meal foods are included and exempt with the blessing of Hamotzi said over bread even if one has no intent to eat anymore bread during those courses of food, and even if he expressed his desire to recite Birchas Hamazon, so long as one is eating those foods in the same table that the bread was eaten. If, however, one eats the foods on a different table than the table on which the bread was eaten, then even according to this opinion the foods are not exempt with the original blessing said over the bread, and therefore one must thus recite a before and after blessing before and after eating these meal foods, prior to reciting Birchas Hamazon. Likewise, if one already washed Mayim Achronim and then decided to continue eating more food, then a blessing must be recited prior to eating any more food [unless one decides to eat more bread and says a new blessing of Hamotzi on the bread].
The final ruling and arbitration: Practically, those who are lenient like the latter lenient opinion have upon whom to rely, and so is the widespread custom by big festive meals to clear the bread from the table and serve various meal foods prior to prior to reciting Birchas Hamazon without requiring a before or after blessing to be recited. [This means that they are even initially accustomed to not suspect for the first opinion and therefore clear the table from the bread and serve other meal foods without reciting a before blessing prior to eating them. According to some opinions, this allowance of leniency applies even when eating the foods on a second table. However, the above is a mere justification for those accustomed to be lenient that one need not protest them, however certainly it is most proper for every individual to be stringent like the first opinion and not eat anymore meal foods once they have decided to no longer eat bread, even if the intent is to eat those foods on the same table as where the bread was eaten, in order not to get himself involved in a dispute of eating food without a blessing. Certainly, one should suspect for the first opinion in the event that one intends to eat the meal foods on a different table than the bread table, in which case it is possible that according to all opinions the blessing must be repeated. Nonetheless, if one does decide to eat meal foods after deciding not to eat anymore bread, then he is to also suspect for the second opinion and not recite a before or after blessing prior to eating them, in order not to enter oneself into a questionable blessing in vain according to the second opinion. This applies even if one plans to eat the remaining meal foods on another table.]
 See Admur 177:6-7; Michaber 177:2; Brachos 41b; Minchas Yitzchak 6:48; Piskeiy Teshuvos 177:8-10; 444:13
 See Admur 177:1-7; Seder Birchas Hanehnin Chapter 4; Michaber 177
 1st and Stam opinion in Admur 177:6; Ideal ruling of Luach Birchas Hanehnin 5:12; Tur 177 regarding Seudos Gedolos; Levush 177:2, brought in M”A 177:7; P”M 200 A”A 3; 1st Opinion brought in Biur Halacha 177:2 “Sheiyn”; Chazon Ish 27:3 that this applies even according to the opinion of the Rashba and others brought in Biur Halacha 177:2; M”A 208:24 regarding one who expressed his desire to recite Birchas Hamazon; Based on the following sources who rule this way regarding the Talmudic custom to serve appetizers at the end of the meal, after removing the bread table: Tosafos Brachos 41b; Rosh Brachos 6:26; Brachos 41b;
 Admur ibid in parentheses that even in today’s times when it is no longer accustomed to serve dessert appetizers after removing the table of bread prior to reciting Birchas Hamazon, nevertheless, if one decides to no longer eat it is equivalent to the removal of the table of Talmudic times, even if one simply decided to do so in his heart and mind without expressing his decision. The ruling of the M”A ibid refers to the next case where this decision is actually expressed and verbalized in the form of getting ready to recite Birchas Hamazon, and hence the novelty of the ruling of Admur here in the parentheses is that a) it applies even if one when does not mention anything about getting ready to recite Birchas Hamazon and b) it applies even if one decides to no longer eat in his mere thought without expressing it. Admur ibid learns this case as a Kol Shekein from the case of the M”A ibid regarding one who expresses his desire to Bentch, as if simply expressing desire to Bentch is considered removal of one’s mind then certainly actually deciding to stop eating is defined as such! This is similar to the original Talmudic custom brought in Michaber and Rosh and Tosafus and Brachos ibid in which the removal of one’s mind from the bread which causes the blessings to need to be recited has nothing to do with the Birchas Hamazon.
 Implication of Admur ibid; P”M 200 A”A 3; Chazon Ish 27:7 based on Tosafus ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 177:10;
The ruling of Admur ibid: Admur ibid concludes that the ruling of this opinion applies even according to those opinions who rule that there is no such thing as removal of one’s mind from bread during a meal and a new blessing of Hamotzi is never required to be repeated, nonetheless “so long as one has yet to decide to continue eating bread, the rest of the foods are not exempt with its blessing even though he did not remove his mind from eating them.” Meaning, that although the main case in Admur refers to one who decides to no longer eat anything else and then changes his mind to eat other foods aside for bread, from the above wording of Admur it is clear that he gives the very same law to the case that one simply removed his mind from eating the bread and intended to eat the remaining meal foods. This is similar to the original Talmudic custom brought in Michaber and Rosh and Tosafus and Brachos ibid in which the removal of one’s mind from the bread was enough to cause the blessings to need to be repeated even though they never removed their minds from these other foods.
 Admur ibid and in parentheses [in Kol Shekein from the case of the M”A regarding one who expresses his desire to Bentch-see previous footnotes]; M”A 208:24 ibid regarding if one expressed his desire to recite Birchas Hamazon; Based on Talmudic custom recorded in Michaber and Rosh and Tosafus and Brachos ibid
The reason: As the blessing of Hamotzi only exempts those foods which are eaten within the main part of the meal while they have yet to remove their hands from the [eating of] bread. [Admur ibid; Michaber ibid; Rosh ibid; Tosafus ibid]
 Admur and M”A ibid “Bring a cup and let us recite Birchas Hamazon”
 Admur ibid; M”A ibid refers specifically to this case; Yeish Omrim brought in Admur 179:4 and Seder Birchas Hanehnin 5:3 and Stam opinion brought in 184:3 and only opinion brought in 477:7, [but completely omitted from Luach 7:3]; First opinion in Michaber 179:1; Rambam Brachos 4:7; Tosafus ibid; Rosh ibid; Chazon Ish 27:3 that this applies even according to the opinion of the Rashba and others brought in Biur Halacha 177:2
 Stam opinion brought in Admur 179:4 and Seder Birchas Hanehnin 5:3 and Yeish Omrim m opinion brought in 184:3 and only opinion brought in Luach 7:3 [but completely omitted from Admur 477:7]; Second opinion in Michaber 179:1; Rabbeinu Yonah Brachos 30a; Ran Chulin 29a; Raavad Brachos 4:7
 Admur ibid; See also Admur 197:1 in parentheses regarding Zimun for a similar ruling
The reason: As although they rule that they can redecide to eat bread and not need to repeat the blessing of Hamotzi, and they may then eat also all other meal foods that are exempt with the blessing over bread, nevertheless, so long as one has yet to decide to continue eating bread, the rest of the foods are not exempt with its blessing even though he did not remove his mind from eating them. [Admur ibid]
Contradiction in Admur: The above ruling that the opinion who does not require a new blessing to be said over the bread in such a case would nonetheless agree to this opinion to require a new blessing to be said over the other foods seemingly contradicts the explicit ruling Admur himself in 179:3 and Seder Birchas Hanehnin 5:3 in which he ruled within this opinion “And so too if he changes his mind to eat other meal foods that even though he does not have intent to eat bread at all, nonetheless he does not have to recite a blessing over them, as since he has the potential to continue eating bread without repeating the blessing of Hamotzi therefore it is not considered like another meal in today’s times that it is no longer customary to remove the table from before Birchas Hamazon.” However, seemingly, one must answer that the latter case is referring to one who resolved to not eat anymore meal foods but did not explicitly resolve to not eat anymore bread. Meaning, that he did not decide to end his meal but that simply he is done eating the meal foods served in the various courses, but perhaps will entertain eating more bread or desserts and the like. Accordingly, since he never explicitly removed his mind from eating more bread therefore according to all opinions the blessing on the bread continues to count and to exempt the meal foods even if it is not end of eating bread at all and does not plan to do so. In such a case, perhaps even the second opinion there would agree that a blessing is not to be repeated over the meal foods being that he never explicitly removed his mind from the main staple of the meal which is the bread, and hence the dissenting opinion brought in Admur 179:4 refers only to the case that one decided to end the meal completely. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 Limud Zechus opinion recorded in Admur 177:7 in defense of custom; Stam and only opinion recorded in Admur 174:9 in parentheses; Opinion recorded in Luach Birchas Hanehnin 5:12 regarding reliance of custom; M”A 177:7 based on Rabbeinu Yonah ibid; 2nd Opinion brought in Biur Halacha 177:2 “Sheiyn” and that so is opinion of Rashba being that meal foods are the main stable of the meal and are hence always exempt even when eaten after the meal;
Is this opinion the same opinion that is recorded in 179:1? No. It is clear that the debate recorded in 179:1 and Seder Birchas Hanehnin 5:3 in which the opinion that does not require the repetition of a blessing is held of by many Rishonim and Poskim, and is recorded by Admur as the main opinion, is not the same opinion as this opinion here, as Admur already prefaced and said in 177:6 that even that opinion there would agree to the first opinion here, being that they are discussing one who removed his mind from the entire meal and now decided to eat more bread and other foods, while here it is discussing one who removed his mind only from eating bread. [See the previous footnote regarding the resolve of the contradiction.]
 The reason: The reason for this is because all the food that is served on the same table that the original bread was eaten is viewed as part of the original meal of bread and is therefore included in its blessing. Accordingly, it is not similar at all to the original Talmudic practice of removing the bread table and bringing in a new table of appetizers, in which case the ruling was that a new blessing is recited on these appetizers, being that it appears like another meal. However, so long as they are eating on the same table as the bread was eaten on then it does not appear like another meal and is therefore exempt with the blessing said over the bread even though they have removed their minds from it completely and expressed a desire to recite Birchas Hamazon. [Admur ibid; M”A ibid] Alternatively, the reason for this is because we see that meal foods are exempt from a blessing even when eaten without bread so long as they are eaten during a bread meal, and hence this shows that one’s intentions to eat bread or not eat bread are irrelevant to the exemption of the blessing from meal foods. [See Kuntrus Achron 174:9]
 Implication of Admur ibid who writes in the justification of the lenient opinion “As whatever they eat and drink on the table that they ate the bread on is considered like one meal.” This implies that if it is eaten on another table than everyone agrees a new blessing must be said.
The reason: As in such a case that they are not even eating on the same table as the bread, it is directly similar to the custom of Talmudic times in which the bread table was customarily removed from in front of the diners and the Talmudic ruling in such a case is and remains that since they are now establishing themselves to eat other foods in exclusion of bread, it therefore requires its own before and after blessing, as the blessing of Hamotzi only exempts those foods which are eaten within the main part of the meal while they have yet to remove their hands from the [eating of] bread. [See Admur 177:6]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the meal foods are exempt the original blessing over the bread even when eaten on another table. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 177:9 and 444:13 based on Biur Halacha ibiid in name of Rashba]
 Admur 177:7; 179:5; Seder Birchas Hanehnin 5:4 [Kos Shel Bracha] and 5 [Mayim Achronim]; M”A 208:24 regarding taking the Kos Shel Bracha; So rule regarding Mayim Achronim: Michaber 179:1; Brachos 42a; Taz 179:1; M”A 179:2
 Luach Birchas Hanehnin 5:12 “they have upon whom to rely”; Admur 177:7 “there is an opinion who learned merit upon them”; 1st M”A 177:7; Biur Halacha 177:2 “Sheiyn”; Levush ibid and Bach 177 that so is the custom
 The law according to Admur regarding if one eats on a different table: While it is clear from the ruling of Admur in that when eating the foods on another table all opinions agree that a new blessing is required, in the Luach ibid Admur makes no differentiation in this matter and hence it is unclear if he retracted from his original ruling and decided to rule like those opinions who exempt the meal foods from a blessing even when eaten on another table, or simply did not go into the details due to the summary style intent of the Luach, and relied on what he already explained in his Shulchan Aruch. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 Conclusion of Admur in Seder Birchas Hanehnin 5:3 “It is good to suspect for their words and not return and eat at all” [as explained in reason]; Implication of Admur 177:67 and Luach ibid
The reason: Admur in 177:6-7 clearly mainly rules like the first opinion which he brings as Stam, and the second opinion is only brought in the form of a Limud Zechus. Furthermore, even in the Luach ibid, it is evident that Admur’s main opinion follows that of the first opinion and simply writes that there is no need to protest those who are accustomed to be lenient like the other opinion. The only place left for seeming contradiction in which Admur rules clearly like the second opinion is in 174:9 in parentheses. Accordingly, certainly one should initially be stringent. Furthermore, so is evident from the ruling of Admur in Seder Birchas Hanehnin 5:3 regarding the debate of whether a new blessing must be said over the bread if he removed his mind from it, in which Admur concludes that one should suspect for both opinions and therefore should not return any anything at all due to the worry of eating food without a blessing according to the first opinion, and not to recite a blessing over it if he does decide to return and eat in order so not be a blessing in vain as rules the second opinion. Now, if he ruled this way even regarding that debate in which the main ruling follows those who hold that the blessing is not to be repeated, certainly he would hold this way regarding this debate in which the main ruling follows that the blessing is to be repeated.
 Conclusion of Admur in 179:4 and Seder Birchas Hanehnin 5:3 “However, he should not return and eat at all due to a worry of a blessing in vain” [however, in truth the arbitration in that debate does not obligate that this be the case in this debate as well, as already stated that according to Admur in 177:6, even the lenient opinion there agrees that a new blessing must be recited. Vetzaruch Iyun]; Biur Halacha 177:2 “Limshoch Yadeinu”