Leaving bread on the table until after Birchas Hamazon & cleaning the crumbs before Bentching

Leaving bread on the table until after Birchas Hamazon & cleaning the crumbs before Bentching:[1]

Not to finish all the bread during the meal:[2] Whoever does not leave some bread on his table [throughout the meal[3]] will never see a sign of blessing [and doing so can cause poverty[4]].[5] [Accordingly one should not eat all the bread that is on the table during the meal but is to leave over some amount. It suffices to leave even a small amount of bread on the table[6], although mere tiny crumbs do not suffice and the crumbs should be slightly large, although they do not need to contain a Kezayis in size.[7]]

Not to remove the bread before Birchas Hamazon:[8] Furthermore, it is proper to not remove the tablecloth and the bread until after Birchas Hamazon.[9] [Accordingly one should not clean the bread off from the table until after Birchas Hamazon. This applies to each table that people are eating on, and it does not suffice to simply leave bread on the head table.[10] However, one may clean off some of the bread, and crumbs, making sure to leave some bread on the table.[11] Nevertheless, based on Kabbalah[12], one is not to remove any of the leftover bread or crumbs from the table until after Birchas Hamazon. However, one should gather all the leftovers into a single area of the table prior to Birchas Hamazon, as explained in C.[13] When eating on the run, without a table, one should leave some bread in a bag until after Birchas Hamazon.[14] In the event that one already finished all the bread that is on the table, then he should bring other bread to the table prior to Birchas Hamazon.[15] Nonetheless, initially, one should leave some of the original bread of the meal.[16]]


[1] See Admur 180:1-4; Michaber 180:3; Kaf Hachaim 180:1-9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 180:1-3; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 37

[2] Admur 180:1; Michaber 180:2; Sanhedrin 92a; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 37:2

[3] Meaning one who eats all the bread on the table and does not leave any leftover bread.

[4] Sefer Zechira, brought in Shemiras Hanefesh ibid

[5] The reason: As the verse [Iyov 20:21] states [regarding a time of curse] “Ein Sarid Leachlo Al Kein Lo Yachil Tuvo,” however regarding blessing the verse [Melachim 2 4:43] states “Achol Vehoser/Eat and there will be leftovers.” [Admur ibid; Rashi Sanhedrin ibid] Alternatively, the reason is for a pauper has what to eat in case of need. [M”B 180:2] Accordingly,  one is to leave a large amount of bread that is fit to be given to a pauper to eat, and not just a few crumbs. [Shaar Hatziyon 180:3] However, today that we are no longer accustomed to have paupers enter our home to eat, there is no need to be stringent in this. [See Az Nidbaru 11:46; Rivivos Efraim 4:46]

[6] Az Nidbaru 11:46; Rivivos Efraim 4:46; See previous footnote

[7] Eitz Hasadeh 19:10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 180 footnote 4

[8] Admur 180:2; Michaber 180:1; Tosafus Sanhedrin 42a; Rosh Brachos 31; Mordechai Brachos Remez 138

[9] The reason: The reason for this is so it be evident that one is blessing Hashem for His great kindness and goodness of granting food for all of his creations. [Admur ibid; Levush 180:1; Kaf Hachaim 180:1] Alternatively, as a blessing cannot take effect on an empty vessel as was seen in Melachim 2 4:2 from Elisha. [M”A 180:1; Chesed Lealafim 180:2; M”B 180:1; Aruch Hashulchan 180:2 based on Zohar Lech Lecha 88 and Yisro p. 86; Kaf Hachaim 180:1 and 4]

[10] See Kaf Hachaim 180:2; Aruch Hashulchan 180:1

[11] See Levush 180 that one should specifically remove the crumbs in order to have a clean table; Kaf Hachaim 180:11; Shulchan Hatahor 180:1 in name of Pesikta

[12] Ben Ish Chaiy Shelach 1:2; Chesed Leavraham 180:1; Kaf Hachaim 180:3 and 11 [regarding crumbs]; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 37:6 footnote 7

[13] Kaf Hachaim 180:11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 180:2

[14] Vezos Habracha Chapter 15

[15] Aruch Hashulchan 180:2

[16] Shulchan Hatahor 180 Zer Zahav 2; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

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