- Question: Why are those listening to the bracha seem to be more lenient in terms of if they spoke before eating then one who actually said the blessing?
A. The Rema (Orach Chaim 167:6) says that when one speaks unneeded words before they take a bite they have to make a new blessing, is only if they spoke before the one who said the blessing for them took a bite, but if they spoke after he took a bite it is not considered a separation between the blessing and them eating even though they didn’t eat yet, but they all fulfilled their obligation with the blesser eating his piece. Not everyone needs to eat from the bread he said the blessing they just do that to show a love for the mitzvah.
B. The Magen Avrohom and Taz both ask how it is possible that the listeners are better than the blesser, for by the blesser we say that if he talks before he takes a bite he has to say a new blessing because he made a separation between the blessing and eating. But by the listeners even if they make a separation between the blessing and eating they don’t need to make another blessing?
C. The commentaries’ question is based on the assumption that the concept of “listening is like answering” means that it is as if the listener said the blessing.
D. The Rema seems to hold that the explanation of “listening is like answering” is that really only the blesser is blessing but the blessing counts for those listening as well by just listening.
Answer:Once the blesser eats the blessing is put into play for everyone and really nothing more has to be done for everyone to eat so the ones listening can’t ruin it but as long as the blesser didn’t eat yet then the blessing doesn’t work so if he says something in between the blessing doesn’t connect to the food for anyone. (Whereas if you would say that it is as if each person makes the blessing then the blessing actually wouldn’t go into play and work until everyone ate without interruption.)