Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. Three men who have eaten together, are bound to join in the זמון [preparation to say grace after meat]. If a person has eaten of דמאי [that which is subject to the doubt, whether it has paid tithe or not], or of first tithe, from which the heave offering has been taken; or of second tithe or consecrated things which have been redeemed: also, if the waiter [or attendant] has partaken of their meal, a quantity of the size of an olive, 1 [or if] a Samaritan makes up the party, the זמון [preparatory benediction before grace] must be said. But if things untithed have been eaten, or first tithes, of which the heave offering has not been taken, or consecrated things which have not been redeemed; or if the waiter has eaten [any quantity] less than the size of an olive [of that meal], or [if] an idolator [makes up the party] the זמון is not to be said.
§ 2. Women, slaves, and infants cannot be included in the number required for the זמון. Which is [the smallest] quantity [of food that qualifies] for the זמון? The size of an olive. R. Jehudah saith the size of an egg.
§ 3. Which is the form of the זמון? If three [form the party] he [who says grace] says, "Let us bless Him of whose gifts we have eaten." If three [form the party] besides himself, he says, "Bless ye Him," &c. If ten [form the party] he says, "Let us bless our God," &c. if ten, exclusive of himself, he says, "Bless ye our God," &c. Whether there be ten or ten myriads 2 the form of
[paragraph continues] זמון remains the same. If there are exactly one hundred, he says, "Let us bless the Lord our God," &c. if there are one hundred exclusive of himself, he says, "Bless ye the Lord our God," &c. If there are one thousand, he says, "Let us bless the Lord our God, the God of Israel." If there are a thousand exclusive of himself, he says, "Bless ye the Lord our God, the God of Israel," &c. If there are a myriad, he says, "Let us bless the Lord our God, the God of Israel, the God of hosts, who is enthroned amidst the cherubim," &c. If there are a myriad exclusive of himself, he says, "Bless ye," &c. &c. And in the same manner as he pronounces the preparatory invocation, those who sit at the table make the responses. [Thus, for instance] they say, "Blessed be the Lord our God, the God of Israel, the God of hosts, who is enthroned amidst the cherubim, for the food we have eaten." R. José, the Galilean, saith the [form of] invocation ought to be arranged according to the number of persons assembled; for it is said, Bless ye God in the congregations, the Lord, ye who spring from the fountain of Israel." 3 R. Akivah saith, "How do we find it at the synagogue? whether there be many or few [assembled] the minister says, 'Bless ye the Lord.'" R. Ishmael saith, "Bless ye the Lord, who is ever blessed."
§ 4. When three men have eaten together, they are not at liberty to separate [without joining in the זמון]; neither may four or five, but six may [divide into two parties], and so may any number up to ten. But ten may not separate [without joining in the זמון], nor may any number less than twenty, [who can again form two parties].
§ 5. If two separate parties have dined in the same house, should some of each party be able to see some of the other company, they may join in the זמון: but if they cannot so see each other, each party says the זמון by itself. The blessing on the wine should not be said until it has been mixed with water. Such is the dictum of R. Eleazar; but the sages say the blessing may be said [without its being mixed].
9:1 So that the waiter, or the Samaritan, can be included in the party of three, that being the smallest number permitted to say the זמון.
9:2 Such is the opinion of R. Akiva [an expression omitted in the text].
10:3 Psalm lxviii. 26.