|Tractate Berachot, Chapter 6
The Beracha (blessing) of Zimun is from the Torah (i.e. a Torah obligation)2 as it is said, “And you should eat, and be satisfied, and bless…” (Devarim 8:10), this is [a reference to] the Beracha of Zimun.3 “… Hashem, your God …” (Devarim 8:10), this is [a reference to] the first Beracha [of Birkat Hamazon (Grace After meals)]. “… for the land …” (Devarim 8:10), this is [a reference to] the Beracha about the land (i.e. the second Beracha) [of Birkat Hamazon]. “… the good …” (Devarim 8:10), this is [a reference to the Beracha about] Yerushalayim (i.e. the third Beracha) [of Birkat Hamazon] as it is said “… this good mountain and Levanon.” (Devarim 3:25).4 “… which He has given you.” (Devarim 8:10), this is [a reference to the Beracha of] Hatov Vehameitiv (i.e. the forth Beracha) [of Birkat Hamazon].5
מסכת ברכות פרק ו
ברכת הזימון מן התורה שנאמר (דברים ח:י) ואכלת ושבעת וברכת זו ברכת הזימון. (דברים ח:י) את ה’ אלהיך זו ברכה ראשנה. (דברים ח:י) על הארץ זו ברכת הארץ. (דברים ח:י) הטבה זו ירושלים שנאמר (דברים ג:כה) ההר הטוב הזה והלבנן. (דברים ח:י) אשר נתן לך זו הטוב והמטיב.
- The Tosefta already discussed the Beracha of Zimun back in chapter 5 in Toseftot 7,11,19,20, and 21. This Tosefta is definitely placed out of order, since it is referring to the Beracha of Zimun which was introduced in Mishna 7:1. For the description of the Beracha of Zimun see Mishna Berachot 7:1 and 7:3. For the description of Birkat Hamazon see above chapter 4, Tosefta 6, note 6.
- The Tosefta clearly argues on Talmud Bavli (Berachot 45a) which implies that the Beracha of Zimun is a Rabbinical obligation which relied on derivations from verses in Tehillim and in the Torah. In fact when the Talmud Bavli (Berachot 48b) quotes a Beraita which appears to be similar to this Tosefta which instead of the word “הזימון” has the word “המזון” which is a clear reference to Birkat Hamazon itself and not to Zimun. However in all Tosefta manuscripts the reading is הזימון as I have quoted above. The Beraita that the Talmud Bavli quotes is not our Tosefta, but rather a Mechilta Derabbi Yishmael (Parshat Bo 102 [Masechta Pischa, Parsha 16]).
- From this derivation of the Tosefta it is implied that Zimun needs to be said even when a person ate alone, and not in a group of 3 people, since the verse is not talking about a group of people. However, that is impossible since by definition Zimun is a Beracha that requires a responsive dialog between a leader and at least 2 other people, as described as can be inferred from the text of Zimun, since a leader refers to his colleagues in plural form, “Nevarech” (Let us bless) or “Barchu” (You, in plural, should bless), as mentioned by the Mishna (Berachot 7:3). There is no indication in any other Tosefta that Zimun should be said by an individual without a group. All Toseftot that discussed Zimun earlier in chapter 5 imply that it is said in a group, as the Mishna says, especially Tosefta 5:19.
- This verse in no way implies that “this good mountain” refers to Yerushalayim. It is said as a part of Moshe’s final speech to the Jews in which he recalls how he pleaded with God to allow him to enter the Land of Israel after God forbade him to do so due to the incident of hitting the rock (see Bemidbar 20:1-13). When Moshe originally pleaded with God (see Bemidbar 27:12-22) the Torah explicitly says (Bemidbar 27:12) that it took place on the mountain Avarim, and there it refers to it as “this mountain”, which is a clear reference to Moshe’s repetition of that event (in Devarim 3:25). There is some dispute to where mountain Avarim is located (see the Living Torah, by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Moznaim, 1981, Numbers 27:12, note Avarim Mountain, p.810-811) but the opinions are that it either is in front of the city of Yericho (Jericho) or about 8 miles from there, neither of which is anywhere near Yerushalayim. What Moshe seems to be saying in the verse quoted by this Tosefta is that he would like to cross the Yarden into the Land of Israel and look back on to this mountain, meaning mountain Avarim, from Israel, instead of looking on Israel from mountain Avarim, which is what God told him to do. The Tosefta seems to take this verse somewhat out of context to arrive at the conclusion that it is referring to Yerushalayim.
- Talmud Bavli (Berachot 48b) says that the 4th Beracha of Birkat Hamazon was enacted by the Rabbis in Yavne to commemorate the destruction of the city of Beitar by the Romans. For more details about this event see above chapter 4, Tosefta 6, note 6. This Tosefta implies that all Berachot of Birkat Hamazon are Torah obligations, which is very strange since all Berachot were essentially enacted by the Rabbis. See Talmud Bavli (Berachot 33a), which says that various Berachot were established by Anshei Knesset Hagedolah (The Men of the Great Assembly) sometime during the early days of 2nd Bet Hamikdash. All the Torah required a person to say is some generic version of a Beracha that a person could make up, but it did not prescribe a specific text. Talmud Bavli (Berachot 48b) says that the first 3 Berachot of Birkat Hamazon were enacted by the early prophets, but in no ways it implies that somehow God commanded them in the Torah itself.