We are beginning siman 7. The Chayei Adam discusses a case where one joins a group of people, who are eating, for the purpose of their company (i.e., not for the purpose of eating). If, as a nice gesture, they offer him something to drink, he obviously makes a bracha. If they offer him a second drink, if he did not have any explicit daas when he made his first bracha (but rather stam daas), his need to make a new bracha will depend. If it is common for a guest in such a situation to be offered more than one drink, he does not need to make a new bracha, because we can assume the guest’s stam daas was to include subsequent drinks as well. If it is not common, we assume that the guest’s stam daas was only for the one drink in front of him, so he must make a new bracha.
The Mishnah Berurah adds that even in the first case, where it is common to be offered more than one drink, it is proper for a person to have explicit daas at the time of their bracha to cover subsequent drinks.
One ramification of this halacha occurs at a bread meal at which birkas hamazon is recited with a kos. It is appropriate to drink from the liquid of a kos shel bracha after the borei pri hagafen is recited. If one estimates that, by the time the kos shel bracha reaches their part of the table, there will not be enough liquid for them to partake, we assume that the guest did not have daas to include themselves in the borei pri hagafen of whoever lead birkas hamazon. Therefore, if the kos shel bracha does reach them, they must recite their own borei pri hagafen, because they are considered a nimlach.
Regarding the halacha that one should hold an item in their hand when making a bracha, the purpose of holding the item is to show the chashivus of the item when reciting the bracha. Therefore, one should hold the item in their dominant hand, because their dominant hand best demonstrates chashivus. If one is left-handed, they should hold the item in their left hand.
- If one joins a meal not for the purpose of eating and is offered more than one serving of food, if they relied on stam daas, their need to recite subsequent brachos rishonos will depend on common practice. If it is common for a guest to be offered multiple servings, they do not need to recite new brachos rishonos; if it is not common, they do need to recite new brachos rishonos.
- One should hold an item in their dominant hand when making a bracha.