1. At the very beginning of the daf, we "digressed" somewhat into a discussion about proper procedures on Shabat (when one person is mevoreich). Is it proper for the mevoreich to slice only one slice from the chalah and eat it immediately, before slicing anything for family, guests, etc.? Doesn't this makes him appear "uncouth", that is, as if he couldn't wait to eat. On the other hand, he shouldn't delay too much from the beracha to the eating. Someone said that it is their practice to cut enough slices for all at the table as quickly as possible, and then before distributing the bread, eat his slice first. Is there a "proper procedure" for slicing the bread, and if so, what is it?
2. The Amen Chatufa. (3a on your Q&A sheets). We at first wanted to say that it means to be sure to
accent the right sylable.. that is "oh-MEIN" but after a careful re-reading of Rashi, some argued that Rashi is just wanting to exclude "ah-MEIN" (sounding like a chataf patach), but not "oh-MEIN" (with a "real" kometz). They maintained that the stress should be on the first sylable, that is, "OH-mein" (what you often hear on Yom Tov). However, according to Hebrew dikduk, wouldn't that improperly put the accent on the wrong sylable. How is the Amen Chatufa pronounced?
3. The question about the Amen Chatufa led to a short discussion of saying the word "birshus" before the HaMotzee. Some say it, (and they also say it when only his wife is present. He says that the "birshus" is for her - that he, being motzee her through his beracha, is requesting her "permission" for that act). Some only say "birshus" before bentching, saying that "permission" (and certainly not "sav'ree" - attention) isn't needed for HaMotzee. What would the correct procedure be?
1) Good question. There are various different customs how to conduct oneself when reciting ha'Motzi and distributing the Challah at the Shabbos meal. While the major Halachic concern is that the listeners not eat their pieces of Challah before the Mevarech eats his, there is also the consideration of Derech Eretz, as you wrote, that it seems a little discourteous for the Mevarech to be enjoying the delicious Challah while the family and guests have to wait five minutes for him to cut another fourteen slices for them. On the other hand, there is also the Halachic problem of delaying too long between the blessing and eating.
The practice of cutting all the slices and then eating his own first before distributing to the listeners is very common. This is what Rabbi Kornfeld does, and it is what I do as well. Some have the practice to cut and eat their own piece first, and then to cut and distribute to everyone else (especially when there are a lot of people at the table). They rely on the fact that since the Halachah requires that the Mevarech eat first, and that he not have a long delay between the blessing and eating, it is not discourteous to eat first.
2) We learned similar to your second explanation, that Rashi's intention is to exclude pronouncing Amen with a weakened Alef, almost as if one does not hear it ("a-MEIN" andnot oh-MEIN").
3) Look at the Shibolei ha'Leket, cited in the Beis Yosef OC 167 DH Kasuv, who says that when saying the blessing "ha'Motzi" one must ask permission from the listeners (as an act of humility -Mishnah Berurah 167:75). This Halachah is cited by the Rema (OC 167:14). The Shibolei ha'Leket points out that for Kiddush, Birkas ha'Mazon, and Havdalah, which are all obligatory, one does not need to say "b'Reshus." Rather, one should say, "Savri" -- "pay attention."
All the best,