The rishonim discuss whether it is appropriate for the head of the household to choose to honor a distinguished guest with the breaking of the bread. According to Tosafot, when the head of the household is a part of the meal, he should break bread; when he is not, the most prominent among them recites both hamotzi and birkat hamazon. The Magen Avraham (167:32), however, recommends that the head of household honor the prominent guests. The view of the rishonim who held otherwise is, as pointed out by the Resp. Divrei R’nanah (#4), understandable in light of the reason for the household head normally breaking the bread, i.e., that the bread will be generously distributed by someone who is at ease doing so. (See also the innovative approach of Resp. Rabaz, I, 39).
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