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Eating Before Shacharis

Regarding the prohibition of eating before Shacharis, when does this prohibition start? If one wakes up before Alos HaShachar would one be able to eat or drink.


The prohibition of eating before Shacharis only begins after Alos Ha-Shachar, when it is possible to daven.

According to Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah (5a), one who begins to eat before Alos must stop when Alos is reached, but the Rashba rules that one does not need to stop. The Shulchan Aruch (89:5) rules that one has to stop when Alos arrives, but mentions the lenient opinion. The Mishnah Berurah (29) rules like the stringent opinion.

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  1. חצי שעה קודם עלות השחר כבר אסור לאכול דרך קבע דהיינו יותר מכביצה פת ומזונות ורק אם התחיל קודם יכול להמשיך.

  2. According to the Zohar it is a grave sin to eat any time after chatzos, for one who slept, prior to davening Shacharis.

  3. The Zohar is quoted by Magen Avraham 89:14 and by other poskim, as well.

    See Rav Chaim Vital and Zohar 2/215; Beir Heiytiv 581/12 in name of Zohar and Kisvei Arizal; Chida in Machazik Bracha 581/5; Birkeiy Yosef 89/1 [Shiyurei Bracha] in name of Mekubbalim; Yosef Ometz 17/2; Mishnes Chassidim Chatzos 7; Kaf Hachaim 581/69; 89/28-31]

    1. the mishna brura 89:28 writes that one who is eating to have strength to learn is permitted and in fact this was the custom of rav chaim vital himself as the prohibition was only said for eating for pleasure alone, and the mishna brura adds that the halacha permits eating in general
      the aishel avraham adds that this zohar does not apply to one who is planning to go back to sleep

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