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Davening Late in Medical Condition

I am a disabled man with some broken bones that will not heal. I cannot undergo surgery as I nearly died last time from an infection. I am in a lot of pain and sometimes have to take narcotic painkillers to manage my discomfort. Either way, I sleep very poorly due to the pain and/or medication. I have two choices when it comes to Shachris… daven in the zman but be so sleepy I don’t even know or remember what I’m saying or davening well after the zman has passed. I know if one intentionally misses the zman he cannot make it up, so what should I do?


Under the circumstances, this is not considered missing the time of davening “intentionally,” since if you miss the time for davening it is due to your condition and not out of intent.

However, if you miss the time for Keriyas Shema, there will be no way of making this up.

Therefore, you should make sure that you wake up in time for Keriyas Shema, and must recite at least the first verse and preferably the first paragraph.

Beyond this, it is of course best to daven on time, and you should make every effort to do so. But if your davening on time lacks intention and meaning, and this is due to physical circumstances that there is no way of avoiding, then it is permitted (and preferable) to daven later, when you have your full wits and facilities about you.

Best wishes.

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  1. “then it is permitted (and preferable) to daven later”

    Clarification please. Later as in reciting the Amidah when I can or later meaning make it up at minchah?

    Thank you.

  2. It is [rabbinically] required to say all 3 paragraphs of Shema before the zman, even if from the Torah one is only required to say the first verse, or the first parsha, or the first two parshas [there are different opinions].

    Nowadays we anyway don’t daven with kavana, so I don’t see how it is permissible to intentionally miss the zman tefilla. Even if one will be sleepy etc. during davening, the mitzvah is fulfilled as long as he has kavana in the first bracha of S”E (even part of it) or in Modim. The other parts of davening [Pesukei D’zimra or even the blessings of Krias Shema] can and should be said even if one is sleepy and saying them without the right concentration.

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