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Eating before davening when halachically prevented from davening


A person missed Shacharis deliberately (too lazy, etc.). Now it is after chatzos, but before mincha gedola. He did not daven Mincha yet, but he put on tefillin and said the morning brachos. Is it permissible for this person to eat? (One may not eat prior to davening Shacharis, but in this case it is no longer possible for him to do so).


The reason we are not allowed to eat before davening is learned from the verse “Lo tochlu al hadam”, that we may not eat before we pray for our blood (meaning praying for our life and well being), and also not to care for our own “needs” before the “needs” of the king. This is an idea that has to do with teffiloh in general and not necessarily with shacharis. Therefore he may not eat anything before davening mincha. He may however drink coffee with milk and sugar.

Saying brachos doesn’t help here, because saying brachos helps only for women that are doing like the poskim that say that they only have to say a “prayer” each day, and therefore for that saying brachos is considered a prayer. However for men who have the obligation to daven shacharis, brachos is not enough.

In the event that one is weak and will not be able to concentrate on the davening unless he eats a little bit, then he is permitted to eat a little bit to help his need.


O:CH 89-3, 106, M”B ibid -4, Aruch Hashulchan 89-23,

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