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Birkat Kohanim on Medication

Question:

I am a Kohen who made Aliyah. I am in a wheelchair most of the time (I can use crutches for short distances) with a non-union hip fracture (doesn’t heal) and a bone disease that causes much pain. I am prescribed heavy opiods for my excruciating daily pain. I have two choices in shul. Go and duchan without pain medication which means I have to stand and have no kavana due to the pain or take medication and not ducan (due to the prohibition of being intoxicated.) In Chu”l it was much easier as it was a few times a year. Here it is every day and twice on Shabbat. My question is this… do I forgo duchaning and leave the shul which will be embarrasing to me (as everyone knows I am a Kohen,) duchan in pain with no kavanah or take my medication and possibly be over on a diorayta? Thank you!

 

Answer:

Hashem should send you a refuah shleima and yishuv hadaas.

Regarding your question. I am not aware that taking medication will cause that a person is considered intoxicated. This is something that unfortunately comes up often, people who are sick and need strong painkillers, they are allowed to daven, even though they take them and it hampers their capability to concentrate. In fact, even of a kohen drank whiskey, he is allowed to duchan if he is still sober enough to talk to a king, being that he didn’t drink wine. In your situation, it doesn’t seem to be worse than that.

Sources:

O:CH 128-38, M:B 128-141, Poskim.

 

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