Avoiding Davening After Drinking Intoxicating Beverages

From Halachipedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
  1. One who is not in a state that is fitting to speak before a king is forbidden to daven Shemoneh Esrei[1], recite Birkat Kohanim,[2] or recite the Shema and its accompanying blessings.[3] If one prays in such a condition his prayer is considered an abomination and he must repeat Shemone Esrei and Shema[4] (all 3 paragraphs) once he is sober.[5]
  2. One who is truly unfit to speak before a king must delay davening even if this means that he will miss the time to daven altogether. In such a scenario, he may pray a make up tefilla (tashlumin). [6] Nonetheless, one must not be overly stringent about this considering the fact that, today, our kavana during davening is not so great even when we are not drunk.[7]
  3. If one is concerned the time for Shema will pass before he becomes sober he should recite the Shema (including all three paragraphs). Nonetheless, if he becomes sober before the time for Shema ends he should repeat Shema (all three paragraphs).[8]
  4. Even if one is accustomed to drinking and is therefore not affected by drinking, nonetheless, if one drinks a reviit of wine, or the intoxicating equivalent of another beverage, ideally he should not daven then. When one drinks this minimal amount of wine or its intoxicating equivalent from another beverage, a walk of 1 mil and a tiny bit of sleep will suffice to wear off the alcohol's effect.[9]
  5. Ideally, one should avoid reciting any brachot when one is drunk to the extent that he would be incapable of speaking in front of a king.[10] Strictly speaking however, one make recite all brachot[11] (including Birkat Hamazon)[12] as long as one is not drunk to the level of Lot's drunkeness.[13]
  6. Once one is drunk to the extent that he can no longer speak in front of a king he also cannot be counted for a minyan (although for a zimmun it is possible that this is permitted).[14]
  7. One need not perfrom any test in order to determine if he is sober enough to daven; rather, each individual is trusted to make this determination independently.[15]


  1. S.A 99:1
  2. S.A 38:128. M.B 38:137 explains that Birkat Kohanim is comparable to the service performed in the Mikdash. One who would perform the service in the Mikdash in such a state would be chayav. M.B 128:141 writes that all the rules that apply to davening Shemoneh Esrei when intoxicated apply to Birkat Kohanim as well. There he also cites the Magen Avraham who argues that by intoxicating beverages other than wine one may be lenient and recite Birkat Kohanim (unlike by Shemoneh Esrei when this is forbidden). Nonetheless, the M.B there cites achronim who argue on the Magen Avraham who hold that even regarding other intoxicating beverages the same rules for Shemoneh Esrei also apply to Birkat Kohanim.
  3. Rama 99:1 and M.B. 99:7
  4. M.B. 99:8
  5. S.A 99:1 M.B. 99:5 writes that if he davens Shemona Esrei then it is as if he has worshiped idols. Contrastingly, if he avoids davening then he will be saved from all distress.
  6. S.A. 99:1
  7. M.B. 99:3 quoting the Yam Shel Shlomo
  8. M.B 99:8 quotes the Levush and Likutei Ha'Ramban who are lenient regarding reciting Shema when drunk. Nonetheless, the Gra explains the Yerushalmi as forbidding one from reciting Shema in such a scenario. The M.B. therefore concludes in accordance with what the Magen Avraham states regarding Birkat Hamazon (quoted in M.B. 185:6 as "Achronim") that one must still recite Shema or Birkat Hamazon if he finds himself already drunk, but ideally, one should avoid this situation.
  9. S.A 99:2 M.B. 99:17 quotes the Yam Shel Shlomo that on Yom Tov it is permitted to daven even if one drank a little because it is impossible to wait. The M.B writes that this applies all the more so today when even when we are not drinking are kavana is not so great.
  10. M.B. 99:11 quoting the Gra
  11. Rama 99:1
  12. M.B 99:9
  13. M.B. 99:11 quoting the Mishbitzot Zahav
  14. M.B. 99:10
  15. S.A. 99:3