Eating Before Shacharis if it helps to daven

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    square root of 2

    If eating before shachris will enhance the tefillah, but isn’t necessary, for example, a chazan who wants to drink a honey and egg yoke drink to sweeten his voice, is it permissible?


    ask your LOR

    Coffee -or most other drink for that matter-is permissable cause it will give you caffeine & keep you awake BUT also allowed cause it IS NOT FOOD


    square root of 2: It’s B’feirush in Shulchan Aruch (maybe it’s a Mishnah Berurah) that if it’s to help one concentrate on Tefillah (because he would be hungry), it’s Muttar. I’m no Rav, but I would assume the Chazzan case is the same. Ayein Sham, Orach Chaim Siman 90 or so.

    MA: You are completely wrong. Coffee is Muttar (according to most, not all) because it’s normal to drink coffee as part of a waking-up routine and it isn’t considered rude to HKBH to do before Davening. Other (non-water) drinks are not permitted before Davening. In fact, the Mishnah Berurah thinks it’s Assur to even put milk in pre-Davening coffee, though most Poskim nowadays think it’s okay because so few people take their coffee black.


    The only issue a chazzan may want to consider is not having that option on Yom Kippur.

    If one doesn’t practice singing/projecting without the honey/egg lubricant, it may be twice as difficult (due to the fast itself) to get through the day.


    “Coffee is Muttar (according to most, not all) “

    Not according to Chazal. 😉

    YW Moderator-42

    This is not as pashut as many think. It is only if there is no other choice. I heard of a certain gadol who used to Daven shachris b’yichidus, eat breakfast and then join the Minyan for kedusha in order not to eat before davening.

    Some Chasidim will l’chatchila eat before davening.


    I have also heard of “early to bed early to rise”, going to Hashkomo @6.40, and being home by 8.30 for Kiddush & Seudo Shenis, thus circumventing starvation issues and circumventing eating prior to praying issues.


    Coffee, tea, water – practically speaking, one may be lenient, especially if he feels it necessary to do so.

    Orange juice – Rav Belsky was lenient.

    Personally, I do not eat or drink anything besides water prior to reciting the blessings on the Torah, the morning blessings, as well as Shema.


    I’ve seen some people eat cookies or cake Shabbos morning before Shachris.


    Joseph: Possible explanations…

    Maybe they take morning vitamins and would literally puke if they didn’t eat anything*.

    *True story. I now know that I must take my vitamins with food. Or else.

    Eating may also be applicable for anyone taking meds.

    The person may also be diabetic and someone at shul always B”H leaves out some special diabetic cookies and cakes. You just don’t know about it.

    Maybe Shabbos Shachris davening is longer and/or they won’t have time to eat if they wait.

    Maybe they had a little too much wine erev Shabbos and they need to eat something just to make it through the morning.

    Cake and cookies are full of sugar. Sugar can be addicting. Maybe it’s too tempting to walk by without sneaking a bite.

    Some people need to eat something in the morning. Esp of they walked a distance to shul. Perhaps they basically just worked out and their body needs sustenance. It’s not the same as waking up and five minutes later walking across the street to shul, where a man davens within half an hour of waking.

    Furthermore, the pedestrian commute to shul doesn’t account for the additional time it takes to look presentable on Shabbos and maybe round up the mishpacha or part with a spouse before heading off.

    It could have been hours since they first got up in the morning.

    That’s a different situation and nisayon compared to the person strolling in to daven ten minutes after waking up who may not even be hungry yet.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    The Shulchan Aruch (89/4) says that if you won’t be able to have kavana unless you eat or drink, you are allowed to do so. The Mishna Brura (26) says that the Shulchan Aruch specifically says “allowed” as opposed to “required” since nowadays most people don’t have so much kavana in any case. Therefore, you are not required to eat or drink in this case, but you are allowed to.

    If it’s Shabbos morning before davening, there are different opinions regarding whether or not you have to make kiddush first. The halacha is also different for a lady who is not makpid to daven every day (I think that everyone would say that she needs kiddush, at least if she already fulfilled her her “shevach, bakasha, hodaah” obligation.)

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    Personally, my issue is not kavana; it’s that I won’t be able to say the words without eating and drinking first, so I think I am obligated to eat and drink before davening.

    Sechel HaYashar

    The baal Shu”t Tzemach Tzedek, a famous Chassidishe Rebbe (d. 1866) paskened “It’s better to eat in order to daven, than daven in order to eat.” The explanation should be self evident.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    Sechel HaYashar – I have heard that quote before, but I didn’t know the source, or even if there is a source. Thank you for sharing.


    At this time of year, sunrise is so late that I can eat well before.


    Just wanted to make sure attention is given to something LilmodU already said- the Halacha here is different for a man and for a lady (especially if she’s not as makpid as a man to daven Shachris every morning). This is one case where a lady shouldn’t just do whatever her husband or father does. Everyone should clarify with their LOR, but thanks, LU, for pointing that out.

    (As for what bluhbluh mentioned about Yom Kippur, I still don’t get how the shliach tzibbur gets through davening on Yom Kippur. Always seems a little supernatural to me. I know I could never…)


    golfer: It’s not supernatural. A shliach tzibbur paces himself and knows what his limitations are. In the 1990’s I used to walk 1.5 miles to be a shliach tzibbur for shacharis and mincha for a small shul and then walked back the 1.5 miles to daven neilah with my family.

    It was much harder for the Kohen Gadol to the entire avodah by himself then to daven fo the amud.


    Do you have to wait until actual dawn/sunrise to daven shacharis?


    lb: There is no simple answer to that question. I suggest you read Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld’s article on Aish dot com.

    “Earliest Time for Morning Prayers (Shacharit)”

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