SECTION 89 Laws Relating to Prayer and its Appropriate Time. (1-9)

סימן פט הִלְכוֹת תְּפִלָּה וּזְמַנָּהּ וּבוֹ ט' סְעִיפִים:

1 The Men of the Great Assembly1 ordained that one should pray three prayer services2 comprising eighteen blessings every day,3 as the Patriarchs prayed.4 They established two of these services — the Morning and Afternoon services — as obligatory, corresponding to the two mandatory daily offerings.5 The Evening Service they established as voluntary, corresponding to the limbs and fat of the sacrifices that could be offered throughout the night if they were not consumed [by the fire on the altar] during the day. In the present era, however, the entire Jewish people have long since accepted [the Evening Service] as an obligation,6 as will be explained in the appropriate place.7

When the heretics proliferated among the Jewish people and caused them great distress and incited the populace to deny the Oral Law,8 Rabban Gamliel and his court9 arose and added “the blessing concerning the heretics”10 to every prayer of eighteen blessings.

The times for the prayers correspond to the times for the regular [daily] offerings.11 The time for the early morning offering begins at dawn (amud hashachar), which is when the light from the sun first begins to glimmer in the east. This precedes sunrise (netz hachamah) by the time it takes to walk four mils.12 Nevertheless, [the kohanim on duty] would wait [and not offer the sacrifice] until the entire eastern horizon was lit up as far as Hebron,13 because it once happened that the light of the moon rose and they mistook it for the light that begins to glimmer in the east at dawn.14

The time [for this offering] extends until the fourth hour after dawn,15 i.e., throughout a third of the day, for any time after this is not called “morning.”

The time for the Morning Prayer therefore also begins at dawn. Nevertheless, as an initial preference, it is a mitzvah to begin with the rising of the sun, i.e., after its appearance and not beforehand, as it is written,16 “They shall fear you with the sun.”17

One ought to be careful about this during the days of Selichos when it is common for people to pray — mistakenly — before sunrise.18 After the fact, however, if one transgressed and recited Shemoneh Esreh after dawn, he has fulfilled his obligation. Indeed, in a pressing situation, one may do so as an initial preference, as will be explained.19

The time [for the recitation of Shemoneh Esreh] extends until the end of the first third of the day;20 i.e., it must be completed before a third of the day has passed. [This applies] whether the day is long or short. For example, if the day is 18 hours from dawn to the appearance of the stars,21 a third of the day [ends at] six hours after dawn. If it is nine hours, the third is three hours. Accordingly, in the winter, one should take care to rise early so that he can recite Shemoneh Esreh before [the passage of] a third of the day. [This applies] even when one has already recited the Shema at its appointed time before reciting Shemoneh Esreh, as explained in sec. 46[:9].

If one erred or transgressed and did not recite Shemoneh Esreh until after the first third of the day had passed, [if he then prayed] before noon he has fulfilled the obligation for prayer,22 but he has not fulfilled the obligation for prayer at the appropriate time. Nevertheless, he is not required to recite She­moneh Esreh twice in the Afternoon Service,23 for even if he were to recite a compensatory She­moneh Esreh in the Afternoon Service, he would not be rewarded for praying at the appropriate time.

א אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה1 תִּקְּנוּ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּכָל יוֹם ג' תְּפִלּוֹת2 שֶׁל י"ח בְּרָכוֹתא,3 שֶׁהִתְפַּלְלוּ הָאָבוֹת,ב,4 וְקָבְעוּ שְׁתַּיִם מֵהֶן חוֹבָה, שֶׁהֵן שַׁחֲרִית וּמִנְחָה, כְּנֶגֶד ב' תְּמִידִין שֶׁהֵן חוֹבָה בְּכָל יוֹם,ג,5 וְשֶׁל עַרְבִית תִּקְּנוּ רְשׁוּת, כְּנֶגֶד אֵיבָרִים וּפְדָרִים שֶׁאִם לֹא נִתְעַכְּלוּ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם הֵם קְרֵבִים וְהוֹלְכִים כָּל הַלַּיְלָה,ד אֲבָל עַכְשָׁו כְּבָר קִבְּלוּהוּ כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲלֵיהֶם לְחוֹבָה,6 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמָהּ.ה,7

וּכְשֶׁרַבּוּ הָאֶפִּיקוֹרְסִין בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, וְהָיוּ מְצֵירִין לָהֶם מְאֹד, וּמְסִיתִין אֶת הָעָם לִכְפֹּר בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּהו,8 – עָמַד רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל וּבֵית דִּינוֹ9 וְהוֹסִיפוּ "בִּרְכַּת הַמִּינִים"10 בְּכָל תְּפִלַּת י"ח.ז

וּזְמַן הַתְּפִלּוֹת הוּא כִּזְמַן הַתְּמִידִין,ח,11 שֶׁתָּמִיד שֶׁל שַׁחַר זְמַנּוֹ מַתְחִיל מִשֶּׁעָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר, שֶׁהוּא אוֹר הַנּוֹצֵץ מֵהַחַמָּה בַּמִּזְרָח, מַהֲלַךְ ד' מִילִין12 קֹדֶם נֵץ הַחַמָּה.ט אֶלָּא שֶׁהָיוּ מַמְתִּינִים עַד שֶׁהֵאִיר כָּל פְּנֵי הַמִּזְרָח עַד שֶׁבְּחֶבְרוֹן,13 לְפִי שֶׁפַּעַם אַחַת בָּאוּ לִידֵי טָעוּת עַל יְדֵי שֶׁעָלָה מְאוֹר הַלְּבָנָה וְדִמּוּ שֶׁהוּא אוֹר הַנּוֹצֵץ בַּמִּזְרָח בַּשַּׁחַר.י,14 וְנִמְשַׁךְ זְמַנּוֹ עַד סוֹף שָׁעָה ד'יא מֵעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר,15 שֶׁהוּא שְׁלִישׁ הַיּוֹם,יב שֶׁמִּכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא בֹּקֶר.יג

לְפִיכָךְ, גַּם תְּפִלַּת הַשַּׁחַר זְמַנָּהּ מַתְחִיל מֵעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר.יד אֶלָּא שֶׁלְּכַתְּחִלָּה מִצְוָה לְהַתְחִיל עִם נֵץ הַחַמָּה, דְּהַיְנוּ אַחַר יְצִיאָתָהּטו וְלֹא קֹדֶם לָכֵן, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר"טז,16 "יִירָאוּךָ עִם שָׁמֶשׁ וגו'".17 וְרָאוּי לִזָּהֵר בָּזֶה בִּימֵי הַסְּלִיחוֹת שֶׁרְגִילִין לְהַקְדִּים קֹדֶם נֵץ הַחַמָּה,18 וְאֵינוֹ נָכוֹן.יז אֲבָל בְּדִיעֲבַד אִם עָבַר וְהִתְפַּלֵּל מִשֶּׁעָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר – יָצָא.יח וְאַף לְכַתְּחִלָּה יָכוֹל לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן בִּשְׁעַת הַדְחָק, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר.יט,19

וְנִמְשָׁךְ זְמַנָּהּכ עַד סוֹף שְׁלִישׁ הַיּוֹם,כא,20 שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִגְמֹר הַתְּפִלָּה קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּעֲבֹר שְׁלִישׁ הַיּוֹם,כב בֵּין שֶׁהַיּוֹם אָרֹךְ בֵּין שֶׁהַיּוֹם קָצָר. כְּגוֹן, אִם הַיּוֹם אָרֹךְ י"ח שָׁעוֹת מֵעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר עַד צֵאת הַכּוֹכָבִים21 – שְׁלִישׁ הַיּוֹם הוּא ו' שָׁעוֹת מִשֶּׁעָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר.כג וְאִם הוּא ט' שָׁעוֹת – שְׁלִישִׁיתוֹ הוּא ג' שָׁעוֹת.כד וְלָכֵן צָרִיךְ לִזָּהֵר בַּחֹרֶף לְהַשְׁכִּים לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁיִּגְמְרוּ תְּפִלַּת י"ח קֹדֶם שְׁלִישׁ הַיּוֹם,כה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּבָר קָרְאוּ קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בְּעוֹנָתָהּ קֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן מ"ו.כו

וְאִם טָעָה אוֹ עָבַר וְלֹא הִתְפַּלֵּל עַד אַחַר שְׁלִישׁ הַיּוֹם עַד חֲצוֹתכז – יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבַת תְּפִלָּה,22 אֲבָל לֹא יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבַת תְּפִלָּה בִּזְמַנָּהּ.כח וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּמִנְחָה שְׁתַּיִם,23 לְפִי שֶׁגַּם בְּתַשְׁלוּמִין שֶׁבְּמִנְחָה אֵין לוֹ שְׂכַר תְּפִלָּה בִּזְמַנָּהּ:כט

2 If one transgressed and did not recite She­moneh Esreh before noon, he may recite the morning Shemoneh Esreh until noon even as an initial preference.24 Even if he willfully25 delayed his prayers — in which instance, he cannot compensate for them in the Afternoon Service26 — he may compensate for [the omission] until noon.

[He is granted this leniency until noon] because the time for another prayer service has not yet arrived. Immediately after noon, by contrast, [such a person] may no longer compensate for [the omission of] the morning Shemoneh Esreh, because the time for the afternoon Shemoneh Esreh has arrived. Although one may not recite the afternoon Shemoneh Esreh until half an hour after noon, this is [only] because most people are not able to know the time so precisely, but in truth, the time for these prayers begins directly after noon.27 [License to compensate for an omitted prayer is granted] only when one failed to recite it at the proper time due to an error or to forces beyond his control.

Moreover, even if one [failed to recite the morning Shemoneh Esreh] due to an error or to forces beyond his control, the only means of compensation is to recite the afternoon Shemoneh Esreh twice. He should first recite the afternoon Shemoneh Esreh which is the immediate obligation. After that, since he is involved with prayer, he can give his attention to compensating for the error made in his [earlier] prayers, as will be explained in sec. 108[:1]. He must therefore wait half an hour after noon in order to recite the afternoon Shemoneh Esreh first, and only then should he recite Shemoneh Esreh as compensation for the morning Shemoneh Esreh. If he reversed the order, he has not fulfilled his obligation, as will be explained there.

ב וַאֲפִלּוּ לְכַתְּחִלָּה יָכוֹל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל שַׁחֲרִית עַד חֲצוֹתל אִם עָבַר וְלֹא הִתְפַּלֵּל קֹדֶם לָכֵן, אֲפִלּוּ עָבַר בְּמֵזִיד25 שֶׁאֵין תַּשְׁלוּמִין בְּמִנְחָהלא,26 – יֵשׁ לוֹ תַּשְׁלוּמִין עַד חֲצוֹת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ עֲדַיִן זְמַן תְּפִלָּה אַחֶרֶת. אֲבָל אַחַר חֲצוֹת מִיָּד,לב,27 כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ כְּבָר זְמַן תְּפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה,לג אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל מִנְחָה עַד אַחַר חֲצִי שָׁעָה אַחַר חֲצוֹתלד – זֶהוּ מִשּׁוּם שֶׁרֹב בְּנֵי אָדָם (אֵינָם בְּקִיאִים) לְכַוֵּן הַשָּׁעוֹת כָּל כָּךְ,לה אֲבָל בֶּאֱמֶת זְמַנָּהּ מַתְחִיל מִיָּד אַחַר חֲצוֹת, לְפִיכָךְ אֵין לוֹ תַּשְׁלוּמִין עוֹד לִתְפִלַּת הַשַּׁחַר.לו אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן טָעָה אוֹ נֶאֱנַס וְלֹא הִתְפַּלֵּל אוֹתָהּ בִּזְמַנָּהּ.

וְגַם בְּטָעוּת אוֹ אֹנֶס אֵין לוֹ תַּשְׁלוּמִין אֶלָּא לְהִתְפַּלֵּל מִנְחָה שְׁתַּיִם, כְּלוֹמַר שֶׁמִּתְּחִלָּה יִתְפַּלֵּל מִנְחָה שֶׁהוּא חוֹבַת שָׁעָה, וְאָז כֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא עָסוּק בַּתְּפִלָּה – חוֹזֵר וּמַשְׁלִים מַה שֶּׁטָּעָה בִּתְפִלּוֹתָיו,לז כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ק"ח.לח לְפִיכָךְ, צָרִיךְ לְהַמְתִּין חֲצִי שָׁעָה אַחַר חֲצוֹתלט כְּדֵי לְהִתְפַּלֵּל מִנְחָה תְּחִלָּה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ יַחֲזֹר לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לְשֵׁם תַּשְׁלוּמִין שֶׁל שַׁחֲרִית. וְאִם הָפַךְ – לֹא יָצָא, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר שָׁם:

3 Once the time for prayer arrives, i.e., from dawn onwards, one is forbidden to pay his friend a visit at home28 to greet him with Shalom.29 This [prohibition] is alluded to in the verse,30 “Keep afar from man who [merely] has breath in his nostrils, for by what does he merit esteem?” That is, “For what reason did you accord importance to that person, giving his honor precedence over Mine?”31 Now, the basic expression of honor and service to the Omnipresent is the Shemoneh Esreh prayer. Therefore, even if [after] rising one recited all the Morning Blessings and recited a number of hymns and praises, and even if he accepted the yoke of G‑d’s Sovereignty by reciting the Shema at its appropriate time before prayer, he is forbidden to pay his friend a visit at home to greet him with Shalom, or even to say, “Good morning, sir,” if he is going for the sole purpose of greeting him.32

If, however, one must go out for [another purpose, e.g.,] to attend to a business matter, and, in passing, visits his friend to say, “Good morning, sir,” this is permitted. He should not, however, greet him with Shalom, because this is one of the names of the Holy One, blessed be He,33 and is not reverential to G‑d to honor a mortal34 with His name before honoring Him through the service of prayer. Similarly, it is forbidden [at such a time] to bend one’s knees before [a mortal] even though he does not greet him with Shalom. (For this is an outstanding expression of honor, as when in prayer we bend the knee to the Holy One, blessed be He, and it is forbidden to make such a gesture to a mortal first.)35

The above applies to paying one’s friend a visit at home. If, by contrast, he met [a friend] in the marketplace or the synagogue, he is permitted — according to the letter of the law — to bend the knee and greet him with Shalom. Nevertheless, it has become customary not to greet [a friend] with Shalom even when one meets him in the marketplace, even without bending the knee, and even if he is accustomed to greeting him with Shalom every day. Instead, one should say, “Good morning, sir.” Changing his [usual] expression will make him conscious that he is forbidden to tarry for any other matter at all until he has prayed, as will be explained.36

Some authorities forbid one to kneel [to another mortal] even if he met him in the marketplace and even if he did not greet him with Shalom. Weight should be given to their words. Nevertheless, there is room for leniency if one has already begun to recite the Morning Blessings, since this prohibition is not mentioned in the Talmud, but was arrived at through deduction. If, however, one pays his friend a visit at home, he is forbidden to bend the knee to him (even if he does not greet him with Shalom), until he has recited Shemoneh Esreh.

ג כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ זְמַן תְּפִלָּה,מ דְּהַיְנוּ מִשֶּׁעָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר,מא אָסוּר לְאָדָם לְהַקְדִּים לְפֶתַח חֲבֵרוֹ28 לִתֵּן לוֹ שָׁלוֹם,מב,29 וְרֶמֶז לַדָּבָר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:מג,30 "חִדְלוּ לָכֶם מִן הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר נְשָׁמָה בְאַפּוֹ כִּי בַמֶּה נֶּחְשָׁב הוּא", כְּלוֹמַר בַּמָּה חֲשַׁבְתּוֹ לָזֶה שֶׁהִקְדַּמְתָּ כְּבוֹדוֹ לִכְבוֹדִי,מד,31 וְעִקַּר כְּבוֹדוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם וַעֲבוֹדָתוֹ הִיא תְּפִלַּת י"ח. וּלְפִיכָךְ, אֲפִלּוּ הִשְׁכִּים וּבֵרֵךְ כָּל בִּרְכוֹת הַשַּׁחַר וְאָמַר כַּמָּה שִׁירוֹת וְתִשְׁבָּחוֹת,מה וַאֲפִלּוּ קִבֵּל עָלָיו עֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בְּעוֹנָתָהּ קֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּהמו – אָסוּר לְהַשְׁכִּים לְפֶתַח חֲבֵרוֹ לִתֵּן לוֹ שָׁלוֹם, אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ לוֹמַר לוֹ "צַפְרָא דְּמָרֵיהּ טַב" אִם אֵינוֹ הוֹלֵךְ אֶלָּא לְהַקְבִּיל פָּנָיו.מז,32 אֲבָל אִם הֻצְרַךְ לָלֶכֶת לִרְאוֹת אֵיזֶהוּ עֵסֶק וְאַגַּב זֶה הוֹלֵךְ לְפֶתַח חֲבֵרוֹ לוֹמַר לוֹ "צַפְרָא דְּמָרֵיהּ טַב" – מֻתָּר.מח אֲבָל לֹא יִתֵּן לוֹ שָׁלוֹם, כִּי שְׁמוֹ שֶׁל הקב"ה שָׁלוֹם,מט,33 וְאֵין זֶה כְּבוֹד הַמָּקוֹם לְחַלֵּק כָּבוֹד בִּשְׁמוֹ לְבָשָׂר וָדָם34 קֹדֶם שֶׁחָלַק לוֹ כָּבוֹד בַּעֲבוֹדַת הַתְּפִלָּה.נ וְכֵן אָסוּר לִכְרֹעַ לוֹ עַל בִּרְכָּיונא אֲפִלּוּ בְּלֹא נְתִינַת שָׁלוֹםנב (כִּי זֶהוּ כָּבוֹד גָּדוֹל כְּמוֹ כָּבוֹד שֶׁבַּתְּפִלָּה שֶׁכּוֹרְעִים בָּהּ לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא,נג וְאָסוּר לְהַקְדִּים כֵּן לְבָשָׂר וָדָםנד).35

וְהוּא שֶׁמַּשְׁכִּים לְפִתְחוֹ, אֲבָל אִם מְצָאוֹ בַּשּׁוּק אוֹ בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת – יָכוֹל לִכְרֹעַ לוֹ וְלִתֵּן לוֹ שָׁלוֹםנה מִן הַדִּין. אֲבָל נָהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לִתֵּן שָׁלוֹם קוֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּה, אֲפִלּוּ מְצָאוֹ בַּשּׁוּק, אֲפִלּוּ בְּלֹא כְּרִיעָה,נו וַאֲפִלּוּ הוּא רָגִיל לִתֵּן לוֹ שָׁלוֹם בְּכָל יוֹם,נז אֶלָּא יֹאמַר "צַפְרָא דְּמָרֵיהּ טַב", שֶׁעַל יְדֵי שֶׁמְּשַׁנֶּה בַּלָּשׁוֹן – יִתֵּן לֵב שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר לְהִתְעַכֵּב בִּדְבָרִים אֲחֵרִים כְּלָל עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר.נח,36

וְיֵשׁ אוֹסְרִיןנט לִכְרֹעַ עַל בִּרְכָּיו אֲפִלּוּ מְצָאוֹ בַּשּׁוּק וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּלֹא נְתִינַת שָׁלוֹם כְּלָל. וְיֵשׁ לָחוּשׁ לְדִבְרֵיהֶם.ס וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם יֵשׁ לְהָקֵל בָּזֶה אִם הִתְחִיל כְּבָר לְבָרֵךְ בִּרְכוֹת הַשַּׁחַר,סא הוֹאִיל וְאִסּוּר זֶה לֹא נִזְכַּר בַּתַּלְמוּדסב אֶלָּא הוּא מִסְּבָרָא.סג אֲבָל אִם הוּא מַשְׁכִּים לְפִתְחוֹ – אָסוּר לִכְרֹעַ לוֹ (אֲפִלּוּ בְּלֹא נְתִינַת שָׁלוֹםסד) עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל י"ח:

4 It is forbidden to become involved in one’s [material] needs37 before reciting the Shemoneh Esreh prayer in the morning,38 so that his heart will not be focused on any [other] matter39 before he has prayed. There are those who are customarily lenient in this regard if they have already recited the Morning Blessings that precede Baruch SheAmar. This is incorrect.

Similarly, it is forbidden to set out on a journey in the morning before reciting Shemoneh Esreh,38 unless one is traveling in a caravan that will not wait for him.40

ד אָסוּר לְאָדָם לְהִתְעַסֵּק בִּצְרָכָיוסה,37 קֹדֶם תְּפִלַּת י"ח בַּשַּׁחַר,38 כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִפְנֶה לִבּוֹ לְשׁוּם דָּבָר39 עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל.סו וְיֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לְהָקֵל בָּזֶה לְאַחַר שֶׁאָמְרוּ בִּרְכוֹת הַשַּׁחַר קֹדֶם בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָמַר.סז וְאֵינוֹ נָכוֹן.סח

וְכֵן אָסוּר לָצֵאת לַדֶּרֶךְ בַּבֹּקֶר עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל י"ח,סט,38 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יוֹצֵא בְּשַׁיָרָא וְאֵינָהּ מַמְתֶּנֶת לו:ֹע,40

5 The Sages41 forbade one to eat or drink from dawn onward42 until one has recited Shemoneh Esreh. They found allusive support43 for this prohibition in the verse, “Do not eat over the blood,”44 which can be understood to mean, “Do not eat before you have prayed for the sake of your blood.” With regard to a person who eats and drinks and [only] then prays can be applied the verse,45 “You have cast Me behind your back.” One should not read46 גַוֶּךָ, “your back,” implying “all your bodily needs,” but גֵּאֶיךָ, “your pride.” [It is as if] the Holy One, blessed be He, said: “[Only] after this person ate and drank and acted proudly did he accept the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven!”

It is therefore permissible to drink water before prayer, even though this is one of the body’s needs, since it is not an expression of pride.47 Even on Shabbos and festivals when one must recite Kiddush over a cup of wine before the meal,48 [the obligation to recite] Kiddush does not cause drinking [water] before the Morning Prayers to be forbidden, since the time [for that obligation] has not yet arrived. For Kiddush may be recited only in the place where [one’s] meal will be eaten and immediately before it,49 and one cannot eat anything before [reciting] the Morning Prayers.50

When there is a medical need,51 it is even permitted to partake of any of the kinds of food and drink [which could be seen as expressions of] pride, for [eating or drinking as] medication is not considered an act of pride. By contrast, it is forbidden to eat or drink to satisfy one’s hunger or thirst unless one is unable to concentrate on prayer until he eats or drinks. Even in the present era, when people do not concentrate as well during prayer,52 if one desires to eat and/or drink [before prayer] for the sake of concentration, he is granted license.53

ה אָסְרוּ חֲכָמִים41 לֶאֱכֹל אוֹ לִשְׁתּוֹתעא מִשֶּׁעָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַרעב,42 עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל י"ח. וְסָמְכוּ43 אִסּוּר זֶהעג עַל מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב:עד "לֹא תֹּאכְלוּ עַל הַדָּם",44 כְּלוֹמַר, לֹא תֹּאכְלוּ קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּתְפַּלְלוּ עַל דַּמְכֶם. וְכָל הָאוֹכֵל וְשׁוֹתֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מִתְפַּלֵּל – עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר:עה,45 "וְאוֹתִי הִשְׁלַכְתָּ אַחֲרֵי גַוֶּךָ", אַל תִּקְרָא46 "גַוֶּךָ", שֶׁמַּשְׁמָעוֹ כָּל צָרְכֵי גּוּפְךָ, אֶלָּא "גֵּאֶיךָ" – לְשׁוֹן גַּאֲוָה,עו אָמַר הקב"ה: לְאַחַר שֶׁאָכַל וְשָׁתָה זֶה וְנִתְגָּאָה – קִבֵּל עָלָיו עֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם.עז

לְפִיכָךְ, מֻתָּר לִשְׁתּוֹת מַיִם קֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּהעח אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵם צֹרֶךְ הַגּוּף, הוֹאִיל וְלֹא שַׁיָּךְ בָּהֶם גַּאֲוָה.47 וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת וְיוֹם טוֹב שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְקַדֵּשׁ עַל הַכּוֹס לִפְנֵי הַסְּעוּדָהעט,48 – אֵין הַקִּדּוּשׁ אוֹסְרוֹ מִלִּשְׁתּוֹת קֹדֶם תְּפִלַּת הַשַּׁחַר, כֵּיוָן שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הִגִּיעַ זְמַנּוֹ, שֶׁאֵין קִדּוּשׁ אֶלָּא בִּמְקוֹם סְעוּדָהפ,49 וְסָמוּךְ לָהּ, וַהֲרֵי אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לֶאֱכֹל כְּלוּם קֹדֶם תְּפִלַּת הַשַּׁחַר.פא,50

וַאֲפִלּוּ כָּל מִינֵי אֳכָלִים וְכָל מִינֵי מַשְׁקִין שֶׁשַּׁיָּךְ בָּהֶם גַּאֲוָהפב – מֻתָּר לְאָכְלָם וְלִשְׁתּוֹתָם לְצֹרֶךְ רְפוּאָה,פג,51 שֶׁאֵין בָּרְפוּאָה מִשּׁוּם גַּאֲוָה. אֲבָל לִרְעָבוֹ וְלִצְמָאוֹ – אָסוּר. אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְכַוֵּן דַּעְתּוֹ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ52 עַד שֶׁיֹּאכַל אוֹ שֶׁיִּשְׁתֶּה.פד וַאֲפִלּוּ עַכְשָׁו שֶׁאֵין מְכַוְּנִים כָּל כָּךְ בַּתְּפִלָּה,פה מִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם רוֹצֶה לֶאֱכֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת כְּדֵי לְכַוֵּן – הָרְשׁוּת בְּיָדוֹ:53

6 If one began eating before dawn, he must cease at dawn. Though it is not necessary to cease [eating before] the Afternoon Prayers,54 this [early morning] instance is different: since the Sages found allusive support for the prohibition against eating before prayer in the Scriptural prohibitive commandment, “Do not eat over the blood,”44 one must cease [eating at dawn] even if he began when he was permitted to eat.

Some authorities hold that there is no obligation to cease eating [in readiness] for prayer, even if one began when it was forbidden. The only exception is the recitation of the Shema. [Since] it is a Scriptural commandment,55 one must stop eating if he began to eat when this was forbidden,56 and should recite the Shema without its blessings, for they are of Rabbinic origin.57

The halachah follows the former view. If one has already recited the Grace after Meals and is now drinking, all authorities agree that he must cease.

ו אִם הִתְחִיל לֶאֱכֹל קֹדֶם עֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר – צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק כְּשֶׁעוֹלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר.פו וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבִּתְפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה54 אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק,פז מִכָּל מָקוֹם כָּאן הוֹאִיל וְאִסּוּר הָאֲכִילָה קֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּה הִסְמִיכוּהוּ חֲכָמִים עַל לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁהוּא "לֹא תֹּאכְלוּ עַל הַדָּם"פח,44 – צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק אֲפִלּוּ הִתְחִיל בְּהֶתֵּר. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםפט שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק לִתְפִלָּה אֲפִלּוּ הִתְחִיל בְּאִסּוּר, אֶלָּא לִקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בִּלְבַד שֶׁהִיא מִן הַתּוֹרָהצ,55 צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק אִם הִתְחִיל בְּאִסּוּר,צא,56 וְקוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בְּלֹא בִּרְכוֹתֶיהָ,צב שֶׁבִּרְכוֹתֶיהָ הֵן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים.צג,57 וְהָעִקָּר כִּסְבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה.צד וְאִם בֵּרַךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן וְעוֹסֵק בִּשְׁתִיָּה – צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל:צה

7 It is forbidden even to study [Torah] once the time for prayer arrives58 if one is accustomed to praying in his [accustomed] house of study59 alone and is not accustomed to going to the synagogue, [for] there is cause for concern that one would become engrossed in his studies and [allow] the time for the recitation of the Shema and prayer to pass. If, by contrast, one is accustomed to go to the synagogue [to pray], he is permitted to study at home until the time of communal prayer.

If one is teaching others, he is permitted [to continue doing so] even when he is not accustomed to going to the synagogue [to pray] — because the time is passing, and the merit of the community is a vital consideration.60 If they do not study at this time, they will be left idle and will not be able to study afterwards. One should therefore not end one’s instruction, even if it is extended until the time for the recitation of the Shema and Shemoneh Esreh passes, as will be explained in sec. 106[:4].

ז אֲפִלּוּ לִלְמֹד אָסוּר מִשֶּׁהִגִּיעַ זְמַן הַתְּפִלָּהצו,58 אִם הוּא רָגִיל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּבֵית מִדְרָשׁוֹ59 בְּיָחִידצז וְאֵינוֹ רָגִיל לֵילֵךְ לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, יֵשׁ לָחוּשׁ שֶׁמָּא יִמָּשֵׁךְ בְּלִמּוּדוֹ וְיַעֲבֹר זְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּתְפִלָּה. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁרָגִיל לֵילֵךְ לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת – מֻתָּר לִלְמֹד בְּבֵיתוֹ עַד שְׁעַת תְּפִלַּת הַצִּבּוּר.

וְאִם הוּא מְלַמֵּד לַאֲחֵרִים,צח אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ רָגִיל לֵילֵךְ לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת – מֻתָּר, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַשָּׁעָה עוֹבֶרֶת, שֶׁזְּכוּת הָרַבִּים דָּבָר גָּדוֹל הוּא,60 וְאִם לֹא יִלְמְדוּ עַכְשָׁו יִתְבַּטְּלוּ וְלֹא יוּכְלוּ לִלְמֹד אַחַר כָּךְ. וּלְפִיכָךְ, אֲפִלּוּ אִם נִמְשַׁךְ בְּלִמּוּדוֹ עַד שֶׁזְּמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּתְפִלָּה עוֹבֵר – לֹא יַפְסִיק מִלִּמּוּדוֹ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ק"ו:צט

8 It is permitted to enter a bathhouse or to take a haircut shortly before [the time of] the Morning Prayer. The Sages ordained [that this be forbidden] only before the Afternoon Prayers,61 for most people commonly enter such places by day. In the early morning, by contrast, since this is uncommon, no such [prohibition] was ordained.

Nevertheless, processing hides, and all other similar work that they forbade shortly before [the time of] the Afternoon Prayer,54 is also forbidden shortly before [the time of] the Morning Prayer, for it is common for people to get up for work before dawn.

ח מֻתָּר לִכָּנֵס לַמֶּרְחָץ וּלְהִסְתַּפֵּר סָמוּךְ לְשַׁחֲרִית,ק שֶׁלֹּא גָּזְרוּ אֶלָּא סָמוּךְ לְמִנְחָה61 שֶׁהוּא דָּבָר הַמָּצוּי שֶׁרֹב הָעָם נִכְנָסִין שָׁם בַּיּוֹם, אֲבָל בַּשַּׁחַר דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מָצוּי הוּא וְלֹא גָּזְרוּ בּוֹ.קא אֲבָל לַהֲפֹךְ בְּעוֹרוֹת וְכָל מְלָאכָה כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ שֶׁאָסְרוּ סָמוּךְ לְמִנְחָהקב – אָסוּר גַּם סָמוּךְ לְשַּׁחֲרִית, שֶׁהוּא דָּבָר הַמָּצוּי שֶׁאָדָם מַשְׁכִּים לִמְלַאכְתּוֹ קֹדֶם עֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר:קג

9 In a pressing situation, such as when a person must rise early to set out on a journey62 — whether by foot, by wagon, or by ship, and the caravan will not wait for him to recite Shemoneh Esreh at home after sunrise while standing, as required — he may pray63 after dawn before he sets out. If the light of dawn already enables him to recognize a friend at a distance of four cubits — the [earliest] time for reciting the Shema64 — he should also recite the Shema and its blessings at home, reciting [the blessing] Gaal Yisrael in direct proximity to Shemoneh Esreh.65

If that degree of light has not yet appeared, he should recite only Shemoneh Esreh at home while standing and wait to recite the Shema until its time arrives — provided he will be able to recite it while traveling, as required, i.e., he will [be able to] stand still and concentrate [while reciting] the first verse, as explained in sec. 58[:7. The rationale for the difference is that] he will probably not have the opportunity to stand for Shemoneh Esreh while traveling, for one must stand throughout Shemoneh Esreh (and the members of his caravan will [possibly] not wait for him; alternatively, because of this [anxiety], he will be distracted and unable to concentrate, as stated in sec. 94[:5]). He should therefore recite Shemoneh Esreh while standing before he sets out, even though he will not recite [the blessing] Gaal Yisrael in direct proximity to Shemoneh Esreh66 and even though the optimum time for this prayer, daybreak,67 has not arrived — because notwithstanding [both] these factors, reciting Shemoneh Esreh while standing is an equal and even greater consideration.

Nowadays most people do not make a point of doing this.68 [The rationale is that the importance of] praying while standing supersedes [the obligation to] recite [the blessing] Gaal Yisrael in direct proximity to Shemoneh Esreh only because one who is standing can concentrate well — whereas at present, [regardless,] people do not concentrate so intensely during prayer.52

Nevertheless, if one is traveling and fears that the time for the recitation of the Shema will pass69 and he knows that he will reach an inn before the time for the recitation of Shemoneh Esreh70 passes, he may recite the Shema alone [while traveling] and wait [to recite] its blessings and Shemoneh Esreh until he reaches the inn. He will then be able to recite Shemoneh Esreh while standing and recite [the blessing] Gaal Yisrael immediately [before] it. (In fact, according to the letter of the law, he is not required to wait at all, as will be explained in sec. 94[:5].)

ט בִּשְׁעַת הַדְּחָק, כְּגוֹן שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְהַשְׁכִּים לָצֵאת לַדֶּרֶךְ,קד,62 בֵּין בְּרַגְלָיו בֵּין בַּקָּרוֹן אוֹ בַּסְּפִינָה,קה וְאֵין הַשַּׁיָּרָא מַמְתֶּנֶת לוֹקו עַד אַחַר נֵץ הַחַמָּה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלַּת י"ח כְּמִצְוָתָהּ בְּבֵיתוֹ מְעֻמָּד – יָכוֹל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל63 מִשֶּׁעָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר קֹדֶם צֵאתוֹ.קז וְאִם הֵאִיר כְּבָר הַיּוֹם עַד שֶׁיַּכִּיר אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּרִחוּק ד' אַמּוֹת שֶׁהוּא זְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַעקח,64 – יִקְרָא גַּם קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּבִרְכוֹתֶיהָ בְּבֵיתוֹ,קט וְיִסְמֹךְ גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה.קי,65

וְאִם לֹא הֵאִיר הַיּוֹם כָּל כָּךְ – יִתְפַּלֵּל י"ח לְבַדָּהּ בְּבֵיתוֹ מְעֻמָּד, וְיַמְתִּין מִלִּקְרוֹת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ זְמַנָּהּקיא אִם אֶפְשָׁר לִקְרוֹתָהּ בַּדֶּרֶךְ כְּמִצְוָתָהּ,קיב דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיַּעֲמֹד וִיכַוֵּן בְּפָסוּק רִאשׁוֹן כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"ח.קיג אֲבָל תְּפִלָּה שֶׁהִיא צְרִיכָה עֲמִידָה בְּכֻלָּהּ – מִן הַסְּתָם לֹא יִזְדַּמֵּן לוֹ בַּדֶּרֶךְ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל מְעֻמָּדקיד (שֶׁבְּנֵי הַשַּׁיָּרָא לֹא יַמְתִּינוּ לוֹ, אוֹ שֶׁעַל יְדֵי כָּךְ יִטָּרֵד וְלֹא יוּכַל לְכַוֵּן כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן צ"דקטו). לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל מְעֻמָּד קֹדֶם צֵאתוֹ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ סוֹמֵךְ גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה,66 וְגַם עֲדַיִן לֹא הִגִּיעַ עִקַּר זְמַנָּהּ שֶׁהוּא נֵץ הַחַמָּה,קטז,67 לְפִי שֶׁתְּפִלָּה מְעֻמָּד שְׁקוּלָה כְּנֶגֶד כֻּלָּם וּגְדוֹלָה מֵהֶם.קיז

וְעַכְשָׁו אֵין רֹב הָעוֹלָם נִזְהָרִין בָּזֶה,קיח,68 לְפִי שֶׁתְּפִלָּה מְעֻמָּד אֵינָהּ גְּדוֹלָה מִסְּמִיכַת גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם שֶׁעוֹמֵד יָכוֹל לְכַוֵּן הֵיטֵיב,קיט וְעַכְשָׁו אֵינָן מְכַוְּנִים כָּל כָּךְ בַּתְּפִלָּה.קכ,52

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם הוּא בַּדֶּרֶךְקכא וְיָרֵא שֶׁמָּא יַעֲבֹר זְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַעקכב,69 וְיָדוּעַ לוֹ שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לַמָּלוֹן קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּעֲבֹר זְמַן תְּפִלָּהקכג,70 – יָכוֹל לִקְרוֹת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בִּלְבַדָּהּ, וּלְהַמְתִּין עִם בִּרְכוֹתֶיהָ וְעִם הַתְּפִלָּהקכד עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לַמָּלוֹן, כְּדֵי לְהִתְפַּלֵּל מְעֻמָּד וְלִסְמֹךְ גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה (אֲבָל מִן הַדִּין אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַמְתִּין כְּלָל, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן צ"דקכה):