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 Hilchos Tefilla 111 (page 277)
  מסימן קי סעיף ד עד סעיף ז

Tefillas Haderech-The Wayfarer's Prayer
Multiple-Stage Journeys
Precautions On the Road

Tefillas haderech  - the wayfarer's prayer
An intercity traveler should recite a special prayer called tefillas haderech-the wayfarer's prayer. Women are also obligated to recite this prayer. According to many contemporary poskim, a person who for some reason must travel on Shabbos should recite this prayer. According to some contemporary poskim, it is preferable for every traveler to recite the prayer individually. The halacha follows the opinion that that one can fulfill his obligation by hearing it from another traveler. The poskim discuss whether it is permissible for an individual to insert specific requests into the tefilla (e.g. protect me from car accidents), or whether all possibilities are already included in the phrase "and from all disasters."
כיון שהנוסח הקיים כולל את כל סוגי הפגעים שבדרך.
( סעיף ד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 10, 13 ו־15)
Multiple-stage journeys
Tefillas haderech is recited only once a day (i.e. from alos to alos). According to the Mechaber, resting is not considered an interruption of the trip and a new tefilla is not required upon its resumption. (There is some indication that not all Acharonim agree with this.) As in the case with resting, a cab driver who goes who goes home for a midday break does not need to repeat the beracha upon resuming his work. Sleeping overnight at an inn or in a settled area along the way ( sheinas keva) is considered an interruption, and the beracha must be repeated when setting out again, even before alos. Changing the mode of transportation is not considered an interruption.
( סעיף ה וס"ק כה-כו; ביאור הלכה ד"ה צריך וביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 20-22)

Precautions on the road
According to an ancient custom, any time a person leaves his home he should place his hand on the mezuza and say "May Hashem protect me when I leave and when I return, now and always." The Gemara teaches that people travelling to fulfill a mitzva receive special protection from Heaven- shluchei mitzva einan nezokin. Some poskim advise travelers to take coins to give to tzedaka at their destinations in order to turn their trips into mitzva missions. The poskim recommend that travelers take tallis and tefillin with them, even if they expect to return home on the same day. Travelers should not eat until they are full, since travelling with a full belly can be harmful. The Gemara warns about the dangers of traveling at night. Since streets are paved and lit nowadays, it is customary to be lenient.
( ס"ק כ ו־כח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 28-29)

  • Someone in a situation where he cannot daven properly can daven an abridged Shemoneh Esrei known as Havineinu. This special tefilla is comprised of the standard first and last three berachos as well as a middle beracha that contains the essential words of each of the other thirteen berachos.
  • Havineinu cannot be recited during the winter months when v'sein tal umatar must be included, or on motzai Shabbos when atah chonantanu (the paragraph of havdalah recited in Shemoneh Esrei) is added.
  • Nowadays, Havineinu should not be recited in situations where people are too distracted to daven the standard Shemoneh Esrei; since most people today don't have proper kavanah and we are distracted so often, we would end up never davening the full Shemoneh Esrei.

  • When to recite tefillas haderech

  • Tefillas haderech on roads that run alongside cities

  • Tefillas haderech when travelling within the city


PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.