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 Hilchos Tefilla 99 (page 259)
 מתחילת סימן צט עד תחילת סימן ק

Davening Shemoneh Esrei While Intoxicated
Other Tefillos While Intoxicated
Sleeping After Drinking

Davening Shemoneh Esrei while intoxicated
Someone who drank a reviis of undiluted wine in one gulp is prohibited from davening. He is permitted to daven if he drank it in two gulps or added a bit of water. He is prohibited from davening if he drank a large quantity of wine, even if he drank it in many gulps or added water to it; he must wait until his mind clears before he can daven. He is likewise forbidden from davening when intoxicated from other hard drinks (e.g. beer, liquor) until the effect is completely gone. This rule applies to people accustomed to heavy drinking as well. If someone started davening after drinking but was sober enough to speak before a king , he should not interrupt his prayer and he is considered to have fulfilled his obligation. If someone is too drunk to stand before a king, tefilla is forbidden, is considered disgusting, and is not counted as a fulfillment of his obligation. If he davened in that state, he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei once he becomes sober again, as long as the zman tefilla has not yet passed.
( סעיף א וס"ק א, ב ו־ד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 6)
Other tefillos while intoxicated
Both intoxicated people and those who merely drank a reviis are forbidden from reciting kriyas Shema and its berachos but may recite all other berachos. There is an opinion which holds that a drunk should preferably refrain from reciting any beracha. When eating, a person should be careful to recite birchas hamazon before becoming drunk.  He is still permitted to bentch if he becomes drunk, even according to the stringent opinion. (If he was too drunk to speak before a king when he bentched but he becomes sober again within the time that bentching is still permissible, one opinion holds that he should repeat bentching.) Someone who drank an intoxicating beverage and recited Shema should repeat it if he becomes sober again before the zman has passed. Contemporary wines are considered too weak to cause a person to become intoxicated. Someone who drank a small amount of such wine and is concerned that the zman tefilla will soon pass is permitted to daven. If he davens from a siddur, he may pray even if he senses that he is somewhat drunk.
( סעיף א ו־ג וס"ק א ג ז ח ט יא טז יז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 3, 8 ו־11; וראה שם, 9-10)
Sleeping after drinking
If someone drank a reviis of wine or an intoxicating beverage to the extent that he is no longer permitted to daven, hecan walk a mil (an ancient measure of distance between 3,150-3,780 feet) or sleep a little in order to be considered sober enough to daven. If he drank more than a reviis, the walk or the sleep will intensify his drunkenness, and he is forbidden to daven. Only time can remove the effect of the liquor (i.e. a long wait or a long sleep can remove the effect of a large amount of wine). The poskim recommend other methods of counteracting the effects of wine - rubbing the palms of the hands or soles of the feet with a mixture of oil and salt, sniffing tobacco, or eating cabbage or bitter almonds.
( סעיף ב וס"ק יג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 13)

  • A person must clear his mind from all distractions (e.g. anger, pain) and from the pleasures of this world before commencing tefilla. Instead, he should focus on human frailty and on the loftiness of Hashem.
  • A person must focus on the meaning of the words he is saying while davening, and his tefillos should be recited as supplications, in the manner of 'a beggar in the doorway.'
  • It is forbidden to kiss one's children in shul. This is to impress upon them that there is no greater love in the world than the love one has for Hashem. The poskim discuss whether this rule applies to only to small children because they attract great displays of affection or whether it applies to all children, regardless of age.

  • Which tefillos may not be recited by heart?

  • If someone realizes that he did not concentrate during the first beracha of Shemoneh Esrei

  • Reciting Shemoneh Esrei out loud



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.