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Davening Before the Trip

Davening Before the Trip

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1. If one must leave on a trip before it gets light — even though it will be difficult for him to put on his tefilin while traveling — he must wait for the proper time before donning his tefilin. If, however, he is traveling by foot, he may don the tefilin earlier without a berachah and when it gets light enough, he should handle his tefilin, make sure it is in the right position and say the berachah1.

2. From daybreak onward, one may not leave on a trip without first davening2.

This applies even if he will be able to daven with a minyan at his destination3.

However, if he will be traveling with a group who will not wait for him, he may travel prior to davening4.

The same dispensation applies to one who needs to take a certain flight, bus, etc.5

Some opinions allow traveling before davening under all circumstances, provided one says the berachos until “Baruch she’amar6.”

3. If the purpose of the trip is a mitzvah, then one may leave before davening even if it is after sunrise7.

4. Even though ideally one should not start davening until sunrise, if he needs to travel earlier he may daven anytime after daybreak. However, he should not say a berachah on the tefilin until it is light enough to recognize a friend who he does not meet that often 8  within a distance of 4 amos9.

5. One who will be leaving on a journey before davening should at least say the morning berachos so as to say the berachahhameichin mitzadei gaver” (“Who sets the footsteps of man”) before his departure10.

6. When leaving on a trip in the afternoon after the time for davening Minchah has arrived, one should not set out without saying the Minchah prayer. The same applies for trips being taken at night after the time for Ma’ariv has arrived11.

7. In an emergency it is permitted to read from the Torah and to say the berachos for an aliyah even before daybreak12.

Footnotes
1.
שו"ע הרב או"ח סי' ל סעיף ג, ערוך השלחן שם סעיף ה
2.
שו"ע או”ח סימן פ"ט סעיף ג'
3.
משנה ברורה סימן פ"ט ס"ק כ'
4.
שו"ע הרב או"ח סימן פ"ט סעיף ד'
5.
כך נראה לענ"ד דלמה גרע משיירא
6.
רמ"א שו"ע או"ח סימן פ"ט סעיף ג'
7.
עורך השלחן או"ח סימן פ"ט סעיף כ"ב
8.
which requires a greater amount of light
9.
משנה ברורה סימן פ"ט ס"ק א'
10.
אהלך באמיתך פרק ד אות ל"א
11.
כף החיים סימן פ"ט ס"ק כ"ז, משנה ברורה שם ס"ק י"ט
12.
תמימי דרך דף י"ב ע"א
Rabbi Eliezer Wenger taught at the Beth Rivkah High School in Montreal, Canada, was rabbi at Congregation Oneg Shabbos in Montreal and the author of over a dozen works on Jewish law.
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