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Eruvin 64


Rabah bar Rav Huna states that a "Shasuy" (someone who is slightly intoxicated) may not Daven, but if he Davens then b'Di'eved his Tefilah is valid. A "Shikor" (someone who is significantly intoxicated), though, may not Daven, and if he Davens b'Di'eved his Tefilah is not only not valid, but it is considered an abomination.

"Shasuy" means one who drank a Revi'is of wine (TUR OC 99) or of a similarly intoxicating substance (MB 99:1), but is still sober enough to speak in front of a king. "Shikor" is one who is unable to speak coherently in front of a king.

What are the Halachic guidelines of Davening, or reciting other Berachos, while intoxicated?

(a) TEFILAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 99:1) rules, in accordance with our Gemara, that a Shasuy or Shikor may not Daven until the effects of the wine subside. If he Davened anyway, a Shasuy need not Daven again but a Shikor (that is, one who was not able to speak clearly in front of a king at the time) must Daven again when he sobers up. The Shulchan Aruch adds (99:3) that one may determine on his own accord when the effects of his wine have passed and he is again capable of Davening properly.

The MISHNAH BERURAH (99:3 and 17) cites the opinion of the YAM SHEL SHLOMO who rules that if one is only *Shasuy* and by refraining from Davening the time to Daven will pass, since nowadays we do not have so much Kavanah in our Tefilah to begin with, it is permitted b'Di'eved to Daven and not let the time pass. A *Shikor*, though, cannot Daven even in such a situation.

The Rema states (99:3) in the name of the TERUMAS HA'DESHEN (#42) that since the definition of Shasuy and Shikor depend solely on the level of a person's cognizance, nowadays that our wines are very weak, even one who has consumed more than a Revi'is is not defined as Shasuy, and may Daven, if he feels that his mental faculty has not been affected by the alcohol. (The Rema adds that this is especially so if one Davens from a Sidur, which enhances his ability to concentrate on the Davening -- see Darchei Moshe 99:3, MB 99:17.)

(b) KERI'AS SHEMA: The REMA writes that the same Halachos apply to saying Keri'as Shema, or Birchas Keri'as Shema (MB 99:7), while intoxicated. However, based on Acharonim who disagree with the Rema's ruling, the Mishnah Berurah (99:8; 185:6) writes that if, b'Di'eved, one finds himself Shasuy or even Shikor at the end of Zeman Keri'as Shema, he should recite Keri'as Shema.

(c) OTHER BERACHOS: With regard to reciting other blessings -- including Birchas ha'Mazon, which is mid'Oraisa -- although the Rema writes that we permit one to recite blessings l'Chatchilah even if one is a Shikor, the Mishnah Berurah (99:11; 185:5 Bi'ur Halachah DH O) cites the VILNA GAON and PRI MEGADIM who do not permit it (l'Chatchilah, as above, (b)). When one is only *Shasuy*, it is permitted l'Chatchilah for him to recite other Berachos (TOSFOS DH Shikor, based on the YERUSHALMI).

(Of course, if one is so intoxicated that he is completely out of his senses, he is considered like a Shoteh who is exempt from all Mitzvos. Even if he recites any blessings while in such a state, he must recite them again when he is no longer under the influence of alcohol -- Mishnah Berurah 99:11).


QUESTION: The Gemara (64a) says that if a person wants money that he has acquired to stay with him, he should invest it in a Sefer Torah or in Tefilin. Why are these objects recommended, as opposed to any other worthy charitable cause? After all, the verse that the Gemara cites (Bamidbar 21:2) as support says that the Jewish people made an oath to give what they acquired to *Hekdesh* and does not specify buying a Sefer Torah. If so, why does the Gemara not suggest that one should just give money to Tzedakah?

ANSWER: The TORAS CHAIM answers that the degree to which one's property will be safeguarded depends on what kind of Mitzvah one does with the money. If one does a Mitzvah that has results that last only temporarily, so, too, his money will be preserved only temporarily. Tzedakah is only a temporary act, which lasts until the money reaches the poor man's hand. Therefore, the Gemara suggests that one invest in something such as a Sefer Torah, which remains before him even after it is written.

This would seem to contradict, though, the explanation of RABEINU CHANANEL in Beitzah (15b). The Gemara there says that one who wants his property to be preserved should "plant an Adar tree," as the verse says, "Adir ba'Marom Hashem" (Tehilim 93:4). Rabeinu Chananel explains that the Gemara means that one should do acts of Tzedakah with his money in order to keep from losing it, because acts of Tzedakah are an investment in a heavenly bank ("ba'Marom"), where money cannot become lost or stolen.

According to Rabeinu Chananel's explanation, the Gemara in Beitzah, which says that one may give his money to any Tzedakah, contradicts the Gemara here, which says that one should buy a Sefer Torah or Tefilin with the money!

It seems that the Gemara in Beitzah is discussing how to ensure that one gets the most out of his money; that is, it is not advising what to do in order to ensure that the *money* lasts for a long time, but rather what to do to ensure that *what one does* with the money lasts long (i.e., he will earn eternal merit). The Gemara in Beitzah means that one should give *all* of his money to Tzedakah, and the effects of that act will last for him forever, in this world and in the next (see Rabeinu Chananel ibid. from Bava Basra 9a). Our Gemara, though, is talking about someone who wants to keep *some* of his money for his personal use, and it is advising him what he should do in order to ensure that the money that is not invested also lasts a long time (as Rashi explains). Therefore, our Gemara says that one should buy a Sefer Torah. (M. Kornfeld)

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