Halacha for Tuesday 16 Shevat 5782 January 18 2022

Reciting Birkat Hamazon While Walking on One’s Way

Question: If one is eating while walking outdoors, may one recite Birkat Hamazon while continuing to walk?

Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discussed that our Sages have enacted that one must recite Birkat Hamazon while sitting in order for the individual to have maximum concentration.

If One is Eating While Walking Around One’s House
The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (51b) states that, halachically speaking, even if one has eaten while walking around one’s house or if one has eaten standing up, one must still recite Birkat Hamazon while seated in order to be able to have full concentration. The Poskim and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 183) rule likewise.

If One Eats While Walking Around Outdoors
Regarding one who eats while walking along the way outdoors, the Rishonim disagree regarding the law of such an individual: The Rosh writes that the reason for the enactment to sit during Birkat Hamazon is in order for one to have maximum concentration while blessing; thus, one who is eating while walking on one’s way will certainly prefer to recite Birkat Hamazon while continuing to walk on his way to his destination and if we require him to be seated, this will actually defeat the purpose, for this will cause him to be delayed, disrupt his concentration, and cause the individual to recite the blessing hastily and without any concentration. Thus, one who has eaten while walking on his way need not be seated in order to recite Birkat Hamazon and he may recite it while continuing to walk.

Although there are those who disagree with the opinion of the Rosh (Kol Bo, Chapter 25, quoting the Geonim), nevertheless, Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 183, Section 11) rules in accordance with the opinion of the Rosh that one who eats while walking on his way may indeed recite Birkat Hamazon while continuing to walk. However, if one has eaten while seated, even if one is in the middle of one’s journey, one may not recite Birkat Hamazon while walking; rather, one must recite Birkat Hamazon with concentration while seated and one may then continue on one’s way.

Summary: If one has eaten while walking around one’s house, one must nonetheless be seated for Birkat Hamazon. If one has eaten while walking on one’s way outdoors, one may recite Birkat Hamazon while continuing to walk on one’s way.

In the next Halacha we shall discuss the law regarding one who travels by car.

Ask the Rabbi

8 Halachot Most Popular

Taking Haircuts and Shaving During the Omer Period

Abstaining from Taking Haircuts During the Omer It has become customary among the Jewish nation to refrain from taking haircuts during the Omer counting period: According to the Ashkenazi custom, until the 33rd day of the Omer and according to the Sephardic custom, until the morning of the 34th day......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b) ......

Read Halacha

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

Kissing One’s Parents’ Hands on Shabbat Night- The Students of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

Question: Should one kiss the hands of one’s parents and receive a blessing from them on Shabbat night and does the same apply equally to one’s father and mother? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah (17a) tells us that when Ulah (a sage who lived during the Talmudic era) would......

Read Halacha

Reciting the “Shehecheyanu” Blessing Upon Performing a Mitzvah for the First Time

Question: The custom in our community is that when a young woman reaches the age of Bat Mitzvah, she performs the Mitzvah of separating Challah for the first time and before doing so, she recites the blessing of “Shehecheyanu” as well upon performing this Mitzvah for the first time. Is t......

Read Halacha

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh

The famous order of the Seder of the eve of Pesach, Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah, was established by the leader of the entire Jewish nation, Rashi. The entire Jewish nation customarily follows this ord......

Read Halacha

Taking a Haircut of the Night of the 34th Day of the Omer This Year (5782)

Tomorrow night and Thursday will mark Lag Ba’Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer) and Friday will be the 34th day of the Omer. Until When Are Haircuts Forbidden? We have already discussed that one may not take a haircut or shave during the period of the counting of the Omer in addition to sever......

Read Halacha

Using Holy Names

The Mishnah in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 1, Mishnah 13) states: “He (Hillel) would say: Whoever does not add shall be gathered, whoever does not learn is worthy of death and whoever uses the crown shall pass.” Rabbeinu Ovadia of Bartenura explains the phrase “And whoever uses the cr......

Read Halacha