Halacha for Thursday 2 Tevet 5781 December 17 2020

Praying Shacharit at a Late Hour

In the previous Halacha we have established that one should pray the Shacharit prayer before four seasonal hours beginning from sunrise have elapsed such that at this time of year in Israel, this latest time to pray is at approximately 10:00 AM. In New York, this time is at approximately 10:20 AM during this time of year.

One Who Has Delayed Past these Four Hours
If one is late and has not yet prayed Shacharit until the four seasonal hours since sunrise have passed, although this is halachically incorrect since one has missed the proper time for prayer, one may still pray until halachic midday which is six seasonal hours after sunrise. During this time of year in Israel, halachic midday is at approximately 11:30 AM and in New York it is at approximately 11:50 AM.

Nevertheless, preferably one may not delay praying until such a late hour; rather, one should always be meticulous to pray within the four seasonal hours from sunrise. Some say that if one intentionally delayed praying until after these four seasonal hours past sunrise, although one may in fact pray until halachic midday, nevertheless, one may only pray while making a condition that this prayer is a “donation,” by stipulating that if one is still permitted to be praying now, one has in mind to pray the Shacharit prayer and if one is no longer permitted to pray at this time, then this prayer should be considered a “donated prayer.”

The Shacharit Prayer Past Halachic Midday
Once halachic midday has passed, one may no longer pray the Shacharit prayer. If this was done unintentionally or due to circumstances completely beyond one’s control, one must pray a compensational prayer. Although immediately following halachic midday it is not yet time for the Mincha prayer until another half-hour elapses, nevertheless, one may not pray Shacharit after halachic midday, even if is immediately past this time.

Prayer Past Halachic Midday Regarding Women
We have already discussed several times that the Sephardic custom is that women are only obligated to pray one daily prayer. This prayer can be either Shacharit, Mincha, or Arvit as the woman wishes. After halachic mid-day, one can no longer pray Shacharit and Mincha prayers cannot be recited until another half-hour passes. The question arises: May a woman pray at such a time that is neither the appropriate time for Shacharit or Mincha? Seemingly, since a woman is only required to pray one daily prayer, it can be any one that she chooses, and she should be able to pray at such a time. We have posed this to question to Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l in the past and he replied that a woman may not pray her daily prayer at this time, for since she is ultimately obligated to recite one prayer according to the edict of our Sages, it must be either Shacharit or Mincha, but it may not be a prayer at a time that is associated with neither of them.

Summary: One should preferably pray the Shacharit prayer within four seasonal hours of sunrise. If one was delayed and has not prayed by this time, one may pray Shacharit until halachic midday. There is no distinction between men and women regarding this law.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Question: If one becomes obligated to recite an after-blessing after eating any food (for instance, by eating a Kezayit, approximately twenty-seven grams, of fruit) and before reciting the after-blessing, one used the facilities and becomes obligated to recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, which blessing must one recite first: Should one first recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing or the after-blessing on the food one ate?

Answer: This question has already been discussed by the Maharshal (Rabbeinu Shlomo Luria, one of the foremost Acharonim who lived approximately five-hundred years ago in Eastern Poland and authored the Sefer Yam Shel Shlomo and others) in his responsa (Chapter 97) and writes that if one becomes obli......

Read Halacha

The “Asher Yatzar” Blessing vs. Birkat Hamazon

Question: In the previous Halacha, we have discussed if one becomes obligated to recite an after-blessing on food and before he does so, he uses the facilities and becomes obligated to recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, one should recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing first and......

Read Halacha

Reciting Birkat Hamazon in the Place One Has Eaten

Question: Is one obligated to recite Birkat Hamazon specifically where one has eaten bread or may one recite this blessing elsewhere? Answer: One who eats a bread meal must recite Birkat Hamazon in the place where one has eaten and one may not go to a different place and recite the blessing there......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Motza’ei Tisha Be’av and the Tenth of Av

Following halachic nightfall on Tisha Be’av which is approximately twenty minutes after sunset (somewhat later in the United States), one is permitted to eat and drink. It is customary to recite Birkat Ha’Levana (blessing on the new moon) following Arvit prayers on Motza’ei Tisha B......

Read Halacha


Havdala on Motza’ei Shabbat Which Coincides with Tisha Be’av and the Laws of an Ill Individual Who Must Eat on Tisha Be’av

On years during which Tisha Be’av falls out on Motza’ei Shabbat, such as this year, 5781, there are three opinions among the Rishonim regarding how Havdala should be recited on a cup of wine on Motza’ei Shabbat. The first opinion is that of the Geonim who write that one should r......

Read Halacha

When Av Begins, We Diminish Our Joy

Yesterday, Shabbat, we marked Rosh Chodesh Av. Next Sunday (beginning from Motza’ei Shabbat), will mark Tisha Be’av. May Hashem soon switch this month to one of joy and celebration. The Jewish Nation’s Fortune During the Month of Av Although we customarily implement some mourn......

Read Halacha

Tisha Be’av Falls Coincides With Motza’ei Shabbat- Clothing for Tisha Be’av

The Baraita in Masechet Ta’anit (30a) states that our Sages prohibited five things on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s self with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages said (Ta’anit 30b): “One......

Read Halacha

Reciting Birkat Hamazon While Travelling by Car

Question: If one is eating while travelling by car, may one recite Birkat Hamazon while continuing to travel? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that our Sages have instituted that one must recite Birkat Hamazon while seated in order for one to have optimum concentration while bles......

Read Halacha