The Shulchan Aruch OC (99:1) writes

שתה יין כדי רביעית אל יתפלל עד שיסיר יינו ואם שתה יותר אם הוא יכול לדבר לפני המלך אם התפלל תפלתו תפלה ואם אינו יכול לדבר לפני המלך אם התפלל תפלתו תועבה וצריך לחזור ולהתפלל כשיסיר יינו מעליו ואפי' אם עבר זמן התפלה משלים אותה בתפלה שאחריה כדין שוגג: הגה ודין ק"ש כדין תפלה אבל שאר ברכות יכול לברך אע"פ שהוא שכור - Someone who drinks a reviis of wine shouldn't pray until the wine leaves him, and if he drank more than a reviis then if he is able to speak before a king then his prayer works, but if not then his prayer is an abomination and he must pray again when the wine leaves him - even if the time to pray will pass. Rema: The same halacha applies to Shema, but other berachos can be made even when drunk.

On the last note, the Mishna Berura (99:11) writes

שהוא שכור - עיין בביאור הגר"א ולפי דבריו יש להחמיר לכתחילה בשיכור שאינו יכול לדבר לפני המלך אף בשאר ברכות וכ"כ הפמ"ג יו"ד סימן א' ס"ק ל"ה במשבצות זהב - According to the words of the Biur Gra, one should be strict lechatchila not to say any berachos if he is drunk enough not to be able to speak before a king. And the Pri Megadim agrees.

According to those who are strict, why is it not a problem to make berachos near the end of the Pesach Seder after drinking a few reviis of wine?

  • 3
    Are people at the end of the seder unable to speak before the king?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 14:17
  • 2
    @DoubleAA I would hope it's not a concern for most people, though if the Shulchan Aruch notes drinking more than one reviis enters the realm of "Make sure you can speak before a king," I can imagine 3x that shiur can cause some people to have that issue. (Of course one can just drink a little over rov reviis for each cup, but this question is based on drinking the lechatchila full reviis for each cup star-k.org/articles/articles/seasonal/pesach/app/359/…)
    – NJM
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 14:27
  • Maybe the reviis of wine has left already with the time it takes between the cups and the food ingested
    – mbloch
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 16:35
  • I don't drink wine that's full strength, only 5% alcohol or less.
    – N.T.
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


I see a many reasons to be lenient:

  1. In regards to brachos according to the Gra and Pri Megadim (and Bircas hamazon according to the Magen Avraham (see below)) the requirement of speaking in front of a king is described by tosfos 31b and shulchan aruch 185:4 (as understood by Magen Avraham) to mean that "even when he cannot speak in a truly appropriate manner, i.e., when he speaks, it is apparent that he is tipsy, but still, he does not blunder or become befuddled." It is considered being able to speak in front of a king.(see qoute below*) Therefore, during the seder there is no problem in saying bircas hamazon (or brachos) assuming no one gets so drunk that he cannot speak without blunder or befuddle.

  2. The Magen Avraham in siman 91 says that there is an opinion that wine in the meal and even before a meal does not get one drunk and therefore not an issue for kevanah.

  3. In sif gimmel there the Rema writes that nowadays our wines are not as strong and therefore we are not careful even if we drank more than a reviis.

  4. Same Rema says that if one is looking in a siddur there is even more room to be lenient.

  5. Magen Avraham on sif gimmel brings down Yam Shel Shlomo who writes that Mincha on Yom tov it's fine to daven even if he drank a little because it is impossible any other way. (So to in our case it's impossible any other way)

  6. Ibid. Even more so nowadays where we don't have so much kevanah

For more on this topic see alter rebbe shulchan aruch siman 185:5 and 99

*a person who is slightly tipsy from [drinking] wine is forbidden to pray until the influence of the wine abates, even though he would be able to speak before a king without becoming befuddled, as explained in sec. 99:1. nevertheless, such a person may recite grace, as long as he would be able to speak in the presence of a king. [this leniency applies] even when he cannot speak in a truly appropriate manner, i.e., when he speaks, it is apparent that he is tipsy, but still, he does not blunder or become befuddled. [this concept is derived from] the verse: “when you have eaten and are satiated, you shall bless g‑d, your l‑rd.” now, after a person [eats to] satiation, there are times when he becomes tipsy. nevertheless, [even in such a situation,] the torah obligates him to recite grace....

Only according to the Gra and the Pri Megadim do brachos lichatchila need to be recited as one able to speak in front of a king, however the Rema writes one is allowed to recite brachos even if he is שכור. So paskens the Alter Rebbe in his shulchan aruch:

one may recite all the other blessings even when intoxicated, as stated in sec. 99[:1]. even according to the authorities who maintain that concentrated intent is required with regard to the recitation of all the blessings, [blessings recited by an intoxicated person are,] nevertheless, [not disqualified]. for an intoxicated person may have concentrated intent, for he is considered as a mentally competent individual with regard to all matters. he is considered as one who acts intentionally with regard to [being subject to] all the punishments mandated by the torah, as stated in choshen mishpat 235[:22]. it is only that with regard to the recitation of the shema and the she­moneh esreh — where a higher level of concentrated intent is required — the intent of an intoxicated person is not considered as intent. instead, it is considered as an abomination, since it is [recited in a] befuddled [state], as evidenced by the fact that he cannot speak in the presence of a king without confusion. with regard to other blessings, by contrast, even a minimal intent is sufficient, even if he is befuddled.

  • 1
    Are these reasons "[a]ccording to those who are strict" (as the question asks)?
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 6:43
  • Thank you. Is that better?
    – user6781
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 7:27

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