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What is the law of praying with a throat lozenge in one's mouth, when one has a sore throat? Please include various categories of tefilla, including making a bracha, saying amen, giving someone a bracha, reciting Tehillim, etc.

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  • Probably same as chewing gum judaism.stackexchange.com/q/75456/759
    – Double AA
    Feb 27 at 19:05
  • Is there a reason to think a lozenge is different than any other food? Drinking coffee during pesukei dzimra is questionable, is there any reason to think this would be different? Perhaps it’s better because it’s not a hefsek of an action. Surely saying tehillim outside of tefilla shouldn’t be an issue. Giving someone a bracha?
    – Chatzkel
    Feb 27 at 20:26
  • @Chatzkel is food different from any other object or item in one's mouth during davening visavis Yimalei Pi Tehilatecha? Medicine might be different, especially if the person would struggle to daven without a lozenge, because his throat is so sore or his cough is so severe and frequent (I also saw something recently that made me think of the question, and now I can only remember the question)... Yes giving a bracha. Would there be any reason to prefer to bless one's children on Friday night or at bed time, without the lozenge?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Feb 27 at 20:33
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    Somewhat related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/43505
    – Fred
    Feb 27 at 20:46

2 Answers 2

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The Talmud (berachot 50B-51A) says that one should not have food in his mouth when saying a blessing because his mouth should be full with G-d’s praise. If one put food in his mouth before saying a blessing and removing it would ruin his food, he can move it to the side of his mouth and say the blessing.

I don’t think a lozenge gets disgusting when you remove it from your mouth.

Note as well the the Shelah Hakodesh extends this idea to include spit in someone’s mouth. The person should remove it from his mouth before making the blessing.

בְּמִידֵּי דְּלָא מִמְּאִיס נָמֵי, לְסַלְּקִינְהוּ לְצַד אֶחָד וְלִיבָרֵךְ? תַּרְגְּמַהּ רַב יִצְחָק קַסְקְסָאָה קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי יוֹסֵי בַּר אָבִין מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ״יִמָּלֵא פִי תְּהִלָּתֶךָ״.

The Gemara asks: With regard to a food item that does not become disgusting as well, let him shift it to the side and recite the blessing. Why need he spit it out? Rav Yitzḥak Kaskesa’a explained before Rabbi Yosei bar Avin, in the name of Rabbi Yoḥanan: One spits it out because it is stated: “My mouth will be filled with Your praise” (Psalms 71:8), meaning that one should recite God’s praises with his entire mouth, not merely half.

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  • The Shelah is saying that one shouldn't have "loose spit" in one's mouth, although he doesn't say one should spit it out? I assume one should swallow it? Note, bedieved, if one said a bracha with food in the mouth, they are yotzei. Therefore, if one can't recite a bracha unless one has a lozenge, what should they do? That's the real thrust of my question
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Feb 28 at 0:14
  • I corrected the sentence inside. I don't know what it means that one can't recite a bracha unless they have a lozenge in their mouth. I guess I never used them that way.
    – Menachem
    Feb 28 at 7:03
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The Eshel Avraham (Butshatsh) Tinyana siman 172 says that tefilla is the same as making a bracha and both would require the food to be removed. However, saying amen or other Devarim Shebekedusha, in times of need, is ok.

(As an aside, he says that saliva is only a problem if it’s enough that it impedes his speech. He seems to indicate that the issue with food and the like, is the fact that when speaking to someone of stature, it is customary not to be eating, or chewing gum or sucking a candy. Therefore, doing so when speaking to Hashem is not proper either)

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  • Thanks, I was looking for that Eshel Avraham. I appreciate this. I do note that this answer does not even attempt to deal with a possible difference between lozenges and any other items in the mouth. Is that because you feel there is none?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Feb 28 at 0:39
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    I personally think there’s no difference. Even if no sound comes out of his mouth, he’s still yotze the bracha, so say it without the lozenges. I think it’s no different than a candy. But I don’t have a source yet for this
    – Chatzkel
    Feb 28 at 0:45

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