Is a Chazzan allowed to drink water during tefilla?

The Shulchan Aruch in OC Siman 151:1 writes the prohibition of eating and drinking in the synagogue. The Kaf HaChaim there on Seif Katan 9 writes not to drink water too unless it is for the sake of limud. The Biur Halacha "אין אוכלין" brings the Shulchan Aruch on Seif 4 writing that for the sake of Mitzvah even drinking water would be permissible. Maybe this can be a source for permitting old and weak people to drink water in case of need for the sake of davening. Can this also serve as a source for the Chazzan too? Or there could be a problem of Kvod HaTzibbur and to assur him?

I will be glad if anyone can find me a posek regarding a Chazzan drinking during tefilla. Even to assur it.


1 Answer 1


See this article by Rabbi Gil Student and the sources he cites.

After saying the Barukh She-Amar blessing, you are not allowed to interrupt your prayers. From Barukh She-Amar through Yishtabakh is Pesukei De-Zimra, afterwards comes Shema and its blessing which you may not interrupt, and then immediately comes the silent Amidah. If you are not feeling weak or sick, are you allowed to drink during Pesukei De-Zimra or in between the blessings on Shema?

His conclusion is:

However, everyone agrees that if you feel weak or sick, then you may drink during Pesukei De-Zimra.

See also this Mi Yodeya question May the prayer leader drink water (to lubricate his voice) during the weekday prayers?

  • The sourcr doesnt cite about a chazzan. The "see also" doesn't cite a halachic source. Questions asked to a posek are fine but in order to rely halachically I am looking for a strong basis written in a well adobted halachic book Commented Jun 23 at 9:22
  • I suggest that it is clear that there is a greater problem of Kvod HaTzibbur if the Chazzan is coughing and spluttering rather than drinking as permitted in the sources cited.
    – Edward B
    Commented Jun 23 at 9:33

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