Many times, people collect money during davening, including during the blessings of the Shema, and the custom is to give during that time. Is it permissible to give during this time?

The interruptions allowed during this time seem to be for kavod haadam, tzorchei tefillah and avoiding bizayon haTorah. Where does giving tzedakah stand?

  • 3
    And potentially Osek b'mitzva patur min hamitzvah.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 15:32
  • 5
    One shul I highly respect (both its laypeople and rov) have a sign that says: "GABBAIS' POLICY: NO Tzedaka collection from Borchu till after Kedusha." That seems reasonable, they can still collect, but not during the most uninterruptable parts of davening.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 15:33
  • This should help: youtube.com/watch?v=YOggBeppxbE
    – Bochur613
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 1:04
  • @Bochur613: Thank you for the link. But my Internet filter blocks Youtube, I don't want to bother setting up a whitelist rule, and I'm not even sure that my web browser can play video anyway. Can you please summarize the linked video for us? Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 16:56
  • The YouTube video is of Rav Eliyashiv answering this very question.It seems like he assurs it.Hard to hear him answer,it is in Yiddish as well.
    – sam
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 3:42

2 Answers 2


The video I linked in the comments, like @sam said, is Rav Elyashiv zt'l answering this very question which was asked by the Tomchei Tzedakah Of Lakewood. He says (according to my translation as well as others who have listened) that you are not obligated to give Tzedakah during this time because you are currently in the process of a Mitzvah (Shema), a very important one at that, and therefore you must concentrate on doing that Mitzvah (reciting Shema) and not stop to give Tzedakah. He goes on to say that people should not be collecting during the time of Krias Shema and he says that they shouldn't be collecting during Birkos Krias Shema.

  • I reconfigured my Internet filter and watched the video. The first part of the video discusses charity and the Shema. Starting at 1:20, it discusses the blessings before and after the Shema. I understand very little Yiddish. Dear all: What does the second part of the video say? Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 19:43
  • Here is a link to the questions that were asked: thelakewoodscoop.com/news/2011/12/…
    – Bochur613
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 19:53
  • not obligated and better not to, but is it forbidden?
    – ray
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 19:58
  • I do not believe it is forbidden...it is just highly recommended not to
    – Bochur613
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 20:01
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    @unforgettableid I think what Bochur613 is trying to get at is that even if Rav Elyashiv wasn't asked the question "is this asur, the inference that giving money to such a person encourages violations of halacha should be enough to dissuade a person from doing it.
    – WAF
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 18:30

In Halichos Shlomo 7:4, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l notes:

מה שנתפשט שמסבבין לאסוף מעות לצדקה גם בזמן שאסור להפסיק, לא טוב הדבר, כי ע"י כך מבטלים את המתפללים מתפלתם ומכוונתם

Those that spread out and go around gathering money for a tzedoko also in a time when it is forbidden to interrupt is not a good thing because in so doing, they (lit. annul) disturb those davening from their prayers and their kavanah (intention).

In note dalet of the 'dvar halacha' section he elaborates by bringing the Mishnah Berurah 96:1 who quotes the Pri Megadim that the issue that Shulchan Aruch1 mentions (about not holding something - which includes money, during one's tefillah as it will leave the person distracted) is specifically during krias shema and pesukei d'zimra, and as such one shouldn't interrupt at this point.

Indeed Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita in Derech Emunah, Matnas Aniyim, Perek 10 in the Tziyun HaHalacha 96 raises the point mention by @Shalom in the comments above:

ואפשר דאין חייבין ליתן להם דהעוסק במצוה פטור מן המצוה וכן באמצע התפילה

And it is possible that one is not obligated to give them since one who is occupied in a mitzvah is exempt from (another) mitzvah, and similarly (this applies when) in the middle of prayer.

1 It writes there:

כשהוא מתפלל לא יאחוז בידו תפילין ולא ספר מכתבי הקודש ולא קערה מלאה ולא סכין ומעות וככר מפני שלבו עליהם שלא יפלו ויטרד ותתבטל

When one is praying, one should not hold in one's hand tefillin, and not a book of holy writings, and not a full plate, and not a knife, or money, or a loaf [of bread] because one's heart is [focused] on them that they should not fall, and one will be distracted and will lose one's focus. (Sefaria translation)

Also note this idea in Gemara Brachos 23b - thanks @Kazi bácsi.

  • Though I always thought that this refers to the amidah and not the blessings before it. Hence, it might be worth elaborating on the Pri Megadim you mention, it seems to be a crucial point. Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 8:47
  • Refer to the Mishbezos Zahav 96 - hebrewbooks.org/… he brings the Gemara you thought of
    – Dov
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 9:03
  • Too many abbreviations at first sight, to what does he refer to? Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 9:10
  • To be honest it doesn't add that much more.
    – Dov
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 9:31

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