The weather in New York is beautiful recently. It crossed my mind to daven outside in the glory of HaShem's beautiful Creation.

Is it permissible to daven outdoors?

  • See last line of Berachos 34b and Rashi – ertert3terte Apr 30 '13 at 3:33
  • @ShmuelBrin ... and Tosafos. And SA OC 90:5. And Mishna B'rura. Why don't you post it as an answer? Sounds like one. – msh210 Apr 30 '13 at 7:11
  • One can only daven outside if one can daven better there. Like if there is a disturbance or its too hot. shoresh.org.il/spages/shut/shut679.htm. What is considered davening better is a matter of opinion. It is similar to davening at home instead of in shul. There must be a RMF about this somewhere. Although these two cases may not be exactly linked since one is at least davening with minyan outside. – user2709 Apr 30 '13 at 8:28
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    uv'lechtecha baderech and discussions of workers praying (at least saying shma) in trees (halachot 2 and 4 chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/912953/jewish/…) lead me to ask what the possible issurim are. While there are aome limitations, the concept of "outside" isn't assur. – rosends Apr 30 '13 at 11:47
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    I think you misunderstood my point. I was only pointing out an example of an orthodox minyan that was held outdoors. – Dennis May 6 '13 at 2:32

Yes (see Mishna Berura on Shulchan Aruch 90:5 here and an explanation thereof here). As evidence of this, regular minyanim were organized outdoors at a recent Chabad Lag Ba'Omer carnival.

Nevertheless, Shulchan Aruch forbids davening in:

  • A building (or construction zone) that might collapse
  • A place where there is excrement or a bad smell

It is favorable to daven in a place designated for davening or for learning Torah. But, there is nothing wrong with impromptu davening outdoors (especially if a minyan is present).

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    See also Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 90:5. – msh210 Apr 30 '13 at 14:47
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    (link to the above hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=49623&st=&pgnum=238 ) – Double AA Apr 30 '13 at 14:56
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    Ahh I see now what you're saying. Did you by any chance get a moment to look up the source msh210 quoted? I provided a link to it in my above comment. – Double AA Apr 30 '13 at 16:40
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    the m"b cited (11) gives guidelines for where outdoors one may pray (under trees is better than in an open field). Since other than the Zoharic reference, the codified law is not "one may not pray outside" but only "one may not pray in an open area like a field" one may infer that other outdoors places are viable as long as they conform to the rules. – rosends Apr 30 '13 at 17:09
  • @leefogel I don't see why you accepted this answer which leaves out important qualifications. – Double AA Apr 30 '13 at 20:31

From: http://dinonline.org/2012/07/11/davening-outdoors/

The Gemara (Berachos 34b) writes that it is wrong (arrogant — chatzuf) to daven in an open field.

Rashi explains that in an open field, one doesn’t feel fear of the King, and one doesn’t pray with a broken heart. Tosafos, however, understands that the concern is for passers-by, who are liable to disturb a person’s davening.

The Magen Avraham (90:6) rules that the problem is that davening outside makes a haughty statement: “Even though there are passers-by, they will not disturb my intent in davening!” This is arrogant and wrong.

The Shulchan Aruch (90:5) rules that one should not daven in an open place, and the Mishnah Berurah (11) adds that those who are always traveling can daven in an open place, but should try to daven by a tree.

Therefore, although it is not forbidden to daven outdoors, it is wrong to daven in an open area, and one should seek a sheltered place.

Additional details are brought here:

Level of Priority

Pri Megadim/ Mishnah Brurah (90:10): If a person had a choice between davening in a house with no windows or outside he should daven in the house. Davening with windows is a nice mailah whereas davening in a wide open area is an issur.

An Area With Walls But No Roof

Sharei T’shuvah (90:1): He brings a string of poskim who all agreed that an area with walls is enough to meat the requirements of this Gemara even though it has no roof!


Magen Avraham (90:6)/ Mishnah Brurah (90:11): A traveler who is in a hurry and must daven on the side of the road may do so. There is no chutzpah involved here since this person has no choice but to daven where he is.

Chayeh Adam/ Pri Megadim / Mishnah Brurah (90:11): Even for a traveler it is preferable to find a semi-secluded place (i.e. amongst some trees etc.).

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