Can one daven Drunk and what is the Level of drunkenness that disallows one from Davening?

3 Answers 3


Preferably one should not do so, though after the fact his tefillah is valid - unless one is so drunk that "he would be unable to talk before a king," and then his tefillah in such a state is invalid. (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 99:1)

Rema (ibid. :3) comments that "we're not concerned about slight drunkenness" when it comes to present-day wines (which are weaker, either in alcohol content or in viscosity, than Talmudic-era ones) - the more so if one is davening from a siddur. Nevertheless, Pri Megadim says that it's not a proper thing to do.

  • Great answer as Usal but ,I think there are defined Halachic levels of drunkness I was more looking more for that Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 20:09
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    Defined levels of drunkenness? "Unable to stand before a king" is way, WAY WAY less drunk than "as drunk as Lot."
    – Shalom
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 20:12
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    I think it's conceivable that certain despotic kings would have lavish feasts in which virtually everyone, including themselves, got completely hammered, so I'm not sure the threshold of being unable to go before a king is firm law so much as it is guidance. I don't mean to say that one should Daven after heavy drinking, but the opposite - one should not Daven drunk at all, lest his Tefillah be invalid as he cannot concentrate, and that once you have crossed the line of total inebriation, you have gone way too far to Daven. On the other hand, didn't David HaMelech get drunk and sing Hallel?
    – Seth J
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 20:38
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    I just realized that's basically what happens in the Megillah - a despotic king gets completely hammered, nearly resulting in the destruction, but ultimately culminating in the salvation, of Klal Yisrael.
    – Seth J
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 20:42
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    Shulchan Aruch Harav (185:5) spells out that "being unable to speak before a king" means that he stumbles over his words.
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 22:12

If someone is drunk enough that they wouldn't meet with the President, they shouldn't daven. (Shulchan Aruch talks about "drunk enough to not be able to stand before a king", but I think it gets the idea across.)


You can daven drunk until you slur your words:

From shulchanaruchharav.com

If one drank to the point that he is unable to speak in front of a king without slurring his words, then it is forbidden for him to Daven Shemoneh Esrei until he becomes sober.

Footnote 9 describes 2 states that are forbidden to daven-

There are two levels of cannot speak properly before a King regarding this matter. 1) One who cannot talk without a slur, but can talk fluently without stumbling on his words. This is called Shasuiy. 2) One who cannot talk without stumbling on his words. This is called Shikur. [185:5] The state of Shikur is more stringent than the state of Shasuiy

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