Generally speaking, one may not eat before Shacharis unless it's for the sake of being able to daven better.

Does such a halachah apply to Mincha and Ma'ariv as well? Once their respective earliest zmanim arrive, may one eat before davening?

  • 1
    Mishna Shabbat 1, 2 לא יישב אדם לפני הספר סמוך למנחה, עד שיתפלל; ולא ייכנס לא למרחץ, ולא לבורסקי, ולא לאכול, ולא לדון. ואם התחילו, אין מפסיקין;
    – kouty
    Jan 3, 2017 at 5:32
  • 1
    @kouty I understood that Mishnah to refer specifically to Erev Shabbos, as he might go over into Shabbos while working.
    – DonielF
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:33
  • maybe you are right I don't know
    – kouty
    Jan 3, 2017 at 15:17
  • 1
    @kouty see OC 232:2
    – Double AA
    Jan 3, 2017 at 15:39
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/46059/759
    – Double AA
    Jan 4, 2017 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


The link you attached to your question, comes with answers that basically say that even if you're allowed to eat before shacharis, it's only for eating "mezonot" and not a full meal with bread.

Therefore, my answer is that one is allowed to eat a light meal before Mincha or Maariv even if it's not in order to help him daven better.

Eating before Mincha

S"A Orach Chaim 232:3 which discusses eating before Mincha, says the following:

והא דאסור לאכול סעודה קטנה היינו כשקובע לסעודה אבל לטעום דהיינו אכילת פירות מותר וה"ה לאכול פת כביצה כדרך שאדם אוכל בלא קבע מותר

The Issur of eating before Mincha only applies to one who "sits down" for a meal. But to eat fruits or to eat a kabeitza of bread like a person does without keva, that's allowed (my translation)

Mishna Berura 232:34 explains the above in the following way:

מותר - אפילו כבר הגיע זמן מ"ק ואפילו אם אוכל הרבה פירות דזה לא מקרי סעודה. ותבשיל העשוי מחמשת המינים ג"כ מותר אם אינו קובע עלייהו 

Permitted - even if the time for Mincha Ketana has arrived, and even if he eats a lot of fruit, that's not called a meal. And food made of the 5 types of grain are also allowed as long as he's not kovea on them. (My translation)

However, some say if one always goes to minyan and there’s a set time, it’s permissible to eat, even after 9½ hours except having a feast such as a wedding or Brit Milah after 9 hours.[Piskei Teshuvot 232:3] (Halachipedia)

Eating before ma'ariv

The Mishna Berura 235:16 says that one is allowed to eat fruits or cake before maariv, but not a full meal:

אסור להתחיל וכו' - והטעם שמא ימשך בסעודתו ופעמים ישתקע עי"ז גם בשינה וישכח לקרות שמע ואפילו לאכול קמעא אסור ומ"מ טעימה בעלמא מיני פירות או אפילו פת בכביצה שרי

Some say that if one always goes to minyan and there is a set time, it is permissible[to eat a meal], even after Tzet HaChachavim except by a feast such as a wedding or Brit Milah one should not start after Tzet.[Piskei Teshuvot 235:6] (Halachipedia)

  • Does anyone there make a distinction if there’s a usual minyan that he goes to?
    – DonielF
    May 8, 2018 at 16:06
  • @DonielF if there's a regular minyan, then some say you can have a full meal with bread etc. But i understood from your question that you're looking for eating a snack before mincha, and that's lechatchila allowed before davening mincha/maariv as stated in my answer. More here
    – aBochur
    May 8, 2018 at 16:36
  • @DonielF If I misunderstood the question, feel free to let me know so I can edit it.
    – aBochur
    May 8, 2018 at 22:56
  • I had intended to refer to either a snack or a proper meal, and to that you’ve sufficiently answered the question. I’m asking further, does that change if there’s a fixed minyan later that he plans on attending, so his eating won’t delay him, or is it the same reasoning by Shacharis, that he’s fulfilling his own needs before (so to speak) G-d’s?
    – DonielF
    May 8, 2018 at 22:58
  • @DonielF edited.
    – aBochur
    May 9, 2018 at 0:38

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