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In Halichos Shlomo on Purim, Chapter 19, the din is brought that one should not eat before giving Mishloach Manot. The footnote there says "just like by all Mitzvos that we don't eat beforehand".

Where does this concept come from? Where is it in the Poskim? Is this true by all Mitzvos?

  • Eat? Or Koveah Seudah? Possibly he is referring to eating before davening? – Shoel U'Meishiv Feb 28 '17 at 21:19
  • And before kidush, and havdolo and the counting to the omer, and lighting Chanukah candles (the reason is that if we permit them to eat they will forget to do the mitzva (and fall asleep), or if we will not let them to eat then he will not forget to do the mitzva) – hazoriz Feb 28 '17 at 21:32
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    What about not eating before fulfilling the Mitzva of Seudah? #PTIJ – Double AA Feb 28 '17 at 21:59
  • I would think this refers to a certain time period directly before the mitzvah and probably before specific mitzvos as at any point in the day one could be considered right before doing a mitzvah. some more information might help answer the question better – Dude Mar 1 '17 at 21:24
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The Mishna in Shabbat 1:2 with the Tosefta there appended says:

לא ישב אדם לפני הספר סמוך למנחה עד שיתפלל. לא יכנס אדם למרחץ ולא לבורסק ולא לאכול ולא לדין. ואם התחילו אין מפסיקים. מפסיקים לקרות קריאת שמע ואין מפסיקין לתפלה: כשם שמפסיקין לקריאת שמע כך מפסיקין [לקריאת מגילה] לקריאת הלל ולתקיעת שופר ולנטילת לולב ולכל מצות האמורות בתורה.‏
One should not sit down to have a haircut at Mincha time before praying. [So too] one shouldn't [...] or to eat or [...]. And if they started, they don't need to stop. They do stop to read Shema, but they don't stop to pray. Just as they stop for Shema so too they stop for [...] Hallel, Shofar, Lulav, and for all Mitzvot in the Torah.

If you have to stop eating for certain Mitzvot, then you clearly shouldn't have started eating before doing them.

See the Gemara on Sukkah 38a and Shabbat 9b. There are potentially differences between rabbinic commands and biblical commands, and arguments about whether tasting food without a fixed meal is included. It also might depend how much time is left in the day. In any event that's the primary source for the concept. See more in Shulchan Arukh (232:2, 431:2, 652:2, 692:4 inter alia).

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See Gemara Shabbat 9a.

דאמר ר' יהושע בן לוי כיון שהגיע זמן תפלת המנחה אסור לאדם שיטעום כלום קודם שיתפלל תפלת המנחה

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Once the time of the afternoon prayer has arrived, it is prohibited for a person to taste anything before he recites the afternoon prayer.

ולא לאכול בסעודה קטנה לכתחלה אמאי לא דילמא אתי לאמשוכי

And he may not enter to eat, the reference is to a big meal, which lasts a long time.

Berachot 28b:

ולית הלכתא לא כרב הונא ולא כריב"ל כרב הונא הא דאמרן כריב"ל דאריב"ל כיון שהגיע זמן תפלת המנחה אסור לו לאדם שיטעום כלום קודם שיתפלל תפלת המנחה

The halakha is neither in accordance with the statement of Rav Huna nor in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi.

Tur Orach Chayim 232 regarding Mincha:

ודוקא לאכול אסור סמוך למנחה קטנה, אבל לטעום פירות מותר דאין הלכה כרבי יהושע דאמר כיון שהגיע זמן תפילת המנחה אסור לטעום עד שיתפלל

Pesachim 4a:

ואור הנר יפה לבדיקה אמר אביי הילכך האי צורבא מרבנן לא לפתח בעידניה באורתא דתליסר דנגהי ארבסר דלמא משכא ליה שמעתיה

Abaye said: Therefore, in light of the above halakha, a Torah scholar should not begin his regularly scheduled period of Torah study in the evening at the conclusion of the thirteenth of Nisan that is the evening of the fourteenth, as perhaps he will become engrossed in the halakha he is studying and will come to be prevented from performing the mitzva of searching for leaven.

Bet Yosef OC 431 regarding Bedikat chamets explains why the Tur addresses also eating, despite that the Gemara addresses only learning Tora:

ומ"ש ולא יאכל כן כתב ה"ה בשם התוס' וכ"כ ג"כ הגהות בשם סמ"ג ופשוט הוא דאתי במכ"ש מדין לא ליפתח בעידניה

All this laws are because of the risk he would continue to eat and miss the time of the mitsva.

The reason is invariable.

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