Is there a teaching that specifies how much time you have to perform mitzvot? For example, after you say the motzi, how much time do you have before you must eat a piece of bread? I am interested in a broad answer. In this week's portion, Bo, we are told "And you shall watch over the matzot  וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-הַמַּצּוֹת [Ex. 12:17]" The Mechilta d'Rabbi Yishmael says: Rabbi Yoshiah says: Do not read:, אֶת-הַמַצּוֹת, the matzot, but אֶת-הַמִצְוֹת, the commandments. Just as we may not permit the matzot to become leavened, so may we not permit the commandments to become leavened [by waiting too long before performing them]. If [a commandment] comes your way, perform it immediately.
Is any further guidance available, beyond "as soon as possible"?

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    Every mitzvah is different. Voting to close as too broad. – DonielF Jan 17 '18 at 20:59

The lesson quoted in the question, "If [a commandment] comes your way, perform it immediately" (in the Hebrew "מצוה הבאה לידך אל תחמיצנה") isn't implying a time restraint but rather an overall idea that the execution of a given commandment should not be delayed or put on the back burner.

This concept is echoed in another lesson by the rabbis (BT Pesahim 4a):

זריזים מקדימים למצוות

Translated as (Sefaria):

the vigilant are early in the performance of mitzvot

On the other hand, questions of time limits such as eating bread after pronouncing the appropriate blessing, is a matter of hefsek (interruption). This specific issue is of concern that unnecessary interruption between a blessing and execution [of the related commandment] alienates intention of the doer from his/her action.

A somewhat related matter is commandments that are subject to and contingent on a specific time/date, e.g. circumcision on the eighth day or searching/ridding of chametz (unleavened bread) on the eve of the fourteenth of Nissan. In this category each commandment (biblical or rabbinic) has different guidelines and a full scope of the minutiae is beyond this answer.

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I think you ask two different questions here.

The first part of your question deals with Shiurin for Mitzvot - Time allotment for performing a Mitzva. That can include, for example, time for Chanuka candles being lit, time to consume a measure of Matzah at the Seder, time allotted for saying Birkas Hamozoyn after a meal, time allotted for a loan to pay back, times allotted for prayers, etc.

You second part, the Mechiltah you brought is talking about something different - להחמיץ in Hebrew simply means to miss something, like missing a train. So you can miss a Mitzva, the way you miss a train. E.g. Mishna in Avos 2,4 - "Don't say I will study when I'll have some free tome, for you might not have a chance (so start now)". Or if you see a poor don't say I will help him tomorrow.

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    Don't see how this answers the question... You explain the question, but you don't provide an answer to either part of your explanation. – רבות מחשבות Jan 18 '18 at 3:35
  • Do you know a source for the first part? Let's say the motzi, to use the example I have. – Maurice Mizrahi Jan 18 '18 at 19:49
  • As I wrote, every Mitzvah has its own timeframe, that can be seconds, minutes, hours, days ... years etc. It can not be generalized. What do you mean? – Al Berko Jan 18 '18 at 20:02
  • OK, after you say the motzi, how much time do you have to eat some bread? I note that the quantities of food for mitzvot in general are usually specified (e.g., at least a kazayit-- an Olive's worth, etc.). Are times also specified? My research produced no answer. – Maurice Mizrahi Jan 19 '18 at 1:35

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