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LOOKING FOR A MA'ASEH RAV:

As far as I know, the obligation to say Tefillas Haderech is applicable to all modes of travel, whether by foot or with a vehicle of any kind.

Does anyone know of any Rav/posek/Halachic authority (or anyone else halachically reliable) who has said Tefillas Haderech while traveling by foot?

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    I am confused by this question,why would you want a maaseh Rav when you have halacha ,such as MB 110:30,its all dependent on distance and safety – sam Jun 4 '18 at 23:02
  • @sam You are not "confused", there is no confusion involved in your question. You just are wondering why I would want it. I'll explain. When there is a halacha which I have never heard anyone actively doing, I begin to wonder whether I'm missing some knowledge regarding that halacha. I therefore want to first inquire whether there is any record of this halacha being activly kept. – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jun 4 '18 at 23:09
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    What other methods were there 2000 years ago – Double AA Jun 4 '18 at 23:26
  • @DoubleAA Camels, donkeys, horses & wagons... – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jun 4 '18 at 23:29
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    Rav Sheshet says you can say it while walking. Does he count? – Double AA Jun 5 '18 at 2:29
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This dinonline.org article implies more "contemporary" rabbanim, namely Rav Shlomo Auerbach and Chazon Ish, who indicate that Tefillat Haderech should be recited even when travelling on foot, but without a bracha if you are travelling in most cities. However, if you are walking through a known dangerous area (I guess certain areas of New York City that are considered high crime areas would qualify), then you should recite with a bracha. I'm excerpting some parts:

It does not matter whether one travels by foot, automobile, boat, train or airplane. As long as the trip consists of the minimum distance, tefilas haderech is recited. (Mishnah Berurah 110:30, Sefer Ishei Yisrael chap. 50, footnote 5, Sefer Tefilah K’Hilchasah 27:27, Shu”t Be’er Moshe vol. VII chap. 114:1)

In earlier generations intercity roads passed through desolate and totally unpopulated areas. Therefore, the danger of highwaymen and wild animals was very prevalent. It is for this reason that these two dangers are specifically mentioned in the text of tefilas haderech.

The question is, however, what is the status of our roadways? Very often, even intercity roads traverse populated areas, thus minimizing the original types of dangers mentioned in tefilas haderech. Does one recite tefilas haderech if he travels on such a road?

The crux of the issue is: Did Chazal institute tefilas haderech only because of those specifically mentioned dangers, or was it instituted for other types of danger as well?

This is debated by contemporary poskim. The Chazon Ish zt”l maintains that all types of dangers were included and since automobile travel is dangerous, one recites tefilas haderech even if traveling intercity in built up areas. HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l, however, holds that tefilas haderech was instituted only for the stated types of danger. Hence on many of our roads, tefilas haderech is said without the concluding bracha.

Of course, if the area of travel is known to be a dangerous place, tefilas haderech is recited with the concluding bracha, as we previously mentioned. (Sefer Ishei Yisrael chap. 50, footnote 24)

The term "travel" doesn't seem to be restricted to just by automobile. I'd be surprised if Chazon Ish and Rav Auerbach would nullify with Mishna Berurah and others have stated.

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  • Thank you very much for the plethora of information on the subject. Still I was asking more for an incident than for a halachic source. But for now, I'll be satisfied with what you sent. Thanx again. – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jun 5 '18 at 17:25

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