Saying a blessing or Davening with food, or other item, in one’s mouth

Saying a blessing or Davening with food, or other item, in one’s mouth:[1]

It is forbidden to say a blessing [or Daven[2]] while eating food.[3] [Accordingly, one who is chewing gum or sucking on a candy, must remove the gum or candy from his mouth prior to reciting a blessing or Davening. Likewise, if one is in the middle of eating a food and desires to say a blessing over a liquid, he is to first swallow the food and then say the blessing. Some are even particular regarding crumbs, to make sure their mouth is free from crumbs of a food prior to saying a blessing.[4] Certainly, one is not to hold an item with his mouth, as some women do upon washing hands to hold their ring using their teeth, while saying the blessing. If saliva accumulates in one’s mouth to the point that it interferes with one’s speech, then he is to swallow it or spit it out prior to saying a blessing.[5]]

Bedieved:[6] Bedieved, if one said a blessing or Davened while a food or other item was in his mouth, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation.

Began eating a food and then remembered that did not say a blessing: Coming up in Part 2!

 

Summary:

It is forbidden to say a blessing while food, or any item, is in one’s mouth and it must hence be removed. Nonetheless, Bedieved one fulfills the blessing if he did not do so.

 

Q&A

May one answer Amen or to Kaddish with a food in his mouth?

Yes.[7] [However, if one just said a blessing over the food, he must always swallow before answering Amen.[8]]

 

May one learn Torah or recite Tehillim with a food in his mouth?

It is permitted to learn Torah while chewing on food, such as gum. Likewise, from the letter of the law, one may recite Tehillim with food, such as gum, in his mouth. Nonetheless, it is proper to be stringent in this matter.[9]

 

May one who wears dentures recite a blessing while they are in his mouth?[10]

Yes.[11] [Nonetheless, if they impair with one’s speech it is proper to remove them before saying a blessing.[12]]

 

May one wear braces while saying a blessing?

Permanent braces, which obviously cannot be removed, are allowed to be initially placed in one’s mouth despite the above issue.[13] However, by removeable braces, it is proper to be removed from one’s mouth upon saying a blessing, or prayer.

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[1] Brachos 51a; Yerushalmi Brachos 6:1 [44b]; Michaber 172:2 regarding one who forgot and began eating a food without a blessing; M”A 172:4; Taz 172:2; Ketzos Hashulchan 5:10 “It is forbidden to say a blessing with food in one’s mouth”; Beir Heiytiv 173:3; M”B 173:7

[2] Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 172

[3] The reason: As the verse states “Yimalei Pi Tihilasecha” which means that one’s entire mouth must be involved in praising Hashem. [See Brachos ibid; Beir Heiytiv ibid; M”B ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid]

[4] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 172:5 footnote 28 in name of Divrei Chana Hashaleim 2:81 and Orach Neman 184:25

[5] Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 172

[6] Bach 172; P”M 172 M”Z 2; Evident from ruling of Michaber 172:2 and Brachos 51a; Aruch Hashulchan 172:1

[7] Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 172

[8] Admur 167:9; Seder 9:1; Luach 6:1; M”A 167:16; Shelah Shaar Haosiyos Kuf p. 81; Olas Tamid 167:11; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 23:7; Ben Ish Chaiy Emor 14; Kaf Hachaim 167:45; Ketzos Hashulchan 37:7

[9] See Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 172 regarding Amen

[10] Rivivos Efraim 2:69; Piskeiy Teshuvos 172:5

[11] As a) The dentures actually help one verbalize the words better. [Rivios Efraim ibid; Vetzaruch Iyun as many people have speech impairment upon wearing dentures. B) As the dentures have become part of one’s mouth and hence there is no need to remove them.

[12] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 31 that some would not use dentures due to this issue.

[13] One can suggest that a) They are part of one’s mouth and hence do not form an issue of “Yimalei Pi Tehilasecha”, and b) it is similar to one who said a blessing with food in his mouth in which case if he cannot spit it out, we allow him to say the blessing.

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