skip to Main Content
Have a question? ASK THE DAYAN 1.888.485.VAAD (8223) Elevate Your Inbox! SUBSCRIBE
Halachos Of Matanos L’evyonim

Halachos of Matanos L’evyonim

By Rav Yehoshua Grunwald

– The Mishna Berura (594:2), based on the Ritva, says that a peruta must be given to each of the evyonim. This would be no more than 25 cents in value.

 – Many authorities, based on the Maharsha in Megilah, say that the gift must be a respectful amount. Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, shlit“a, says that according to this approach one must give a dollar to each evyon. See also Moadim U’zmanim vol. 6:107, who cites the Sheiltos, that one should follow this view.

–  The Shaarei Teshuva (ibid. 1) says in the name of the Chida that one must give an amount that is sufficient to purchase at least “3 eggs worth” of bread. See the Kaf Hachaim 11 who notes that nowadays a peruta can’t buy anything and as such is insufficient.

– The Sefer Mo’adei Yeshurun says in the name of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt”l that nowadays in America the minimum gift is $1.00. The Kuntres Shiurei Halacha says that he heard in the name of R’ Moshe that one must give an amount that the evyon can use to buy a donut or bagel and a tea or coffee. Rabbi Shmuel Felder, shlit”a, told me based on this that the minimum is currently $1.00. Rabbi Forscheimer, shlit”a, also told me that the amount in America today is $1.00.

– The Sefer Yismach Yisroel says that Rabbi Shmuel Wosner, zt”l, said that nowadays one must give five shekels (i.e. slightly more than $1.25). He also writes in the name of Rabbi Nosson Gestetner, zt”l, that nowadays one must give 10 shekels (i.e. slightly more than $2.50).

Common Laws of Inebriation

By Rav Shmuel Honigwachs

  1. There are three levels of inebriation:
  2. Someone who drank a revi’is of wine and is able to talk respectfully in the presence of a king.
  3. Someone who is inebriated to the extent that he is unable to talk respectfully in the presence of a king, yet is fully conscious and aware.
  4. One who is inebriated to the extent that he is unaware of what he is doing.
  5. Praying while inebriated:
  6. One who drank a revi’is of wine (or more) should not pray the Shemona Esrei.
  7. If he is worried that the zman tefilah will pass he may pray, as long as he would be able to speak respectfully in the presence of a king.
  8. If he is inebriated to the point that he is unable to talk respectfully in the king’s presence, he is prohibited from praying.
  9. Should he disregard this prohibition and pray, his prayer is not valid and he is obligated to pray when the inebriation passes.
  10. According to some opinions, if he is able to say all the words while reading from a siddur, he is permitted to daven.
  11. One should preferably not rely on this opinion; however, if he davened, his tefilah is valid[YF1] .
  12. Makeup Prayer:
  13. If a person misses a prayer deliberately, he is not allowed to make up the prayer.
  14. However, if he missed the prayer by accident he is obligated to make up the prayer by praying twice consecutively during the next prayer time. 
  15. Therefore, if a person began drinking many hours before the end of the zman tefilah and was confident that he would be able to sober up by the time that he is obligated to pray, then he is obligated to make up the prayer.
  16. If he should have known that it would be impossible to become sober before the prayer deadline, he wouldn’t make up the prayer.
  17. Counting a drunk for a minyan:
  18. If nine men are sober and the tenth is inebriated to the extent that he is unable to talk respectfully in the presence of a king, he may nevertheless be counted as the tenth man according to many acharonim.
  19. However, one shouldn’t count more than one drunk for a minyan, and this has been quoted as being the prevalent custom.
  20. The same would apply to the law of zimun; one inebriated individual would be counted as a tenth man.
  21. If the tenth man is inebriated to the extent that he is unaware of what he is doing, he should not be counted for a minyan that has chazaras hashatz.
  22. According to some opinions, he may be counted for a minyan for maariv (which doesn’t have chazaras hashatz).
  23. Blessings:
  24. One who is unable  to talk respectfully in the presence of a king may make blessings before and after eating.
  25. However, if he is unable to talk respectfully in the presence of a king, he shouldn’t bentch.
  26. If he is concerned that he will forget to bentch he may ask someone else to bentch and answer amen.
  27. Kerias Shema:

The law of kerias shema is subject to a dispute whether it is comparable to davening or blessings; one should be stringent and refrain from reciting it unless he will miss the deadline.

  • Sobriety:

If one feels that he has regained sobriety, or if his friends think that he has regained sobriety, he is permitted to do all of the above.

  • Vomiting:

If one vomits before reciting the beracha acharona, he should not recite it unless he is fairly certain that some food has remained.