Thursday, December 15, 2005

תפילת הדרך nowadays II

A while back I posted (תפילת הדרך nowadays) about RYBS opinion about saying תפילת הדרך nowadays. Recently, I heard a short shiur on תפילת הדרך and was very happy to hear that RSZA seems to say a very similar idea to RYBS.

RSZA did not say תפילת הדרך when he traveled from Yerushayim to Bnei Brak. He explained his reasoning as follows:
  1. In many places it is not considered as if you left the ישוב for the following reasons:

    1. There are many other cars on the road

    2. The police regularly patrol the road

    3. There are houses on the side of the road

  2. Traveling by car/bus is a normal activity. Whan a person gets up and commutes to work he does not say he is going on a trip. The takana of תפילת הדרך was for someone who was יוצא לדרך, these kinds of trips are not considered יוצא לדרך.

  3. There is little or no danger of לסטים וחיות רעות

RSZA reasoning is very similar to RYBS. Basically, the world has changed and it is no longer unusual or dangerous to travel between cities and therefore the din of when you say תפילת הדרך changes as well.

Note: You cannot just be machmir and say תפילת הדרך in any case, as if you are not chayav you will be saying an unneccessary beracha which is a serious aveira.


GregoryT said...

Can you continue this thread to include flying? I work with 100% travel (i.e. fly 2 times a week) and I would like to know if it is proper to say Tfilat haDerech for short trips (<200 miles) on plane, for long trips (>200 miles), and when to say it (I once heard that you have to say it when the plane is taking off).

bluke said...

RYBS (quoted in Nefesh Harav) did not say Tefilas Haderech when he flew from Boston to NY. He said that he since he commuted he felt absolutely no danger and therefore was not chayav in tefilas haderech. Most poskim disagree with this and hold that you say tefilas haderech when you fly.

This is something you need to ask your local Rabbi for a psak.

Abudllah said...

Its a very interesting topic, I can't remember who but another blogger discussed this topic.

I believe (and I may be mixing two opinions into one) that Moshe Feinstein held that just as foreign as a boat is upon water, so is a plane in the air (if something happens, humans can't survive there). Therefore he held that one must say Tefilat HaDerech every time one flies.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

One could always say it without Hashem's name.

Soccer Dad said...

When I go to work I say it without Hashem's name.

Bill Selliger said...


R. Moshe said that regarding making a Birkas Hagomel. He held that one should make a Hagomel after any plane trip - irrespective of the distance flown or the terrain covered. I don't know if we can draw a parallel between Hagomel and T'filas Haderech, but I would imagine that we can (i.e. if one is required to say Hagomel, then certainly one should be required to say T'filas Haderech).

Abdullah said...

You are correct, I remember the context now. But, I do think that a parallel can (and should) be drawn between the two.

bluke said...

The poskim state that wen you say tefillas haderech without Hashem's name it is best to say it in the Shemoneh Esrei preceding the trip in Shomea Tefilla.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Bluke: Today's primary travel issue in Israel is car accidents, which is far more common than listim and terrorists (chayot raot).

Wouldn't it be considered worthwhile to say Teflillat Haderech with the tremendous sakana of driving in Israel today?

As an MDA EMT, I see on my beeper how many hundreds of car accients there are daily.

The shailya should be reintroduced to the Gedolim. (IMHO)

bluke said...

The poskim discuss this point. RSZA says that we cannot institute a new reason for Tefilas Haderech. Chazal were מתקן it for those dangers and only those dangers. Even though we have new dangers we cannot change the takana. The danger of accidents applies equally to in the city as outside of the city (I seem to recall hearing a statistic that most car accidents occur within 10 miles of your house). Yet, all the poskim state that in the city you don't say tefilas haderech because Chazal were only מתקן it for trips outside the city.

In short, if Chazal were around today they most probably would be מתקן tefilas haderech for accidents and it would apply in and out of the city. Unfortunately, Chazal are not around and we have no power to change the takanos of Chazal.