Thursday, August 25, 2005

Yawning and Burping During Davening - Shabbos 136a

Yawning and Burping During Davening (Shabbos 136a):
מסכת שבת דף קל"ו ע"א:
כי פליגי שפיהק ומת...
רש"י שם ד"ה שפיהק - ביילי"ר בלעז, כלומר לאחר לידתו לא ראו בו אלא חיות מעט, שפיהק ומת, וגבי אדם קאי:
For that which they argue is [concerning a case] in which he yawned and died...
Rashi: That he yawned - bailler in French...
One is not allowed to yawn while davening — unless the yawn is beyond your control, in which case you should cover your mouth with your hand.1 One is also not permitted to burp during davening.2 There is a difference of opinion as to whether a burp during davening may also be excused if it is beyond your control. According to Mishnah Berurah, in the case of a burp that is beyond your control you may burp — preferably, behind your hand as well.3 Why, then, does Shulchan Aruch only mention the solution of covering the mouth in the context of yawning? Because in the case of a burp it is not absolutely necessary — nor even feasible — to cover your mouth, because a burp takes a much shorter time than a yawn, and, moreover, much less of the mouth is revealed. Yawning, on the other hand, takes longer and opens the mouth to a much greater extent, and hence the feasibility and requirement to cover your mouth.
Aruch HaShulchan,4 on the other hand, asserts that only yawns are sometimes involuntary and betond your conrol. Burps, however, can and must be suppresed altogether during davening — just as one would do at a fancy party or other venue in which the burping would be perceived as rude. Accordingly, in the context of burping Shulchan Aruch does not mention the solution of covering the mouth because it is not a solution, as you are required to suppress the burp,
The prohibitions against yawning and burping during davening apply to a person davening alone in a private place to the same extent that they apply to a person davening with others in a public places. For although there are no other people present to be disgusted by these bodily functions, nevertheless, when davening, even by oneself, it is as if one is standing before Hashem, and, therefore the same standards apply.5
שו"ע אורח חיים סימן צ"ז סעיף א': ולא יפהק (פותח פיו להוציא רוח הפה) ואם צריך לפהק מתוך אונס יניח ידו על פיו שלא תראה פתיחתו (ויזהר שלא יניח ידו על סנטרו בשעת התפלה דהוי דרך גסות הרוח) (טור והרי"ף).
שו"ע שם: לא יגהק (מוציא מגופו לפיו נפיחה מתוך שובעו רייטי"ר בלע"ז).
משנה ברורה סימן צ"ז סק"א: לפהק מתוך אונס - ה"ה דבגיהוק מתוך אונס ליכא איסורא ומה דלא נקטו אפשר משום דבו ליכא חיובא להניח ידו שאין פתיחת פיו רב כ"כ וגם הוא לזמן מועט מאוד משא"כ בפיהוק.
שם, סעיפים א'-ב'.
תפארת שלמה על הרא"ש לברכות פ"ג ס"ק ל"ט.

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