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Berachot If One Falls Asleep During A Meal

A question was asked in Halacha regarding one who falls asleep while eating at his table. This occurs sometimes on a Friday night when one is sitting at his table and the meal is lasting a long time. So he either closes his eyes at the table or moves to the sofa to take a little nap. When he wakes up and wants to continue the meal, does one have to make new Berachot in order to start eating again?

The question is brought down if the sleeping is considered a break in the action. One who closes his eyes at the table and just leans back on his chair and sleeps a little is not considered to have made a break in the action, since this is a temporary type of sleeping. Therefore when he wakes up, he can continue to eat without making new Berachot.

However, once a person goes to lie down, on a sofa, a couch, or certainly a bed, even for a short amount of time, even if the sofa is in the same room, that is considered a break in the action. This is so, even if there were people left at the table and he had the intention of returning to continue the meal. In this case, if one got up from his nap and wanted to come back to the table to resume eating, he would have to wash Netilat Yadayim, make HaMotzih and then make Birkat Hamazon. If one didn’t want to resume eating however, he would just come back to the table and make Birkat Hamazon.

We see from this Halacha that one must take caution in a situation if he wants to get up and take a break from the meal and take a nap on a sofa or bed. Even if people are left at the table, or the couch is in the same room, it is considered a break in the action and the Berachot must be recited again.


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