Thursday, October 20, 2005

Vomiting in Halakhah II

Let's say that you are in bed, reading magazines and recovering from a stomach virus. You think you're well enough to have a go at some toast but then discover that your stomach is not yet strong enough for it. After you lose your lunch, you go back to sitting in bed and reading magazines. You are clearly not too ill to bentsch (recite the grace after the meal) but should you? Or let's say, as my wife pointed out to me, that you are pregnant and suffering from "morning sickness". Vomiting is so frequent that it is a non-event. You eat lunch and then get nauseous. You vomit and are immediately back in action. Should you bentsch?

On the one hand, once a full meal has entered the stomach for even a short time, one seems to be obligated in bentsching. Therefore, even if one later vomits it, one has already enjoyed the food. On the other hand, there is a rule that one may no longer bentsch after one has fully digested the food (generally considered to be 72 minutes after finishing to eat). Is vomiting the equivalent of digesting?

R. Tzvi Pesah Frank (Responsa Har Tzvi, Orah Hayim 163) suggests that the Hasam Sofer and Panim Me'iros are of the view that one must still bentsch even if one vomits the food. However, he quotes the Imrei Binah (Orah Hayim, no. 14) who disagrees and rules that one should not bentsch.

R. Frank reaches no conclusion and I am not sure which view is preferred. Ask your rabbi for guidance.

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