Eating While Traveling

After the Little League baseball game, my father and I stop in a store to order an ice cream, then go to the car and return home. Can I make a blessing on the ice cream in the store? Or is leaving the store considered a change of place, and the ice cream would require a new blessing?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Thank you for your precocious question! You are right that very often changing your location is considered an interruption of one’s eating and would require saying a new bracha (blessing) before continuing. However, as we’ll see now, your case is exceptional.

Eating while traveling is an exception to the general rules of changing one’s location during a meal. The reason for this is because a traveler has no location. He is eating on the go, so there is no room or building which is considered his “place”. As a result, if a person begins eating while traveling outside – or even right before he goes out, he is not bound by any location. His blessing continues so long as he does not decide to stop eating.

Thus, so long as you were planning to leave the store immediately to drive home, you could say the blessing on the ice cream in the store and continue eating on the way home and when you get home. But if you and your father planned to eat in the store, and then decided to go and to finish eating at home, once you left the store the ice cream would need a new bracha.

(The only exception is if you're eating constantly, without interruptions of more than a few seconds each. Such eating is not interrupted by changing one's location.)

I wish your team much success!

See also the course on blessings on our advanced site.

(Sources: Shulchan Aruch O.C. 178:4, Mishna Berurah 42, Sha’ar Hatziyun 38, Igrot Moshe O.C. II 57.)

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