Tefillas Haderech

Question: I am travelling from Ramat Beit Shemesh to Jerusalem via Shaar Hagai.  Am I obligated to say Tefillas Haderech? If so, where should I say the brocho. Does the same apply for travel from Jerusalem to Ramat Beit Shemesh?


Tefillas Haderech should be said whenever one travels an uninterrupted distance of 9.216 kilometers between population centers. The distance should be measured along the path of the road, not as a straight line between the two points.

Therefore, Tefillas Haderech should be said when one travels from Yerushalayim to Ramat Beit Shemesh, due to the loop in the road from Highway 1 into Road 38, but it should not be said when one travels from Ramat Beit Shemesh to Yerushalayim, since Road 38 arches into Highway 1.When traveling from RBS to the airport or to Tel Aviv, one should say Tefillas Haderech.

Since our roads do not have the dangers that existed when the bracha was instituted (highway robbers and wild animals), Rav Auerbach zt’’l did not make a bracha on normal intercity travel. The Chazon Ish apparently maintains that the new dangers of modern travel (car accidents) make Tefillas Haderech mandatory even in intra-city driving; he made a bracha when going from Bnei Brak to Petach Tikva. (It is unlikely that there was 9.216 km of open space between those cities 60 years ago.)

Instead of making the beracha while traveling, one who knows while reciting Shemoneh Esrei that he will be traveling later that day can insert Tefillas Haderech into the bracha of Shema Koleinu. The berachos are identical at the end, and personal tefillos can be added to Shema Koleinu. If there is any doubt as to whether Tefillas Haderech is required, the best way of avoiding a berocho levatolo is to include it in Shema Koleinu.

One can be motzi another person in Tefillas Haderech if both are required to say it.

BookID: 1 Chapter: 110

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