Interrupting Between a Bracha and a Mitzvah
What is the halacha if one makes an interruption between the recitation of the blessing and the performance of the mitzva?
In OC 432:1, the Shulchan Aruch writes regarding bedikat chametz: “…and one should be careful not to speak between the recitation of the blessing and the start of the search. And it is preferable not to speak about other matters until the search for chametz has been completed in order that one be properly focused on searching all the places where there might be chametz.”
It appears from here that it is only truly forbidden to speak between the recitation of the blessing and the start of the mitzva. It seems that it is essentially permitted to speak once one has begun the mitzva. Furthermore, the only true concern for interrupting during the performance of a mitzva (in this case, the search for chametz) is that one not lose one’s focus and concentration (“hesech hadaat”).
On the other hand, in OC 592:3, the Shulchan Aruch writes, “One must not speak, neither the ba’al tokea nor the congregation, between the first set of shofar blasts (“tekiot shemeyushav”) and the second set of shofar blasts (“tekiot shemeumad”). And it goes without saying that one must not speak between the recitation of the blessing and the start of the shofar blowing...”
This seems to imply that one is halachically required not to lose focus until the mitzva is completed in its entirety.
How do we reconcile this contradiction?
Some suggest that there is no contradiction here at all. According to some authorities, the first set of shofar blasts, and the second set of shofar blasts, are two separate mitzvot that are both dependent on the same preliminary blessing. As such, until one begins the second set of shofar blasts, one has essentially not performed the mitzva for which one recited a blessing! It follows, therefore, that just like in the case of bedikat chametz, it would essentially be permissible to speak once one begins the second set of shofar blasts.
See the Taz, OC 592:2 for more.