Siman 89: 8 Seifim.
1. The time at which the mitzvah of shema begins is hanetz hachamah as the pasuk states ייראוך עם שמש . If one davened from the time of amud hashachar and the illumination of the eastern sky he has fulfilled the mitzvah. The time continues until the end of the fourth hour which is one-third of the day. If one erred or transgressed and davened after the fourth hour until midday he has fulfilled the mitzvah of davening but did not earn the reward for davening in the correct time. (After midday it is prohibited to daven shacharis and see below the beginning of siman 108.)
2. Once the time for shacharis arrives it is prohibited to go to a friend’s doorway to wish him “shalom” since the name of Hashem is Shalom but it is permitted to say “good morning to you.” Even this greeting is permitted only if one must go to see something business related matterbut if he only goes to greet him before davening it is prohibited even if one uses the permitted phrase. It is also prohibited to bow before him when one greets him. According to others bowing is prohibited even if one does not go to greet him. If one already began to recite berachos, afterwards there is no concern. If one does not go to greet him but bumps into him on the street it is permitted to wish him “shalom.” Some maintain that even if one meets someone in the street he should only say “good morning to you” so that he will be reminded that it is prohibited to become involved in activities until one has davened.
3. It is prohibited for one to engage in his personal needs or to travel until he has recited shemone esrei. (Some authorities are lenient once a person has recited some of the berachos before ברוך שאמר but it is better to be stringent about this matter.) It is also prohibited to eat or drink but it is permitted to drink water before davening whether during the week or whether on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Eating and drinking for medicinal purposes is also permitted.
4. Someone hungry or thirsty is categorized as ill. If he can focus his attention he should daven but if not if he wants he could wait to daven until he eats.
5. If one began eating before alos hashachar he must stop and some opinions maintain that he is not required to stop.
6. It is even prohibited to study Torah when the time for davening arrives. This restriction applies to one who davens in the Bais Midrash and does not regularly daven in the Bais HaKnesses so there is a fear that he will become engaged in his learning and allow the time for shema and shemone esrei to pass. The restriction does not apply to someone who regularly davens in the Bais HaKnesses. Similarly, someone who teaches Torah to others may teach during this time even if he does not daven in the Bais HaKnesses since the time for learning will pass and the merit of the people is a significant matter and if one does not teach now they will sit idly and will not be able to learn.
7. It is permitted to get a haircut or enter the bathhouse since these were restricted only before mincha since these are common activities.
8. In a pressing circumstance, for example, one has to wake up early to travel, one may daven after amud hashachar but wait to read shema until the correct time arrives (if it is possible for one to read shema while travelling, meaning that one could concentrate while reading the first pasuk.) Even though he will not be able to juxtapose גאולה and tefila it is preferable to daven in one’s house standing than to daven in the correct time while travelling even with the advantage of connecting גאולה to tefila.
Siman 90: Seifim 27
1. One should not recite shemone esrei while standing on a bed, a chair or a bench (even if it is not three tefachim) nor on a high place unless he is elderly, ill or if his intent is to hear the tzibbur.
2. The height that is considered too high is three tefachim. If it was three tefachim high but four amos square on top it is similar to an attic and it is permitted to daven there. Similarly, if it was surrounded by walls even if it is not four amos squared it is permitted to daven there since its height is not discernable since it is its own domain.
3. Tradesmen who are working for their employer may daven on top of an olive tree or a fig tree and it does not violate the injunction against davening on a high place. The reason is that since they ascended the tree to work it is comparable to one who ascended to an attic. If a tradesman is in another type of tree he must descend. The reason for the distinction is that the olive tree has many more branches than other trees and it would be a significant disruption to climb up and descend, therefore, Chazal instructed the tradesmen to daven there but regarding other trees the tradesmen must descend since it will not cause a significant disruption. An employer must descend no matter type of tree he is on to daven since he is not obligated to work for someone else. Chazal’s leniency was only for employees to prevent interrupting their work but not for employers.
4. One must open doorways or windows towards Yerushalayim so that one could daven facing them. It is appropriate for there to be twelve windows in a Bais HaKnesses.
5. One should not daven in an open area like a field since when davening in a private place one will experience awe of the King and will sense a broken heart.
6. One should not daven in a broken down building since it raises suspicion, may collapse and has demons.
7. One may not daven behind a Bais HaKnesses if one does not face the Bais HaKnesses. “Behind the Bais HaKnesses” is the side with the entrance and is opposite the direction that people face when davening. Some explain in the
opposite manner and one should be concerned for both opinions. Even if one davens near one of the other walls of the Bais HaKnesses one should be stringent to turn towards the Bais HaKnesses. These halachos apply when it is evident that one is turned away from the Bais HaKnesses but if one is davening in a house that is adjacent to a Bais HaKnesses one should face Eretz Yisroel with one’s back to the wall of his house that is adjacent to the Bais HaKnesses since it is not evident that he has turned away from the Bais HaKnesses.
8. It is prohibited to pass by the entrance of a Bais HaKnesses while the tzibbbur is davening since it appears as though one is a heretic since he is not entering to daven. If he is carrying something heavy, wearing tefillin, if there is another Bais HaKnesses in town or if there is another entrance to this Bais HaKnesses (or if he is riding on an animal) it is permitted.
9. One should make an effort to daven in the Bais HaKnesses with the tzibbur. If one is an ones and cannot come to the Bais HaKnesses he should time his davening so that he davens at the time that the tzibbur is davening. (The same halacha applies for those who live in settlements that do not have a minyan, i.e. they should daven at the time that the tzibbur is davening.) Similarly, one who is an ones and did not daven at the time the tzibbur davened and will daven by himself should make an effort to daven in the Bais HaKnesses.
10. When one is together with a tzibbur it is prohibited for one to daven ahead of them unless the time will pass and the tzibbur will miss the time for davening due to the extended amount of time spent reciting piyutim or some other reason.
(If the time for davening will not pass one should read the piyutim and supplications with the tzibbur and not isolate himself from the tzibbur even to study Torah see above siman 68.)
11. Someone who has a Bais HaKnesses in his town and does not attend is called a “bad neighbor” and causes exile to himself and his children.
12. It is a mitzvah to run to the Bais HaKnesses or to perform any mitzvah even on Shabbos when it is prohibited to take large steps. When leaving the Bais HaKnesses it is prohibited for one to run.
13. It is permitted to spit in the Bais HaKnesses but one must step on it or cover it with reed.
14. A person should arrive early in the Bais HaKnesses so that he could be counted amongst the first ten who arrived.
15. If a person is left alone davening in a Bais HaKnesses in a field or even in a Bais HaKnesses in the city if he is davening ma’ariv (at night) his friend is obligated to wait for him to finish his tefila so that he should not become distracted while davening (Some are stringent about this during the day and in our Bais HaKnesses that is in the city).
16. If someone is travelling and he reaches a city and would like to sleep there if there is a place to daven with a minyan in the next four mil, he is obligated to travel there. If the minyan is behind him he must go back a mil to be able to daven with them.
17. There is an opinion who maintains that one may not rise early to travel from a city that has a minyan [and miss davening with a minyan ed.] if he will be able to reach his destination while it is yet day and so that he should not have to travel by himself.
18. A permanent Bais HaMidrash is more sanctified than a Bais HaKnesses and it is a mitzvah to daven there more than in a Bais HaKnesses assuming that he will daven with a minyan. Some say that even if one will not daven with a minyan it is preferable to daven in a Bais HaMidrash which is permanent but this is limited to those for whom Torah is their profession and they do not engage in any other activity. Nevertheless, one should not accustom himself to follow this practice so that the unlearned should not learn from his behavior and stop coming to the Bais HaKnesses. Certainly one should not engage in Torah study in the Bais HaKnesses while the tzibbur is reading selichos or supplications.
19. A person should establish for himself a place for davening and he should not move unless there is a need. It is not sufficient to establish a Bais HaKnesses in which one davens but even in one’s set Bais HaKnesses he must have a set place.
20. A person must enter the length of two doorways before he begins to daven. Some explain that the length of two doorways means he should walk eight tefachim into the Bais HaKnesses, meaning he should not sit right next to the door since it gives the appearance that being in the Bais HaKnesses is burdensome. According to this approach if he has a set seat by the doorway it is acceptable. Some explain that the concern is that he will look outside and will not be able to properly concentrate. According to this approach if the doorway does not open to the street there is no problem. Another explanation is that a person should not rush to daven as soon as he enters; rather he should pause the amount of time it takes to walk through two doorways. It is best to follow all three opinions.
21. One must assure that there is nothing that interposes between himself and the wall. Something that is permanent like the aron or teivah is not an interposition. (Only large items constitute a barrier meaning something that is ten tefachim tall and four tefachim wide but something small is not an interposition.) Similarly, living creatures, including people are not an interposition. It appears to me that animals are an interposition but people are not and this appears to be the position of the Poskim and it is possible that there is a mistake in earlier sefarim.
22. There is an opinion who maintains that one should not daven while standing behind another person and it is appropriate to be concerned with this opinion.
23. It is not correct to daven in front of garments that have a drawing on them even if the image is not embroidered. If one will have to daven in front of a garment or wall that has an image on it he should close his eyes. Therefore it is prohibited for one to draw pictures on the siddur he uses for davening so that he should become distracted. Garments that have inappropriate things drawn on them may not even be used for sitting in a Bais HaKnesses.
24. One may not daven next to, behind or in front of one’s rebbi. According to some opinions this is limited to when one is not davening with a minyan but when davening with a tzibbur if this is the way the seats are arranged it is not a problem to daven in front of or behind one’s rebbi. (Although it is appropriate to be stringent the custom is to be lenient.) If one distanced himself four amos it is permitted (See Yoreh Deah 142:16)
25. A student who is a colleague may daven behind his rebbi.
26. Any place where one may not read shema one may not read shemone esrei. The same manner in which one distances himself from waste, bad smells, a corpse and seeing an ervah for shema is the manner one must distance himself for shemone esrei
27. If one was davening and a child urinated in the Bais HaKnesses one should stand silently until water is brought to pour on the urine or one should move forward or to the side four amos or leave the Bais HaKnesses to finish one’s tefila. It is preferable to move to another place than to wait silently lest one remain silent for the amount of time it takes to complete shemone esrei and one would be required to restart from the beginning.
Siman 91: Seifim 6
1. If one had a garment wrapped around his waist to cover the lower half of his body it is prohibited to daven until one covers his heart. If one did not cover his heart or if there was an ones and he did not have a garment with which to cover himself, since his ervah was covered when he davened the mitzvah is fulfilled.
2. One must gird himself for davening and even if he has a belt so that his heart does not see his ervah due to the obligation of ” הכון .” Other berachos may be recited without a belt since he is wearing pants and his heart does not see his ervah.
3. Some say that it is prohibited for one to read a Name of Hashem with an uncovered head and some maintain that one should protest against those who would enter the Bais HaKnesses with an uncovered head.
4. Hats made from braided straw are considered a proper head covering but placing one’s hand on their head is not a proper covering. If one person places his hand on his friend’s head it seems that it is considered covered.
5. One should not stand with his money belt, his head uncovered, his legs uncovered if people do not stand before important people unless they are wearing leg coverings.
6. The expected behavior of Torah scholars and their students is to daven while wrapped. During times of anger one should hold his hands during davening as a slave stands before his master and during a time of peace one should dress in nice clothing for davening.
Siman 92: Seifim 10
1. If one feels the urge to relieve himself he may not daven and if he davened his tefila is an abomination and he must daven again. This assumes that he would not be able to restrain himself the time it takes to walk a parsa but if he would be able to restrain himself for the time it takes to walk a parsa, b’dieved, he fulfilled the mitzvah. L’chatchila one should not daven until he checked to see if he needs to relieve himself. Someone who feels the need to relieve himself may not even study Torah as long as his body is filthy with waste.
2. If the urge to relieve one’s self begins while one is saying shemone esrei he should restrain himself until he finishes and should not interrupt. If the urge to relieve one’s self in any manner begins while one is saying shema or its berachos he may continue to read as normal assuming the urge is not so great that he violates בל תשקצו but if that is not the case it is better for him to interrupt. If one chooses to move away and urinate he may do so.
3. Before davening one must remove saliva, phlegm and anything else that may distract him.
4. One must wash his hands with water if he has some. If he does not have any he must travel up to a parsah to obtain it. This requirement is limited to someone who was travelling and will find water ahead of him but if he would have to travel backwards to obtain water he is only required to travel a mil but further than that he does not have to travel out of his way. If he fears that the time for davening will pass he should clean his hands on stones or dirt or something that will clean his hands. (See below siman 233).
5. If one washed his hands in the morning and became distracted if he has water he must wash his hands again without a beracha to daven even if he does not know that his hands became dirty. If he does not have water he is not required to find water in order to wash. Even if his hands were dirty and he washes them for davening he does not recite a beracha as mentioned above siman 6.
6. If one is davening and then recalls that he touched a dirty place it is sufficient for him to clean his hands with dirt or stones or wipe his hands on a wall.
7. A dirty place refers to covered parts of the body since they have sweat particles on them. Similarly, one who scratches his head is considered to have touched a covered part of the body. Therefore, it is prohibited to touch these parts of the body while davening or studying Torah. Similarly, one should not touch discharge from his ear or nose unless his hand is covered with a cloth.
8. One who urinates may not daven until he waits the time it takes to walk four amos out of concern for lingering drips. Someone who davened should not urinate until he waits the amount of time it takes to walk four amos since for that amount of time one’s prayer remains on his lips and they continue to vibrate.
9. One who spits should not daven until he pauses the time it takes to walk four amos and one who davens should not spit for the amount of time it takes to walk four amos. This is limited to one who spits willingly but if it arises on its own it is permitted. (See below siman 97).
10. It is appropriate to give tzedaka before davening.
Siman 93: Seifim 4
1. A person should wait for an hour before he begins to daven so that he will have proper concentration. He should also wait for an hour after davening so that davening should not seem as though it is a burden that he wants to quickly leave behind.
2. One should stand to daven with a sense of awe and submission but not from laughter, light headedness, meaningless matters or in anger. One should be in a state of joy meaning words of consolation found in the Torah e.g. after reading about the redemption from Egypt or following אשרי that mentions that Hashem does the will of those who fear him or that Hashem loves those who love him.
3. One should not begin to daven immediately after rendering judgment or after the study of halacha so that he will not be distracted; rather he should daven immediately following the study of halachic rulings. This is also considered davening in a state of joy since .פקודי ה’ ישרים משמחי לב
4. One who is engaged is communal matters is similar to one who is engaged in Torah study. This means that he can daven immediately after he finishes the communal matter since involvement in communal matters is joyful. According to others this comparison means that one who is engaged in communal matters is not required to interrupt to daven.
Siman 94: Seifim 9
1. When one stands to daven – if he is outside of Eretz Yisroel he should face Eretz Yisroel and have in mind as well Yerushalayim, the Bais HaMikdash and the Kodesh HaKodashim. If he is in Eretz Yisroel he should face Yerushalayim and should have in mind as well the Bais HaMikdash and the Kodesh HaKodashim. If he is in Yerushalayim he should face the Bais HaMikdash and should have in mind the Kodesh HaKodashim. If he is standing behind the kapores he should face the kapores.
2. If one davens facing another direction he should turn his face towards Eretz Yisroel – if he is outside of Eretz Yisroel, towards Yerushalayim – if he is in Eretz Yisroel or towards the Bais HaMikdash – if he is in Yerushalayim. The reason why we face east is that we live west of Eretz Yisroel and by turning east we face Eretz Yisroel. The Aron Kodesh and the direction in which we daven should not be aligned directly towards the rising of the sun since that is a practice of heretics. Rather we face where the sun will be closer to midday. One who desires to fulfill the dictum that one who wishes to become wealthy should face north and one who wishes to become wise should face south should nevertheless angle themselves towards the east.
3. One who cannot face the correct direction should direct his heart towards his Father in Heaven.
4. If one was riding a donkey it is unnecessary for him to descend to daven even if he has someone to hold the donkey for him; rather he should daven as the donkey walks. Similarly, one who is on a boat or a wagon, if he is able he should stand to daven but if not he should daven while seated. Someone who was walking may daven while walking even if he cannot face Yerushalayim even though it is not a dangerous area since standing to daven will cause him to become distracted that he is unable to continue his journey and will not have proper concentration. This decision must take into account the road, the place, his fear and peace of mind. There is a stringent opinion that requires one to stand for the first beracha of the amidah and one should follow that opinion if it is not a dangerous place.
5. One who was sitting while davening on a boat or a wagon who could stand when it is time to bow should do so, so that he could bow from a standing position and take three steps back. Even though one is sitting for the amidah if he could stand he should do so to properly fulfill the obligation to bow and take his steps back. If this is not possible, e.g. he is riding on an animal, he should turn the animal back three steps and it is considered as though he took three steps back.
6. Someone who is ill may daven even though he is leaning on his side as long as he will be able to concentrate. (If he is unable to daven he should mentally daven without reciting the words as the pasuk states אמרו בלבבכם על משכבכם
7.Someone surrounded by rough people who fears that his tefila will be interrupted or that his merchandise will be damaged should daven while sitting since otherwise he will not have proper concentration. Even though he must take three steps back at the end of his tefila he should sit and daven and bow.
8. One must be careful not to lean on a pillar or friend while davening
9. Someone who is forced to daven while sitting, when he is able he must daven again while standing and is not required to add anything to that tefila. Someone who was travelling and is near a motel, if he is able to turn off the road to daven in a place where he won’t be interrupted by travelers he should do so rather than daven in a motel of idolaters so that they should not distract him. If he is not able to turn off the road where he won’t be interrupted he should daven in a corner of the motel.
Siman 95 : Seifim 4
1. One’s feet should be next to one another as though they are one so that one should resemble angels, about whom it is written ,ורגליהם רגל ישרה meaning their feet appear as one. (Some say that when one davens he should take three steps forward in the manner in which draws close and approaches a task one is obligated to perform.)
2. One must bow his head so that his eyes face the ground and he should imagine as though he is standing in the Bais HaMikdash and his heart should be directed towards Heaven.
3. One should place his hands over his heart with his right hand over his left and stand as a slave before his master in awe, fear and trepidation One should not place his hands on his legs since this is a haughty posture.
4. One should also stand with his feet together when saying kedusha with the shaliach tzibbur.
Siman 96: Seifim 2
1. While davening one should not hold tefillin, a sefer of Tanach, a full plate, a knife, money or bread since he will be distracted that they may fall and he will not have proper concentration. One may hold a lulav on Sukkos since holding it is a mitzvah and will not distract him.
2. It is permitted to hold a machzor with the prayers while davening. The reason is that since it is needed for davening it will not be distracting similar to the lulav whose taking is a mitzvah and thus does not distract. If one was not holding his siddur when he started davening he should not search for it while davening unless it was in a designated place in which case it is permitted to take it while davening so that one can daven from the siddur.
Siman 97: Seifim 5
1.One should not belch (a breath that comes out of one’s mouth as a result of being full) or yawn (open one’s mouth to emit a breath from one’s mouth) and if he feels the uncontrollable urge to yawn he should place his hand over his mouth so that the opening of his mouth is not seen. (One should not put his hand on his chin while davening since it is a sign of haughtiness.)
2. It is prohibited to spit and if it is impossible for one to not spit he should cause it to be absorbed in his garment so that it will not be seen. If someone is delicate (meaning he can’t stand the appearance of something disgusting) and he cannot cause it to be absorbed in his garment he should spit behind himself. If he can’t spit behind himself he should spit to the left but not to his right and it is certainly prohibited to spit in front of him. Below in siman 123 where we are taught that [when stepping out of shemone esrei] one should turn to the left first so that he faces Hashem’s right. The difference [between the two cases] is that here we assume the Divine Presence never descended within ten tefachim of the earth, therefore the Divine Presence is not opposite the person so we give honor to the right side of the one who is davening and have him spit to the left. When taking three steps back after the amidah a person is distancing himself from the place of the Divine Presence which is where he stood, therefore, he gives honor towards his left which is Hashem’s right.
3. If a louse stings someone he should use his garment to remove it so that he shouldn’t be distracted but he should not remove it by hand. This limitation applies while davening but while one is not davening it is permitted to take a louse by hand and throw it away in a Bais HaKnesses. (See above siman 4 seif 18).
4. If one’s talis is slipping it is permitted to adjust it back into place but if it fell off entirely one may not wrap himself in the talis again since that would constitute an interruption.
5. If one was carrying a package on his shoulders and the time for davening arrives, if it is smaller than four kav one may allow it to suspend behind him and daven but if it is four kav one must put it on the ground to daven.
Siman 98: Seifim 5
1. One who davens must concentrate on the meaning of the words that he reads. He should imagine the Divine Presence to be in front of him and should remove all thoughts that would burden him until his thoughts and focus are exclusively on his davening. He should consider, if he were appearing before a king of flesh and blood he would prepare his words and concentrate so that he should not make a mistake, so certainly he should do so when conversing with Hashem who examines a persons thoughts. This was the practice of the pious one who were mighty in their actions and would meditate during their tefila to the point that they were released from their bodies and strengthened their minds until they almost reached the level of prophecy. If another thought enters one’s mind while davening he should be silent until the thought goes away. One must think about things that subdue his heart to his Father in Heaven and should not think about light-headed matters. Before davening one should contemplate Hashem’s Exaltedness and the lowliness of man and one should remove all pleasures from his heart. One may not kiss his young children in the Bais HaKnesses so that he should set in his heart that there is no love comparable to the love for Hashem.
2. One should not daven in a place where there is something that is distracting or during a time in which one is distracted. Nowadays we are not careful about this since we do not have such strong concentration during davening.
3. One should daven in the manner of supplication similar to the pauper who is asking for something at someone’s door and one should not daven in a way that it gives the impression that davening is a burden from which one only wants to fulfill his obligation.
4. Tefila replaces korbanos, therefore, one must be careful that his prayer resemble a korban in terms of intent, meaning one should not mix other thoughts in one’s tefila just as improper thoughts can nullify the effect of one’s korban. One must stand as is required when offering a korban, one must have a set place similar to the korbanos that had a set place where they were slaughtered and where the blood was applied. One may not have anything interposing between himself and the wall similar to a korban that becomes disqualified if there is something that interposes between one’s hand and the sacred vessel. It is appropriate to have nice garments dedicated for use during davening as did the kohaim except that not everyone has the means for that. Nevertheless, one should have nice pants for davening that are clean.
5. One should not expect that Hashem will fulfill his request because he concentrated well during davening. The opposite is true because such an expectation highlights one’s sins (because one’s actions are scrutinized when he is confident in his merit); rather one should think that Hashem will do this out of his kindness and he should think to himself, “Who am I who is poor and despised to ask something from Hashem unless it is the result of His abundance of mercy in the way that he interacts with mankind.”
Siman 99: Seifim 3
1. One who drank a revi’is of wine may not daven until the effects of the wine subside. If one drank a greater quantity but can still speak before a king and davened he is credited for davening. If he is not able to speak before a king his tefila is an abomination and he must daven again when the effects of the wine subside. Even if the time for tefila passed he should make it up in the tefila that follows in accordance with the law of one who is a shogeg and missed a tefila. The law for krias shema is the same as the law of tefila but one is permitted to recite other berachos while drunk.
2. Travelling a mil and sleeping even the slightest amount dulls the effect of the wine. This is true if one drank only a revi’is but if he drank more than a revi’is sleep and traveling will strengthen the effect of the wine. This applies when one walks by foot but riding will certainly dull the effects of the wine.
3. Anyone who drank can gauge for himself whether he feels that the effects of the wine have subsided. For this reason we are not particular regarding this halacha since our wines are not strong and we daven even after drinking a revi’is of wine. Certainly, if one is davening with a siddur we are not concerned about slight drunkenness.
Siman 100: Seifim 1
1. One must review the tefilos of Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh before davening so that it will be fluent in one’s mouth. Some maintain that this is limited to one who davens by heart but when davening from a siddur it is permitted to daven without reviewing since one can see what to say and this is the custom.
Siman 101: Seifim 4
1. One must have proper concentration for all the berachos and one who cannot concentrate on all of them should at least concentrate on the beracha of avos. One who did not concentrate when reading avos must daven again even if he concentrated on the remaining berachos. (Nowadays we do not repeat shemone esrei for lack of concentration since it is likely that he will not concentrate the second time so why repeat it?)
2. One should not say the words of tefila in one’s mind; rather he should articulate the words so that he can hear himself but softly enough that his voice is not heard. One who cannot concentrate davening quietly may raise his voice but only when davening by himself but when with a tzibbur it is prohibited since he will thereby disturb the tzibbur. If one makes his voice heard in his home so that others will learn to daven it is permitted.
3. According to some it is permitted for one to daven in an audible tone on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur even when one is with a tzibbur. And this is our custom; nevertheless, one should be cautious not to raise his voice too much.
4. One may daven in any language he wants. This ruling is limited to the tzibbur but an individual may only daven in Lashon Kodesh. Some say that that this restriction applies to one’s personal requests, e.g. davening for someone who is ill or other distressful circumstance in one’s home but established prayers recited by the tzibbur may be recited in any language even by an individual. Some say that even personal requests may be said in any language except for Aramaic
Siman 102: Seifim 5
1. It is prohibited to sit within four amos of someone who is davening. Whether one sits in front of him or to his side (or even behind him) one is obligated to distance himself four amos from the one davening. If one is involved in tefila related matters, even פרק איזהו מקומן it is unnecessary for one to distance himself and there is an opinion that is lenient if one is engaged in Torah study even if it is not tefila related. According to some this applies only when one is to his side but in front of him it is prohibited to sit as far as he can see even if one is reading shema.
2. There is an opinion that is lenient if the one who is sitting is ill
3. If one was already sitting and someone began to daven within his four amos he is not required to stand since the other fellow entered his domain. (Nevertheless, it is a pious act to stand up even in this case)
4. It is prohibited to pass within four amos of one who is davening. This applies when passing in front but to the sides is permitted.
5. If one finished his tefila but the person behind him did not it is prohibited to take the three steps back until the one in back finishes his tefila because to do so would violate the prohibition against walking in front of one who is davening. One should be careful about this even if the one in back started davening after the one in front had already begun.
Siman 103 Seif 3:
1. If while davening gas escapes from below one must wait until the smell dissipates and then he may resume davening.
2. If one felt the urge to pass gas and it pains him to keep it inside he should walk back four amos and allow the gas to escape and wait for the smell to dissipate. He should then say ‘ רבון העולמים וכו , return to where he was standing and resume from where he left off. See above siman 85. According to some this halacha applies to one who is in his home but one who is davening in shul and will be embarrassed does not have to walk back nor does he recite the רבון העולמים ; rather he waits until the smell dissipates and this is our custom.
3. A person who “sneezes” while davening, if it is from below it is a bad omen but if it is from above it is a good omen.
Siman 104: Seifim 8
1. One may not interrupt his tefila. Even if a Jewish king inquires about his well being he may not respond but if it is a gentile king if he can shorten his prayer, meaning he will say the beginning and the end of the beracha, he should do so or if he can turn from the road he should do so rather than interrupt but if this is not possible he may interupt.
2. If one is davening on the road and an animal or wagon is heading for him he should move to the side and should not interrupt. One should not move from where he is davening for other matters until he finishes unless he is in the midst of reciting the supplications after davening.
3. Even if a snake is wrapped around his leg he should not interrupt (but he is permitted to walk to another place so that the snake should fall off of his leg). If it is a scorpion on one’s leg he may interrupt since they are more prone to harm people. It is even permitted to interrupt if one sees that the snake appears angry and prepared to harm.
4. If one sees a bull approaching one may interrupt since one should distance himself from an ordinary bull (meaning one that is not accustomed to damage) fifty amos and from a warned bull (meaning one that is accustomed to damage) as far as one can see. If the bulls in that place are presumed to not be dangerous one does not interrupt.
5. In any circumstance in which one interrupted, if he interrupted the amount of time it would take to complete the tefila he must start again from the beginning but if not he resumes from the beginning of the beracha that was interrupted. If one interrupted during the first three berachos he must start from the beginning and if he interrupted during the last three he starts again from .רצה
6. When we calculate whether a person interrupted the time it takes to finish the entire tefila it measured subjectively by the reader. If one talks during davening the place from which he will resume follows the halachos discussed in this siman.
7. One does not even interrupt for kaddish or kedusha; rather one stands silently and pays attention to what the shaliach tzibbur says and it is as if he responded (If one was davening and was called to the Torah he does not interrupt).
8. It is permitted to answer kedusha, kaddish and borchu between shemone esrei and .א-לקי נצור
Siman 105: Seifim 1
1. One who will daven two tefilos, one after the other, must wait between them the amount of time it takes to walk four amos so that his mind will be settled to daven in a manner of supplication.
Siman 106: Seifim 2
1. Anyone who is exempt from krias shema is exempt from tefila and anyone who is obligated in krias shema is obligated in tefila. An exception to the rule are those who accompany the deceased who are not needed to carry the corpse who are obligated to read shema but are exempt from tefila. Regarding women and slaves, although they are exempt from shema they are obligated in tefila since it is a positive command that is not time bound. Children who have reached the age of education must be trained to daven.
2. Someone for whom Torah study is their profession, e.g. R’ Shimon ben Yochai and his friends, interrupts his learning to recite shema but not for tefila. All others interrupt their learning for shema and tefila. (If one is teaching others he does not interrupt as explained in siman 89. Nevertheless, he should interrupt and read the first pasuk of shema. If time is not running out and there is time left to daven and read shema he does not have to interrupt his learning at all.)
Siman 107: Seifim 4
1. If one is uncertain whether he davened he should daven again but is not required to add something to the second tefila. If he knows that he davened he may not daven again unless he adds something to his tefila and by adding something to his tefila he may voluntarily daven as many times as he wants. One may not repeat mussaf since mussaf may not be said on a voluntary basis. On Shabbos and Yom Tov one does not daven on a voluntary basis. If one began davening thinking that he had not yet davened and then realized that he davened he should stop immediately, even if he is in the middle of a beracha and even if he can add something to the second tefila.
2. When the concept of adding something to the tefila is referenced, the intent is to add something that is consistent with the theme of the berachos to each of the berachos in the middle set of berachos. If one added something to even one of the berachos it is sufficient to indicate that the tefila is voluntary rather than obligatory. Some maintain that it is not considered as though one added something to the tefila unless he adds something that he did not need beforehand.
3. The tzibbur never davens a voluntary tefila.
4. One who wants to daven a voluntary tefila must be certain that he is capable of concentrating on his tefila from the beginning until the end but if he will not be able to focus properly we apply the pasuk that states, “Why do I need all of your korbanos?” and if only people would concentrate on the three tefilos they are obligated to daven every day.
Siman 108: Seifim 12
1. If one erred or experienced an ones and did not daven shacharis he should daven twice at mincha, the first tefila is mincha and the second tefila is the make-up. If he reversed the order he does not fulfill his obligation to daven a make-up and he must repeat it. The same halacha applies any time one is required to daven a make-up tefila.
2. If one erred and did not daven mincha he should daven ma’ariv twice, the first is for ma’ariv and the second is the make-up. If one erred and did not daven ma’ariv he should daven shacharis twice, the first is for shacharis and the second is the make-up. After he davens yotzer and shemone esrei he should recite ashrei and then daven another shemone esrei as a make-up for ma’ariv. (Similarly, when a person davens ma’ariv twice because he did not daven mincha he should recite ashrei between the first tefila and the second tefila.)
3. One may only make up a missing tefila during the time of tefila but when it is not the time for tefila one may not make up a missing tefila.
4. One may only make up a missing tefila in the tefila that immediately follows. If one missed shacharis and mincha he davens shemone esrei at ma’ariv twice, the second being the make-up for mincha but shacharis can no longer be made up and the same is true for other tefilos.
5. Even though one may only make up a missing tefila in the tefila that immediately follows and the other missed tefilos are lost, nevertheless, if one wants to daven a voluntary tefila and add something new to that tefila he may do so and it is appropriate for one to do this.
6. If the day passes and one did not daven mussaf it can not be made up.
7. If one intentionally skipped a tefila it can not be made up even in the tefila that immediately follows. If he would like to daven a voluntary tefila he may do so and is not required to add something new if he davens that tefila after the tefila that immediately follows.
8. Someone who did not daven when there was still time because he thought that he would have time to finish his present activity and ended up missing the time for davening or if someone was involved in monetary pursuits to prevent a loss and as a result he missed davening or if one was drunk and did not daven – in all of these cases he is considered an ones and the missed tefila may be made up. However, l’chatchila one should not allow the time for davening to pass out of concern for a potential financial loss.
9. If one erred and did not daven mincha on erev Shabbos he should daven two ma’ariv tefilos, the first for Shabbos and the second is the make-up. The same halacha applies if one did not daven mincha on erev Rosh Chodesh he must daven two Rosh Chodesh tefilos and if he did not mention יעלה ויבא in the first tefila but mentioned it in the second tefila he must daven again but if he did not include יעלה ויבא in either or if he included it in the first tefila but not the second he is not required to daven again.
10. If one erred and did not daven mincha on Shabbos he must daven twice after Shabbos (two weekday tefilos), in the first tefila he recites havdala but not in the second. If he did not include havdala in the first tefila and included it in the second tefila he is credited for the second tefila but not the first. If he included havdala in both or if he did not mention havdala in either tefila he has discharged his obligation.
11.If one forgot to mention Shabbos when he davened on Shabbos afternoon he must daven ma’ariv twice and does not recite havdala in the second tefila and he should intend for that tefila to be voluntary but he is not required to add something new. The same halacha applies to one who forgot יעלה ויבא during mincha on Rosh Chodesh.
12.One who errs by adding in a reference to a special day when it is not that day it is not considered an interruption. However, if one realizes he erred he should stop even if he is in the middle of a beracha.
Siman 109: Seifim 3
1. If one enters the Bais HaKnesses and finds the tzibbur davening, if one will able to start and finish before the tzibbur reaches kedusha or kaddish he should daven. The same halacha of kaddish and kedusha applies to answering אמן to הא-ל הקדוש or שומע תפלה . If he will not finish he should not daven unless the time for davening will pass. If one entered after kedusha and he can start and finish before the tzibbur reaches modim he should daven but if not he should not daven. Similarly, if he will reach modim or one of the other berachos that involve bowing when the shaliach tzibbur reaches modim he may daven. If one must start davening so that he could juxtapose גאולה to תפלה and he finds himself in the middle of one of the berachos at the time the shaliach tzibbur reaches modim he should bow with him but if he is at the beginning or end of a beracha he should not bow since we do not bow at the beginning or end of a beracha other than for אבות and .הודאה
2. If one begins davening with the shaliach tzibbur when they reach kedusha he should say every word of kedusha together with the shaliach tzibbur. He should also say every word of the beracha הא-ל הקדוש and שומע תפלה with the shaliach tzibbur. One should also keep pace with the shaliach tzibbur so that he will be at מודים or הטוב שמך ולך נאה להודות when the shaliach tzibbur reaches מודים so that he could bow when the shaliach tzibbur says .מודים Preferably, one should not begin until after kedusha and הא-ל הקדוש but if it is necessary because the time for davening will pass or so that he can juxtapose גאולה to תפלה the above procedure should be followed.
3. If someone is davening and when he reaches kedusha the tzibbur is saying kedusha in ובא לציון he does not recite kedusha with them since the two kedushos are not the same. It seems that the same is true if the tzibbur was saying כתר , meaning that he should not say kedusha with them; rather he should be silent and concentrate on what they are saying based on the principle that listening is akin to responding. Some say that when the tzibbur is saying ,כתר the kedusha for mussaf and an individual is saying the kedusha for shacharis he may recite it with them since they are both kedusha of a shemone esrei and their sanctity is the same and this appears to me to be correct.
Siman 110 Seif 8
1. In a pressing circumstance, e.g. one is travelling or one is standing in a place in which one is distracted and is afraid that he will be interrupted or will not be able to concentrate for the entire shemone esrei, one may recite הביננו after the first three berachos and afterwards recite the last three berachos. This tefila must be recited while standing and when one returns home he is not required to daven again. הביננו may not be recited during the winter or after Shabbos or Yom Tov.
2. Regarding employees who work by their employer if he does not provide a wage in addition to their meals they may daven a full shemone esrei but they do not they do not appoint a shaliach tzibbur or recite birkas kohanim. If their employer does pay them a wage they recite הביננו . Nowadays employers are not so exacting regarding time and it is assumed that the employees were hired with the understanding that they would daven shemone esrei.
3. One who is travelling near wild animals or thieves should say צרכי עמך מרבים וכו’ and is not required to say the first three or last three berachos of shemone esrei. He may recite this tefila while travelling but if he is able to stand still during its recitation he should do so. When he reaches an inhabited area and his mind settles he should daven a full shemone esrei. (If he does not daven again it is as though he forgot to daven and one follows the halachos recorded above in siman 108)
4. One who begins travelling should say ‘ יהי רצון מלפניך וכו . The tefila should be said in plural and if possible it should be said while standing. If one was riding it is unnecessary for him to dismount.
5. It is only necessary to recite the tefila once a day even if one rests in town in the middle of the day. If one plans on staying in town for the night and then changes his mind to travel to another town or to return home he must recite this tefila a second time.
6. When Maharam M’Rottenberg would travel in the morning he would recite this tefila after יהי רצון in order to connect it to the beracha of גומל חסדים and tefilas haderech would thereby be connected to another beracha.
7. Tefilas haderech should be recited after one begins travelling. It should not be recited unless one will travel and parsah and if one is travelling less than a parsah one should not conclude the tefila with ברוך . (L’chatchila it should be recited in the first parsah that one travels.) If one forgot to recite this tefila it may be recited as long as one is still traveling as long as he has not reached the last parsah before his destination. Once one is within the last parsah it should be said without the beracha.
8. Upon entering the Bais HaMidrash one should say יהי רצון מלפניך וכו’ and when he leaves he should say ‘ .מודה אני לפניך וכו
Siman 111: Seifim 2
1. One must connect גאולה to תפלה meaning that one should not interrupt between them even to answer אמן after גאל ישראל . One may also not recite any pasuk other than the pasuk of ה’ שפתי תפתח . Some authorities maintain that it is permitted to answer אמן to the beracha of גאל ישראל and that is our custom. Some maintain that the requirement to juxtapose גאולה to תפלה is limited to the weekday and Yom Tov but on Shabbos it is unnecessary. (Meaning, the requirement to juxtapose גאולה to תפלה is based on the juxtaposition of the pesukim ‘ יענך ה’ וכו and יהיו לרצון וגו’ וגואלי and Shabbos is not a time for distress. It seems to me that the reason this does not apply to Yom Tov is that Yomim Tovim are days of judgment as taught in the second Mishnah of the first chapter of Rosh HaShanah: Pesach [we are judged] on grain etc.) It is correct to be stringent unless it is a circumstance in which one must be lenient.
2. When the chazzan begins shemone esrei out loud he should say ה’ שפתי תפתח וכו’.
Siman 112: Seifim 2
1. One should not ask for his needs during the first three berachos or the last three berachos. This limitation applies to private needs but one may ask for communal needs.
2. Piyutim and a קרובץ (meaning the קרובץ for יוצר . Some say that קרובץ is an acronym for קול רנה וישועה באהלי צדיקים ) should not be said during tefila. Some authorities permit this since it represents a communal need and the custom in all places is to recite them.
Siman 113: Seifim 9
1. In the following berachos one bows, in avos at the beginning and the end and in hoda’ah at the beginning and the end. If one wants to bow at the end of another beracha or at its beginning he should be taught not to bow but in the middle of a beracha one may bow.
2. Those who have the custom to bow on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur when they recite זכרנו and מי כמוך must stand when they reach the end of the beracha. Even though one bows at the end of avos, he must nevertheless stand straight at the end of זכרנו so it will appear as though he is bowing to fulfill his obligation.
3. One who bows for ‘ וכל קומה וכו or for ‘ ולך לבדך וכו or during hoda’ah in hallel or birkas hamazon is behaving improperly (for one should only bow where Chazal instructed).
4. One must bow during davening so that his vertebrae stick out. One should not bow at his waist and keep his head upright; rather his head should be bent over in the shape of a cane.
5. One should not bow so far down that his mouth is level with the belt of his pants. One who is old or ill and cannot bow so that his vertebrae stick out should bow his head and that is enough since it is then evident that he wants to bow further but it would cause him pain.
6. When one bows he should bow quickly and in one motion and when straightening he should straighten slowly, his head rising first and then the rest of his body so that it should not appear burdensome.
7. One bows when saying the word ברוך and one straightens when saying Hashem’s name.
8. If one is davening and is ready to bow and at that moment a person with a picture of an idol in his hand passes by, he should not bow even though his intent is for Hashem.
9. One may not add descriptions of Hashem beyond הא-ל הגדול הגבור והנורא . This restriction is limited to tefila since one may not change Chazal’s wording but when supplicating or during requests or while praising Hashem to one’s self there is no restriction. Nevertheless, one who is adding praises should say those praises from pesukim.
Siman 114: Seifim 9
1. We begin to add into the second beracha of shemone esrei משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם in mussaf on Shemini Atzeres and we do not cease adding this phrase until mussaf on the first day of Pesach.
2. It is prohibited to mention rain before it is announced by the shaliach tzibbur. (Some maintain that before mussaf the shamash should announce משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם so that the tzibbur will remember to include it in their tefila and this is our custom.) Therefore, if one is ill or has some other circumstance that prevents from being in shul, he should not daven earlier than the tzibbur since it is prohibited to mention rain before the shaliach tzibbur but if he knows that it was announced he may mention is even though he did not hear the announcement. For this reason if one comes to the Bais HaKnesses and sees the tzibbur davening he should daven and mention rain even though he did not hear the announcement.
3. If one mentioned wind (during the summer) or if it was not mentioned during the winter he is not required to daven again. Similarly, with regards to טל if it was mentioned during the winter or if it was not mentioned during the summer one is not required to daven again. Ashkenazim do not mention טל in the summer or in the winter and instead we say ‘ רב להושיע מכלכל חיים וגו . Some authorities maintain that the shaliach tzibbur stops mentioning rain in mussaf on the first day of Pesach but the tzibbur mentions rain in mussaf and does not stop until mincha after they heard the shaliach tzibbur cease to mention rain and this is our custom.
4. If one mentioned rain during the summer he must daven again and he restarts from the beginning of the beracha. If he already finished the beracha he restarts from the beginning of shemone esrei. If one mentioned rain instead of טל in the summer he must daven again even if in that place they need rain in the summer. (Similarly, if one mentioned rain and טל he must daven again.
5.If one did not mention rain during the winter he must daven again. This is true only if he did not mention טל but if he mentioned טל he is not required to daven again.
6. When is a person required to daven again from the beginning if he did not mention rain during the winter? It applies if he completed that beracha and started the subsequent beracha. If he realized that he did not mention rain before he finished the beracha he should mention rain when he realizes. Even if he finished the beracha and realized before he began אתה קדוש he is not required to go back and may mention משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם at that point. The first three berachos are considered a single unit and when an error is made in those berachos he must restart from the beginning of shemone esrei, whether he is by himself or whether he is with a tzibbur.
7. Whenever the halacha is that one must return to the beracha in which he erred it refers to where he erred mistakenly but if one erred intentionally he must restart shemone esrei from the beginning.
8. During the summer if one is uncertain whether he mentioned rain or not, for the first thirty days it is assumed that he mentioned rain and he is obligated to daven again. The same is true for our custom to not mention טל during the summer, meaning if one is uncertain whether he mentioned rain during the winter, for the first thirty days he must daven again since it is assumed that he davened as he was accustomed and did not mention rain or טל but after thirty days he is not required to daven again.
9. On the first day of Pesach if one said 90 אתה גבור וכו’ מוריד הטל times which corresponds to the three times a day one davens for 30 days he no longer must repeat shemone esrei if he does not recall whether he mentioned rain since it is assumed that he did not mention rain. Similarly, if one said ‘ מכלכל חיים וכו without משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם as he did in the winter or if on Shemini Atzeres one says ninety times אתה גבור וגו’ מוריד הגשם – if he is uncertain afterwards whether he davened the correct phrase the presumption is that he did.
Siman 115: Seifim 1
1. Since mankind’s advantage over animals is his understanding and intellect Chazal placed the beracha of אתה חונן at the beginning of the middle section of shemone esrei as if to say that if there is no understanding there is no prayer
Siman 116: Seifim 1:
1. רפאנו ה’ ונרפא , even though one may not transform a pasuk from singular to plural, that limitation applies when one’s intent is to read a pasuk but when one’s intent is for a prayer and a request it is permitted. Nevertheless, one may not change an entire chapter from singular to plural or the reverse.
Siman 117: Seifim 5
1. One must add to ברכת השנים in the winter the phrase ותן טל ומטר . We begin to add this request outside of Eretz Yisroel in ma’ariv on the 60th day from the Tishrei season (the first day of the season is counted as day one of the 60 day count) and in Eretz Yisroel we begin to add the request on the night of the 7th of Cheshvan. We ask for rain through mincha on the day before Pesach and afterwards we stop asking for rain.
2. Individuals who need rain during the summer should not ask for rain in ברכת השנים ; rather the request is made in שומע תפלה. Even a large city such as Ninveh or an entire land such as Spain and Germany adds the request in the summer in .שומע תפלה Nevertheless, if an entire land needs rain in the summer and a person mistakenly asked for rain in ברכת השנים (if he wants) he may repeat shemone esrei as a voluntary tefila without asking for rain in ברכת השנים (but he is not required to daven again).
3. If one asked for rain during the summer he must daven again.
4. If one does not ask for rain during the winter he must daven again even if he asked for טל . If one asked for rain but not טל he is not required to daven again.
5. If one did not ask for rain and realized before שומע תפלה he is not required to go back and he may add the request to שומע תפלה . (If it was a fast day and must say עננו he should include his request for rain before עננו ) If he does not realize his error until he is after ,שומע תפלה if he did not yet move his feet he goes back to ברכת השנים and if he did move his feet he must daven again. If one finished his tefila and is not accustomed to add supplications even if he did not move his feet it is considered as though he moved his feet. If he realizes after שומע תפלה but before רצה he should say ותן טל ומטר לברכה and then continue with .רצה
Siman 118 Seif 1:
1. The beracha of השיבה שופטינו concludes .מלך אוהב צדקה ומשפט Between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur it ends .המלך המשפט Nevertheless, if one said מלך אוהב צדקה ומשפט he is not required to daven again. It is only necessary to daven again if he is in a place that says throughout the year הא-ל אוהב צדקה ומשפט.
Siman 119: Seif 4
1. If one wants to add to any one the middle berachos something that relates to that beracha he may do so. For example, if someone is ill one may ask for mercy on his behalf in the beracha of רפאנו . If one needs parnasa he may ask for it in ברכת השנים . When adding something one should first start the beracha before adding the additional prayer and one should not start with the additional prayer before starting the beracha. In שומע תפלה one may ask for anything since that beracha encompasses all requests. According to Rabbeinu Yonah when one is adding something to a beracha if the request is for the tzibbur one should use plural language rather than singular and the addition should be added to the end of the beracha rather than the middle. If one is asking for personal matters, e.g. someone is ill in one’s house or for parnasa, one may ask even in the middle of the beracha and the request should be in singular rather than in plural. In the beracha of שומע תפלה or at the end of davening, whether it is before יהיו לרצון or afterwards one may add requests using singular or plural language and the request may be for the tzibbur or for one’s private needs.
2. There is an opinion who maintains that when adding a private request to a beracha one should not elaborate.
3. If one skipped or erred in one of the middle berachos he is only required to return to the beginning of the beracha in which he erred or that he skipped and then continues with the rest of shemone esrei in order.
4. If a shaliach tzibbur finishes the beracha of גואל ישראל and forgot to add עננו he does not go back even if he only finished רפאנו and if he does go back it is a beracha l’vatalah.
Siman 120: Seifim 1
1. רצה is said in all the tefilos which is not in accordance with those opinions who have the custom to skip it during mincha.
Siman 121: Seifim 3
1.We bow at the beginning and end of modim.
2 .One who says מודים מודים should be silenced.
3. An individual does not say birkas kohanim. This is the primary opinion and it appears to me that this position should be practiced but common custom is not in accordance with this opinion and individuals say it whenever it is a time for birkas kohanim but it does not appear to me to be correct.
Siman 122: Seifim 3
1. One may not interrupt to answer kaddish or kedusha between shemone esrei and יהיו לרצון since יהיו לרצון is part of tefila but between יהיו לרצון and the other supplications he may interrupt. This applies only in a place where they are accustomed to recite יהיו לרצון immediately after davening but in a place where the custom is to recite supplications before יהיו לרצון one may interrupt for kaddish and kedusha. In these places the custom is to interrupt during א-לקי נצור before יהיו לרצון , therefore, they may interrupt for kedusha, kaddish and borchu. Nevertheless, one who is accustomed to recite supplications after his davening and the shaliach tzibbur began the next section of davening and reached kaddish or kedusha he should quickly finish and if he did not quickly finish he may interrupt following the rules of interrupting in the middle of birchos krias shema.
2. It is not proper to recite supplications before יהיו לרצון ; rather immediately after tefila one should recite יהין לרצון and if one wants to repeat the pasuk after the supplications he may do so.
3. One who is accustomed to recite the following four things will merit to greet the face of the Divine Presence: עשה למען שמך, עשה למען ימינך, עשה למען תורתך, עשה למען קדשתך.
Siman 123: Seif 6
1. One bows and takes three steps back while bent over. After stepping back while still bent over he turns to the left and says עושה שלום במרומיו and then turns to the right and says הוא יעשה שלום עלינו and then he bows straight ahead similar to a slave who takes leave of his master. The custom is to recite ‘ יהי רצון שיבנה וכו afterwards since tefila is a replacement for the service of the Bais HaMikdash; therefore we ask for the Bais HaMikdash so that we should be able to do the actual service.
2. One should stand in the place where he finished his three steps and should not return to his place until the shaliach tzibbur reaches kedusha or at least until the shaliach tzibbur begins chazaras hashatz. The shaliach tzibbur should stand for the amount of time it takes to walk four amos before returning to his place for chazaras hashatz. An individual should also stand in place where he finished his steps before returning to his place. If an individual davening with a tzibbur finishes his tefila before the shaliach tzibbur he may not turn and face the tzibbur until the shaliach tzibbur finishes his tefila.
3. When stepping back one steps back with his left foot first. The size of each step is at least the distance of a “heal-toe” step. L’chatchila, one should not take steps that are larger than this
4. One who takes more than three steps is acting haughtily.
5. Even the shaliach tzibbur must take three steps when he finishes his silent shemone esrei and when he recites chazaras hashatz he does not have to take three steps back. (If the shaliach tzibbur does not recite the silent shemone esrei he should take three steps back after chazaras hashatz.)
6. When the shaliach tzibbur recites chazaras hashatz he should say ה’ שפתי תפתח (but he does not say (יהיו לרצון).
Siman 124: Seifim 12
1. After the tzibbur finishes their tefila, the shaliach tzibbur repeats shemone esrei so that if there is someone who does not know how to daven he can pay attention to what the shaliach tzibbur says and will thereby discharges his obligation. The one who is discharging his obligation must pay attention to the entire tefila from the beginning through the end and he may not interrupt or talk and he should take three steps back as if he davened himself.
2. If the shaliach tzibbur arrives in shul and finds the tzibbur already reciting their silent shemone esrei and he must stand before the amud right away, he may approach the amud and daven out loud for the tzibbur and is not required to repeat shemone esrei silently. The same halacha applies in a pressing circumstance, e.g. one fears that the time for davening will pass, and he can daven chazaras hashatz out loud and the tzibbur davens with him saying each word with him quietly until after הא-ל הקדוש . It is preferable for there to be at least one person to answer אמן to the shaliach tzibbur.
3. Even if a tzibbur davened and they are all capable of davening for themselves the shaliach tzibbur repeats shemone esrei in order to fulfill Chazal’s enactment. If there are individuals in the tzibbur who are davening slowly the shaliach tzibbur should not wait for them even if they are prominent people in the community. Similarly, if there is a minyan in the Bais HaKnesses they should not wait for a prominent person or leader who has yet to arrive.
4. While the shaliach tzibbur recites chazaras hashatz the tzibbur should be quiet and attentive and respond אמן to the berachos that he is saying. If nine people are not paying attention it is likely that the berachos are l’vatalah; therefore each person should imagine that without him there are not nine people paying attention to the shaliach tzibbur. (Some say that the tzibbur should stand when the shaliach tzibbur repeats shemone esrei .)
5. Whenever one hears a beracha he should say ברוך הוא הברוך שמו.
6. The tzibbur should answer אמן to each beracha whether they are discharging their obligation or not. One should have in mind when answering אמן that what was said in the beracha is true and he believes it as well.
7. One should not discuss idle matters during chazaras hashatz and one who discusses idle matters is a sinner, the sin is too great to bear and he should be rebuked. One should teach his young sons to answer אמן since a child earns a portion in the World to Come as soon as he answers אמן.
8. One should not answer an אמן חטופה , meaning one should not say אמן as if there is a chataf under the ” א” nor should one answer אמן quickly before the one reciting the beracha even finishes the beracha. One may also not answer an אמן קטופה , meaning that one leaves out the ” נ”or doesn’t pronounce it so that it is recognizable (One should also not interrupt in the middle of the word). One should also not answer an אמן יתומה , referring to one who is obligated to recite a particular beracha and the shalaich tzibbur recites the beracha but the other person cannot hear the beracha; even though he knows what beracha is being recited, since he did not hear the beracha he may not answer אמן since it would be an “orphaned אמן .” Some authorities are stringent that even if one is not obligated in that beracha he should not answer אמן if he does not know what beracha the shaliach tzibbur is reciting since this is also called an אמן יתומה . One should not wait to answer אמן ; rather as soon as the shaliach tzibbur finishes the beracha one should answer אמן . One should not answer an אמן קצרה , rather it should take as long as it takes to say א- ל מלך נאמן but one should not say it too slowly since letters are not discernable if they are said too slowly.
9. If some people take a long time to answer אמן the one reciting the beracha is not required to wait for them.
10. One who forgot יעלה ויבא on Rosh Chodesh or Chol HaMoed or forgot something that requires one to repeat shemone esrei should concentrate and listen to the entire chazaras hashatz, from beginning to end as if he is davening by himself. He may not interrupt or speak and upon completion he should take three steps back. The reason he may discharge his obligation with chazaras hashatz even though he is capable of davening himself is that he davened, it is just that he forgot to include an additional prayer.
11. If while a person is davening the shaliach tzibbur finishes a beracha and before the tzibbur finished answering אמן he finished his tefila he may answer אמן . Even if he did not hear the beracha altogether but he hears the tzibbur answer אמן and knows which beracha was recited he may answer with them and the same halacha applies to kaddish and borchu.
12. One who answers אמן should not raise his voice louder than the one reciting the beracha
Siman 125: Seifim 2
1.The tzibbur does not recite נקדישך with the shaliach tzibbur; rather they remain silent and listen to the shaliach tzibbur until he reaches kedusha and then they respond .קדוש
2 . It is appropriate for one to keep his feet together when he says kedusha with the shaliach tzibbur. One should lift his eyes towards the heavens while saying kedusha and he should also move his body and lift it off the ground. One should not speak during kedusha. If one already recited kedusha and when he comes to shul finds the tzibbur reciting kedusha he should join them and recite kedusha.
Siman 126: Seifim 4
1. A shaliach tzibbur who mistakenly skipped one of the berachos and when reminded is capable of going back to the beracha that he skipped is not removed from his position. If, however, he skips ולמלשינים he is immediately removed out of concern that he is an apikorus. If he started the beracha and erred in its recitation he is not replaced.
2. A shaliach tzibbur who errs and cannot go back to where he erred should be replaced (as explained in siman 53) and the replacement should begin from the beginning of the beracha in which the error occurred, assuming that the error was in one of the berachos from the middle section of shemone esrei. If the error was in the first three berachos the replacement should start again from the beginning and if it was in the last three berachos he should start from .רצה
3. Any circumstance in which an individual would be obligated to repeat shemone esrei the shaliach tzibbur also must repeat shemone esrei if he made the same error in chazaras hashatz. The exception to this rule is if he forgot יעלה ויבא on Rosh Chodesh where he is not required to repeat shemone esrei since it would burden the tzibbur and he will mention Rosh Chodesh in mussaf. If he realizes before he finishes chazaras hashatz he must go back to רצה since this would not burden the tzibbur. Some authorities maintain that if he erred in shacharis on Shabbos or Yom Tov he is not required to repeat chazaras hashatz and this is the custom.
4. If the shaliach tzibbur erred when saying the silent shemone esrei he is not required to repeat shemone esrei since it will burden the tzibbur; rather he should rely on chazaras hashatz. This assumes that he did not err in the first three berachos but if he erred in the first three berachos he must repeat shemone esre.
Siman 127: Seifim 2
1. When the shaliach tzibbur reaches modim the tzibbur should bow with him but they should not bow too far. The tzibbur then recites ‘ מודים אנחנו לך וכו and concludes ברוך א- ל ההודאות without mentioning Hashem’s Name. There is an opinion who maintains that the tzibbur should bow at the end of the paragraph and it is appropriate to follow that opinion. Some maintain that the entire paragraph should be said in a bowing position and it is customary to follow this opinion.
2. If there are no kohanim present the shaliach tzibbur should say א-לוקינו וא- לוקי אבותינו וכו’ until the words ואני אברכם and the tzibbur answers כן יהי רצון rather than א-לוקנו וא-לוקי אבותינו .אמן is only said when it is a time that the kohanim would bless the people. The custom is to recite שים שלום in shacharis or any other time that א-לוקינו would be recited but otherwise שלום רב is recited. Some say שים שלום at Shabbos mincha since we recite באור פניך נתת לנו which refers to Torah that is read in Shabbos mincha.