(D) Morning Blessings and other Blessings: Siman 46-57

          Siman 46: Seifim 9

1. When one wakes up in the morning he should say ,אלקי נשמה when he hears a rooster he should say הנותן לשכוי , when dressing he should say מלביש ערומים , when he puts his hands on his eyes he should say פוקח עורים , when he sits he should say ,מתיר אסורים when he straightens he should say זוקף כפופים , when he puts his feet on the ground he should say רוקע הארץ על מים , when putting on one’s shoes he should say שעשה לי כל צרכי , when he walks he should say המכין מצעדי גבר , when he wraps his belt he should say אוזר ישראל בגבורה (Or when he put on his pants that separates his heart from his ervah), when one puts his hat or kerchief on his head he should say עוטר ישראל בתפארה , when he washes his hands he should say על נטילת ידים and when he washes his face he should say המעביר שנה מעיני וכו’ ויהי רצון וכו’ טובים לעמו ישראל . One does not answer אמן to המעביר שנה מעיני until after לעמו ישראל since it is all one beracha.

2. Nowadays, since our hands are not clean and due to the percentage of those who do not know these berachos the custom is for them to be read out loud in shul and we answer אמן afterwards and this is how the obligation is discharged.

3. One is obligated to recite at least 100 berachos every day.

4. One must say every day שלא עשני עכ ו “ם, שלא עשני עב ד and שלא עשני אש ה . Even a convert recites these berachos but he should not say שלא עשני עכו”ם since that is how he was created. Women say .שעשני כרצונ ו

5. If one said זוקף כפופי ם before מתיר אסורים he should no longer say .מתיר אסורי ם

6. There are those who have the custom to say the beracha הנותן ליעף כ ח but that position does not seem correct. The custom amongst Ashkenazim is to say this beracha.

7. There are those who are accustomed to say additional berachos but it is an error on their part.

8. If one did not perform the action associated with one of these berachos, for example, he did not hear the rooster, he did not walk, dress or put on a belt, the beracha should be recited without including Hashem’s name. According to others even if one did not perform the associated action the beracha should be recited since the beracha is not about one’s personal experience; rather it is a beracha that Hashem meets the needs of the world. This practice is our custom and one should not deviate.

9. One may not read pesukim before Birkas HaTorah even if they are said in a manner of supplication. Others maintain that one need not be concerned about this as long as the pesukim are read as a supplication but it is best to be cautious in accordance with the first position. The custom is in accordance with the second opinion since during selichos we read selichos and then recite Birkas HaTorah with the rest of Birchos HaShachar. Similarly, on a regular basis people say pesukim as they enter shul before reciting Birkas HaTorah. The custom is to recite Birkas HaTorah immediately after אשר יצר and one should not deviate from that order. It is correct during Shacharis to read שמע ישראל as well as ברוך שם since sometimes there is a delay and Shema is not read by the latest time for it to be read and one will fulfill the mitzvah with this reading.

           Siman 47: Seifim 14

1. One must be careful to recite Birkas HaTorah.

2. One must recite the beracha for the study of Tanach, Mishnah, Gemara or even Midrash.

3. One who writes divrei Torah is required to recite Birkas HaTorah even though he does not read the words out loud.

4. One is not required to recite the beracha if he will merely think about Torah. One may also issue a halachic ruling without giving the reason for the ruling.

5. Birkas HaTorah is comprised of the berachos: אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על דברי תורה, והערב נא וכו and .אשר בחר בנו

6. The phrase והערב נ א should include the ” ו .” Some say that the phrase should not have a ” ו” and this is the common custom but it is preferred to include the ” ו “.

7. Birkas אהבת עולם discharges one’s obligation of Birkas HaTorah if he studied Torah immediately after davening without interrupting between davening and learning.

8. It is uncertain whether reading שמע after אהבת עולם without interrupting in between is sufficient, therefore, one should be careful to recite Birkas HaTorah before the beracha of .אהבת עולם

9. Some maintain that there is no issue to interrupt between Birkas Ha- Torah and learning. It is preferred not to interrupt and the custom is to read the parsha of ברכת כהנים after Birkas HaTorah.

10. If one interrupted his learning to engage in business, since his intent was to return to his learning it is not considered an interruption. Similarly, sleeping or going into the bathhouse or bathroom are not an interruption.

11. A settled sleep on one’s bed during the day is an interruption. Some maintain that it is not an interruption and that is our custom.

12. Even if one learns at night it is unnecessary to repeat Birkas HaTorah, since the night follows the day, unless one slept upon his bed.

13. One who rises before dawn to study Torah must recite Birkas HaTorah and he is not required to repeat the berachos when he arrives in shul. One who rises before dawn may recite all of Birchos HaShachar except for הנותן לשכוי בינה and Parshas HaTamid for which one should wait until it is day. L’chatchila, one should wash his hands before he recites the beracha that precedes learning. If one does not have water he may learn and recite Birkas HaTorah without washing as one may recite other berachos before washing (See Shulchan Aruch 46:1).

14. Women recite Birkas HaTorah.

          Siman 48: Seif 1

1. We read Parshas HaTamid and some read סדר מערכ ה and .רבון העולמים If one cannot read all these paragraphs with the tzibbur one may read it even in his home and then read just Parshas HaTamid with the tzibbur and intend that it should be considered as though he was reading the Torah. People who are precise in their fulfillment of mitzvos have the custom to sway when they read the Torah similar to the Torah which caused people to tremble. When davening as well people sway as a fulfillment of the pasuk כל עצמותי תאמרנה ה’ מי כמו ך . On Shabbos we add after Parshas HaTamid pesukim that discuss the Shabbos Mussaf but on Rosh Chodesh and Yom Tov we do not add those pesukim since they are read as part of Tefilas Mussaf. Some maintain that we also read the pesukim of Rosh Chodesh and that is our custom in order to publicize that it is Rosh Chodesh and this will be recorded in Siman 421.

           Siman 49: Seif 1

1. Although halacha states that one is not permitted to read by heart portions of the written Torah, those sections that people commonly know by heart, e.g. Krias Shema, Birkas Kohanim and Parshas HaTamid, may be read by heart.

            Siman 50: Seif 1

1. It was established that one should study פרק איזהו מקומן and the Beraisa of ר’ ישמעאל after Parshas HaTamid so that one will study Tanach, Mishnah and Gemara every day. The Beraisa of ר’ ישמעאל is read in place of actual Gemara since Midrash is like Gemara.

           Siman 51: Seifim 5

1. We read ברוך שאמר before Pesukei D’Zimra and ישתבח afterwards.

2. If one finishes ברוך שאמר before the shaliach tzibbur he should answer .אמן

3. One may answer אמן after his own reading of .ישתבח

 4. One must be careful not to interrupt by talking from when he begins ברוך שאמר until after שמונה עשרה . One should not speak between ברוך שאמר and ישתבח even for the sake of a mitzvah.

5. Between paragraphs one may ask about another’s well being as a show of honor and one may respond to anyone’s greeting. In the middle of a paragraph one may ask about another’s well being out of fear and one may respond as a show of honor.

          Siman 52: Seif 1

1. If one arrives in shul and finds the tzibbur at the end of pesukei d’zimra he should say – ברוך שאמר , אשרי , הללו את ה ‘ מן השמים , הללו ק ל בקדשו and if there is additional time he should say הודו until והוא רחום and then he should skip to והוא רחום that precedes אשרי since between those points are just a collection of pesukim, then afterwards one says ישתבח followed by יוצר אור , Krias Shema and its berachos so that he could say Shemoneh Esrei with the tzibbur. If there is not that much time, one may skip הללו את ה ‘ מן השמים . If there is even less time he should just say ברוך שאמר , אשרי , and ישתבח . If the tzibbur began the beracha of יוצר and there is not sufficient time to say pesukei d’zimra even in an abbreviated form one should read Krias Shema and its berachos with the tzibbur as well as Shemone Esrei and then go back and read pesukei d’zimra without the beracha before and after. Nevertheless, one must say all the berachos that one is obligated to recite in the morning.

Siman 53: Seifim 26

1.The shaliach tzibbur says ישתב ח while standing.

2. One should not say ישתב ח unless he said ברוך שאמ ר and some of pesukei d’zimra.

3. One should not say the beracha on one’s talis between pesukei d’zimra and ישתב ח rather it should be said between ישתב ח and the beracha of יוצ ר . If the shaliach tzibbur did not have a talis beforehand he should wrap himself before ישתבח so that he can say kaddish after ישתבח without an interruption. Similarly, if there is no minyan in shul the shaliach tzibbur should wait to say ישתבח until a minyan arrives and then he will say ישתב ח and kaddish.

4. The shaliach tzibbur must be worthy. What is considered worthy? He must be free of sin, does not have a bad reputation from his youth, he should be humble and acceptable by the people, have a pleasant and sweet voice and is accustomed to reading .תורה נביאים וכתובי ם

5. If no one possesses all of the desired traits (See 53:4) the one who is wisest and excels at good deeds should be chosen. If there is a choice between one who is ignorant but elderly, has a pleasant voice and is desired by the community or one who is just thirteen but understands what he is saying, the one who is younger should be chosen even if he voice is not as pleasant. Someone who transgressed a prohibition inadvertently, e.g. he killed someone inadvertently and repented may be chosen as shaliach tzibbur but if he transgressed intentionally he may not be chosen since he developed a bad name before he repented.

6. We only choose someone who has a full beard since that is a sign of respect for the tzibbur. To serve as shaliach tzibbur occasionally it is sufficient to have two hairs as long as he is not designated by the tzibbur or the shaliach tzibbur to fill in for him at specified times.

7. If no one can serve as shaliach tzibbur other than someone who is thirteen years old it is better that he should serve as shaliach tzibbur than to miss hearing kaddish and kedusha.

8. Someone who does not have a beard but it is discernable that he reached the age where he could grow a beard is considered one who has a full beard. Therefore, one who is twenty may be chosen as shaliach tzibbur even though he does not have a beard. Similarly, if one has even a small beard he is considered one who has a full beard once he has reached his eighteenth year.

9. A saris may be chosen as shaliach tzibbur if he is older than twenty.

Shulchan Aruch refers to one who displays signs of being a saris. (M.B. 28)

10. One can justify the practice of those places that have the practice of sending a minor as shaliach tzibbur to daven ma’ariv on Motzai Shabbos. Those places that do not have this custom should not send a minor to serve as shaliach tzibbur even for ma’ariv. Even if he will become thirteen on Shabbos he should not serve as shaliach tzibbur for ma’ariv on Shabbos night since he is not yet thirteen.

11. Regarding a shaliach tzibbur who stretches out his tefila so that his beautiful voice will be heard – if it is out of joy that he is giving thanks to Hashem with his sweet voice he should be blessed as long as he prayer is done with a serious attitude that includes fear and awe If, however, his intent is to make his voice heard and he is excited by his voice it is shameful. Nevertheless, if he stretches out his tefila it is not good since it burdens the tzibbur.

12. We do not appoint one who pronounces an א like an ע or his ע like an .

13. A פוח ח who is one whose garment is ripped leaving his arms exposed should not descend before the amud.

14. Someone who is blind may descend before the amud as long as he does not read the Torah since things that are written may not be recited by heart.

15. The permanent shaliach tzibbur descends before the amud on his own and does not have to wait until he is told.

16. Someone who is not the permanent shaliach tzibbur should initially refuse before he descends to the amud but not too much. Rather, the first time he should refuse, when told a second time he should prepare himself as if he is ready to get up and the third time he should stand. If the one who asks him to descend is a distinguished person he should refuse him at all.

17. If the shaliach tzibbur made an error and must be replaced the one who is asked to replace him should not refuse to take the position at all.

18. Someone who declares, “I won’t descend before the Aron because of my colored clothing or because my feet are covered with sandals” may not daven that tefila for the amud since it is common for heretics to be particular about such matters and we are concerned that this person may have heretical leanings. Even if he gives an explanation for his statement we do not allow him to daven for the amud.

19. There are those who prevent converts from davening for the amud but their position is rejected. Even an individual can veto a candidate from becoming shaliach tzibbur unless he already agreed to his candidacy. The individual who is vetoing must have a reason approved by the city trustees but without a good reason an individual may not reject a candidate. If he hates the candidate he has the right to veto before the candidate was approved for the position. Someone who hates the shaliach tzibbur should not ascend to the Torah to read the section of the tochachah.

20. If one wants to daven for his father and another person wants to daven for someone else, whoever the tzibbur wants will daven for the amud.

21. One should not appoint a shaliach tzibbur based on the input of a government official even if the majority of the tzibbur approves of his candidacy.

22. A shaliach tzibbur who is paid is preferred to one who volunteers. A person should not daven for the amud without the approval of the tzibbur. One should not answer אמ ן to a shaliach tzibbur who forced his way to the amud.

23. The wages of the shaliach tzibbur are paid from the communal fund. Even though the shliach tzibbur discharges the obligation of the poor and rich alike, nevertheless, the poor do not pay as much as the rich. Some say that half of the wage is collected according to each person’s wealth and half is collected equally by all citizens and that is the custom of these communities.

24. A tzibbur that needs to hire a rov and a shaliach tzibbur and cannot afford both – if the rov is exceptional, is an outstanding scholar and an expert in hora’ah he takes precedence but if not the shaliach tzibbur takes precedence.

25. We do not remove the shaliach tzibbur unless we find a concrete disqualification. We do not remove him just because of rumors, for example if there is a rumor that he was caught together with a gentile woman or that he informed on someone. If, however, witnesses testified that he did one of these acts or something similar he is removed. If the shalaich tzibbur is also a slaughterer and animal examiner he should not daven wearing his dirty, smelly garments and if he doesn’t want to change garments for davening he should be removed from his position. If the shaliach tzibbur uses foul language or sings gentile songs we protest against that behavior and if he doesn’t desist he should be removed from his position. If the shaliach tzibbur becomes old and he wants to appoint his son to assist him on occasion, even though the son’s voice is not as sweet as his father’s, if he is a good replacement as far as other characteristics the son takes precedence over others and the tzibbur may not protest his appointment.

26. A community that customarily hires people for specified periods of time and upon the completion of that time they are replaced, e.g. the chazzan, the food plate, the gabbai tzedaka, or any other appointed communal position. Whether the community workers are paid is irrelevant; rather once their contract expires they no longer retain their position since the employee was hired in accordance with the common custom. There is an opinion who maintains that the shaliach tzibbur should daven from the siddur that was designated for the tzibbur since it was certainly written for the sake of Heaven.

           Siman 54: Seifim 3

1. ישתבח does not begin with ברוך since it is connected to ברוך שאמר since they were both enacted for pesukei d’zimra, one before and one after.

2. One should not answer אמן to the words ;מלך מהלל בתשבחות instead it should be said after the words חי העולמים which is the end of the beracha. 

3. Speaking between ישתבח and יוצ ר is a terrible transgression and grounds for one to return from war. According to some it is permitted to interrupt for communal needs or to address the tzedaka needs of someone who requires financial support. This opinion led to the custom in many places to bless the ill or to announce in shul that his grievance should be addressed between ישתבח and יוצר since these are also considered mitzvah needs. After the interruption the shaliach tzibbur should read a few pesukim from pesukei d’zimra and then recite kaddish since kaddish may not be recited without a praise beforehand. For that reason ma’ariv begins without kaddish. Similarly, someone who did not have talis and tefillin and they arrived between ישתבח and kaddish, he may put them on at that time with a beracha but between kaddish and ברכ ו one should not interrupt at all and certainly one should not interrupt after the shaliach tzibbur said ברכ ו before beginning the beracha of .יוצר

           Siman 55: Seifim 22

1. Kaddish is recited and it may not be recited with less than ten adult free men who have “two hairs.” Kedusha and ברכו also require at least ten people.

2. If one began kaddish or kedusha in the presence of ten people and some of them left it is permitted to finish that kaddish or kedusha as long as a majority of the minyan remains. Nevertheless, it is a sin for one to leave and in reference to these people the pasuk states (Yishaya 1:28), “Those who abandon Hashem will be consumed.” If, however, ten will remain it is permitted for one to leave.

3. If one began the beracha of avos and some of the minyan left it is permitted to finish even kedusha. If some of the minyan left after they began יוצר the shaliach tzibbur may not begin chazaras hashatz since he already finished the beracha of יוצר . If they left after he began chazaras hashatz and kedusha it is permitted to finish the seder kedusha that follows as well as the full kaddish since they are associated with shemone esrei since we ask Hashem to accept our tefilos. In such a circumstance, however, they may not read from the Torah since that is a separate matter. Shemone Esrei and the kaddish that follows is not related to Shema and its berachos.

4. There are those who permit saying devarim she’b’kedusha with a minor completing the minyan as long as he is older than six and knows to whom one davens. This does not seem accepted by the major Poskim. Slaves and women also are not counted as part of the minyan. Even if the minor is holding a chumash he should not be counted as part of the minyan. However, in a difficult circumstance the custom is to be lenient about this matter.

5. If a child does not have “two hairs” he is considered a minor even if he is old enough to be an adult until he has lived the majority of his life at which time we categorize him as a saris. If he shows signs of being a saris earlier he is considered an adult at that time. We do not search for hairs; rather once a child reaches the age of adulthood (13 yrs. old) we presume that he is an adult and that he has already produced “two hairs.”

6. If one of the ten began to daven by himself and can no longer answer or if someone is sleeping he still counts towards the minyan.  

7. When someone davens to himself it is appropriate that the others should wait to say kaddish so that he will be able to answer as well.

8. Someone who speaks but cannot hear or hears but cannot speak is considered to have his faculties and is counted in the minyan but someone who cannot hear and speak is categorized together with one who is insane and a child [and does not count towards the minyan.]

9. Someone remains a minor until he produces “two hairs” after his thirteenth birthday and in a leap year it will take thirteen months.

10. If one boy was born on the 29th of Adar Rishon and another boy was born on the 1st of Adar Sheni and the year of their bar-mitzvah is not a leap year, the one who was born on the 29th of Adar Rishon must wait until the 29th of Adar for his bar-mitzvah whereas the boy who was born later on the 1st of Adar Sheni will become a bar-mitzvah on the 1st of Adar. Someone born in Adar and his bar-mitzvah is in a leap year does not become a bar-mitzvah until Adar Sheni.

11. A sinner who violated a communal decree or transgressed a prohibition is counted in the minyan as long as he has not been banned.  

12. A banned person is not counted for anything that requires a minyan but he is permitted to daven in shul unless they specified a stringent ruling about this matter.

13. All ten people must be in a single location and the shaliach tzibbur must be together with them. If someone stands in the doorway but outside of the threshold, meaning he would be outside when the door is closed, he is considered to be outside.

14. Someone who is behind the Bais HaKnesses but there is a window there and he is visible from that window he counts towards the minyan even if it is several stories high and is not four tefachim wide. Roofs and attics are not part of the house and one who stands there is not part of the minyan.

15. If some are inside and some are outside and the shalaich tzibbur is in the doorway he connects them together.

16. If a small courtyard is completely open to a large courtyard, meaning the smaller one is breached where it connects to the larger one and none of the wall by the smaller one remains but from the larger courtyard strips of the wall remain on each end – the larger one is considered separate from the smaller but the smaller is not considered separate from the larger; rather it is considered like a corner of the larger courtyard. Therefore, if nine people are in the larger courtyard and one is in the smaller courtyard they constitute a minyan since the smaller courtyard is considered part of the larger courtyard and he is considered standing in the large courtyard since that is where the majority are standing but if nine were in the smaller courtyard and one was in the larger courtyard or five were in the large courtyard and five in the small courtyard they do not combine.

17. If the shaliach tzibbur was in the smaller courtyard and the tzibbur was in the larger courtyard he can discharge their obligation since he is drawn after them but if the shaliach tzibbur was in the larger courtyard and the tzibbur was in the small courtyard he does not discharge their obligation since the majority is not drawn after the individual.

18. If some of the people are in the Bais HaKnesses and others are in the courtyard they do not constitute a minyan.

21. A city that has only ten men and one of them wants to leave for the Yomim Noraim the others can force him to stay or pay for someone to replace him. If there are eleven men in town and two want to leave they can share the cost of hiring someone to complete the minyan. If one is wealthy and the other poor half the cost should be calculated according to each one’s wealth and the second half should be shared equally. The cost of the chazzan is shared by those who leave together with those who will remain. It doesn’t matter how far in advance of Yom Tov one plans to leave as long as he will not be present for Yom Tov.

22. The only time we can force members of the community to pay for someone to complete the minyan is for the Yomim Noraim and if they are only missing one or two people unless there is an established and well-known custom to hire three or four people to complete the minyan. If there is a minyan of residents they can be forced to pay for a chazan. Similarly, in a place that does not have a regularly scheduled minyan they can compel one another by force of penalties that they should help make the minyan so that it should remain constant. See Siman 150 whether residents may force one another to build a Bais HaKnesses.

           Siman 56: Seifim 5

1. One must concentrate while answering kaddish and should not interrupt between the words יהא שמה רבא and מברך (according to some one should not interrupt between שמה and רבא whereas according to others one should not interrupt between רבא and מברך ). One should respond in a loud voice and should strive to run in order to hear kaddish. One should stand while answering kaddish and any other davar she’b’kedushah. If one enters the Bais HaKnesses and hears the tzibbur answering kaddish he should answer with them even though he did not hear the shaliach tzibbur say יתגדל . The shaliach tzibbur should also say יהא שמה רבא and when he begins יתגדל one should say ‘ .ועתה יגדל נא כח וגו ‘ זכר רחמיך וגו

2. When the shaliach tzibbur says יתבר ך the tzibbur should answer .אמן The tzibbur should also answer אמן when the shaliach tzibbur says בריך הו א and ואמרו אמ ן . We are not accustomed to answer אמן after יתבר ך or after בריך הו א . One should not interrupt between בריך הוא and .לעלא מכל ברכתא וכו ‘

3. Those who conclude their response with the words לעלמי עלמיא are mistaken because it is prohibited to separate the word עלמיא from the word .יתברך

4. When the chazzan says יתגדל he should bow as he should when he says יהא שמה רבא, יתבר ך, בריך הוא and .אמן

5. After finishing kaddish one should take three steps back and say עשה שלום וכו

          Siman 57: Seifim 2

1. The shaliach tzibbur says ברכו את ה’ המבר ך and the tzibbur responds ברוך ה’ המברך לעולם וע ד and then the shaliach tzibbur repeats the words ברוך ה’ המברך לעולם ועד . The custom is that the shaliach tzibbur extends the reading of the word ברכ ו so that the tzibbur could say יתברך וישתבח וכו ‘ during that time.

2. A place that has the custom to allow one to rebuke their friends or address public matters between kaddish, ברכו and יוצר אור is mistaken.


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