The Men of the Great Assembly fixed the prayer formula as a single unit, incorporating all main requests, and meticulously established the order of the berakhot of the Amida, basing its structure on biblical verses (Megilla 17b). Therefore, one who skips one of the berakhot of the Amida does not fulfill the mitzva of prayer. Even if she recites the full Amida, but rearranges the order of the berakhot, she does not fulfill her obligation (SA 119:3).
Additionally, one who errs in one of the berakhot in a way that ruins the essence of the berakha – for example, by not reciting the berakha’s conclusion or by introducing something irrelevant, like a prayer for rain during the summer – is considered not to have recited that berakha at all (BHL 119:3). Likewise, one who forgets Ya’aleh Ve-yavo on Rosh Ĥodesh or on a festival must repeat that Amida with Ya’aleh Ve-yavo.
These laws are the same for men and women; any situation in which a man must repeat his prayer, a woman must as well. Likewise, a circumstance in which a man must return to the berakha in which he erred, a woman must too (as explained in the next section). Even when a woman errs in an Amida she was not obligated to pray, she must repeat the Amida correctly. For example, if one who usually only prays Shaĥarit decides on a certain day to pray Minĥa too, but makes a mistake, she must repeat the Minĥa Amida correctly. Similarly, if one who normally prays Shaĥarit and Minĥa decides one day to pray Ma’ariv as well, but errs, she must repeat the Ma’ariv Amida correctly. Since she already began to pray, she must pray in the manner that the Sages prescribed and if she changes their formulations, she must repeat her prayer correctly. 1
- There are poskim who maintain that she is not required to repeat and correct an Amida that she was not obligated to pray. However, the vast majority of poskim maintain that she must repeat the prayer, just as a man who erred in Ma’ariv must repeat the Amida even though it is voluntary (reshut). Yabi’a Omer 6:18 adds that le-khatĥila it is best that she stipulate in her heart that if she need not repeat the prayer, the second Amida is a voluntary prayer (tefilat nedava). (Still, Halikhot Shlomo 15 n. 5, maintains that if she does not normally praye and she forgets Ya’aleh Ve-yavo in Shaĥarit or Minĥa of Rosh Ĥodesh, she may choose whether to repeat and correct her prayer.) ↩