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19 – The Chazan’s Repetition of the Amidah

01 – The Enactment of the Amidah Repetition (Chazarat HaShatz)

Anshei Knesset HaGedolah established that after individuals finish reciting the silent Shemoneh Esrei, the chazan repeats the Amidah out loud in order to fulfill the obligation of prayer for those who do not know how to pray by themselves (Rosh HaShanah 34b). This repetition is known as Chazarat HaShatz. However, for Ma’ariv, they did not institute an Amidah repetition since, in essence, Ma’ariv is an optional prayer (although nowadays it is an obligatory prayer, as explained further in this book 25:2) and consequently, there is no need to fulfill the obligation for those who are not well-versed in the passages of the prayer service.

The Chachamim instituted that the chazan also prays the silent Amidah in order to organize the prayer in his mind. Additionally, they instructed that even those who know how to pray by themselves listen to Chazarat HaShatz and answer Amen after the berachot.

Because the Amidah repetition was enacted by Chazal, it must be recited even in a minyan in which all the people know how to pray by themselves. Even after it became permissible to put Torah Sheb’al Peh (the Oral Torah) into writing, including the wording of the prayers, and though the use of siddurim has become common, the enactment of the Chachamim did not change. Moreover, today, when one rarely finds a minyan where someone needs to fulfill his obligation with Chazarat HaShatz, it is nevertheless recited, for the rule is that once the Chachamim enact a law, distinctions are not made between cases in which the law applies, and those in which it does not (Shulchan Aruch 124:3, based on the responsa of the Rambam). Further, the Chachamim instituted reciting Kedushah and Birkat Kohanim in the repetition, and if the Amidah is not repeated, they will not be recited altogether (Tur).

The Kabbalah clarifies that in addition to the simple explanation of why both the Amidah and its repetition are necessary, namely, to fulfill the obligation of one who is not proficient in the wording of the prayers, there is a sublime reason according to the secrets of Torah (sod), that the recital of both prayers together causes them to be more effective. Therefore, even today, when there is no need to fulfill the obligation of one who is not well-versed in prayer, the chazan must still recite the Chazarat HaShatz, for the hidden reason still stands.

It is a great privilege to answer Amen to the berachot of the Amidah repetition. Even learning Torah is forbidden at that time (see Kaf HaChaim 124:2 and 16). The virtue of the Amidah repetition is greater than the virtue of the silent Amidah. Therefore, although the themes of the Amidah are supremely recondite, permission is granted to recite it aloud. Due to its profound virtue, there is no concern that forces of impurity will take hold of it. The listeners must refrain from invalidating it by talking. It is said of one who chatters during Chazarat HaShatz “that he is sinning, and his transgression is too great to bear; therefore he must be rebuked” (Shulchan Aruch 124:7).

02 – Who May Fulfill His Obligation by Hearing the Amidah Repetition?

Three conditions must exist in order for an individual to be able to fulfill his obligation of prayer by hearing the Amidah repetition.

1) The individual must not be proficient in prayer. By contrast, one who knows how to pray is obligated to pray and beg for mercy on his own behalf; he cannot fulfill his obligation just by listening to the chazan. A person who can only pray with a siddur, and has arrived at a place where there are no siddurim, may, at that time, fulfill his obligation by hearing the chazan.

2) There must be ten men present, because the Chachamim instituted that individuals are only permitted to fulfill their obligation by hearing the chazan in the presence of a minyan.

3) The listener must understand the chazan’s words. One who does not understand Hebrew cannot fulfill his obligation of prayer by listening to Chazarat HaShatz.

Even though a person who knows how to pray is not allowed to fulfill his obligation with the Amidah repetition, if he already recited the Amidah and mistakenly omitted a part of the prayer which prevents him from fulfilling his obligation, he may fulfill it by hearing the chazan, since he has already requested mercy for himself. This includes a situation in which a person inadvertently omitted Ya’aleh V’Yavo on Rosh Chodesh or Chol HaMo’ed, in which case he did not fulfill his obligation (Shulchan Aruch 124:10).[1]

When a person has kavanah to fulfill his obligation by hearing the Amidah repetition, he must stand as one does for the Amidah, with his feet together, and at the end of the Amidah take three steps back (Shulchan Aruch 124:1). He answers Amen after the berachot and responds to Kedushah. However, he does not answer “Baruch Hu u’varuch Shemo” and in Modim he listens to the chazan and does not say Modim d’Rabbanan (Shulchan Aruch 124:6; Mishnah Berurah 3). He must also be careful not to interrupt by talking; even if he hears another minyan reciting Kaddish, he may not answer. The chazan must be strict in saying the whole Amidah aloud, for this is the law regarding Chazarat HaShatz, that it must be recited out loud in its entirety. Some chazanim mistakenly say part of Birkat Modim quietly. Aside from the fact that the chazan does not completely fulfill the obligation to repeat the Amidah, there is reason to be concerned that perhaps there is a person present who wishes to fulfill his obligation with the repetition; however, since he does not hear the chazan recite the whole Amidah, he cannot do so (Mishnah Berurah 124:41).

[1]. However, according to the Mishnah Berurah 124:40, it is better that he repeats the prayer himself, for then he will have more kavanah.Regarding the matter of supplementary prayers (tashlumim), see earlier in this book 18:8, note 9, where it is explained that concerning the supplementary Amidah of Shacharit, the majority of poskim agree that a person cannot fulfill his obligation by hearing the chazan’s repetition. Concerning the supplementary Amidah of Ma’ariv, however, there is disagreement.

03 – The Listener’s Conduct

The person who is listening must be careful to answer Amen after each and every berachah of the Amidah repetition, as the Chachamim teach (Berachot 53b): “The one who answers Amen is greater than the one who recites the blessing.” One must respond Amen with the utmost solemnity, and while saying it, he must have kavanah that the content of the berachah is true. For instance, if one hears the berachah, “SheHakol Nihiyah Bidvaro,” he must have in mind that everything truly comes into existence through God’s word. When there is a request in the berachah as well, such as in Birkat Chonen HaDa’at, he should have in mind its two meanings: 1) it is true that knowledge comes from Hashem; 2) the request that Hashem endow us with knowledge (Shulchan  Aruch 124:6; Mishnah Berurah 25).

One may not recite Amen too hastily, by saying it before the chazan finishes the berachah; nor shall one abbreviate the Amen by swallowing its letters, or pronounce it softly and in a weak voice. Also, one must not distance the response of Amen from the conclusion of the berachah, for then it is called an “Amen yetomah” (an orphaned Amen) (see Berachot 47a; Shulchan Aruch 124:8).

The way a person responds Amen represents how he relates to belief in Hashem. When a person’s faith is damaged, the life that Hashem bestows upon him is also impaired. This is what Ben Azai means when he says, “Whoever answers an ‘Amen yetomah’ (an orphaned Amen) – his children will be orphans; an ‘Amen chatufah’ (one that is too hasty) – his days [upon this earth] will be snatched from him; an ‘Amen ketufah’ (an abbreviated Amen) – his days will be shortened. However, anyone who extends the recital of Amen – his days and years are lengthened” (Berachot 47a).

The recital of Amen should be made in a pleasant tone and one’s voice should not be raised above that of the chazan who is reciting the blessing (Shulchan Aruch 124:12). One must not shorten the Amen, rather slightly elongate it for the amount of time it takes to say “Kel Melech Ne’eman,” although it should not be overly extended. If there are people who do prolong their response of Amen, the chazan need not wait for them; instead, after most of the congregation has finished saying Amen, he may continue on to the next berachah. However, regarding berachot with which the chazan fulfills the obligations of others, such as before the blowing of the shofar, the one reciting the blessing must wait until everyone finishes saying Amen so that those who extend their Amen can also hear the next berachah (Shulchan Aruch 124:8-9; Mishnah Berurah 38).

Prominent Rishonim were accustomed to saying “Baruch Hu u’varuch Shemo” after the recital of Hashem’s Name in the berachah, and their minhag became widespread throughout the nation of Israel. This applies to berachot concerning which one does not fulfill his obligation through someone else, such as the Amidah repetition for one who prays silently. However, concerning berachot whose obligation can be fulfilled through another person, such as the berachot of Kiddush and blowing shofar, the common custom is not to recite “Baruch Hu u’varuch Shemo,” so as not to interrupt the berachah by reciting words not established by the Chachamim. Nevertheless, b’dieved, if one responded “Baruch Hu u’varuch Shemo” to a berachah that he was obligated to recite, he still fulfilled his obligation, since his response did not distract his mind from the berachah (Mishnah Berurah 124: 21; Kaf HaChaim 26).[2]

It is proper to enhance the mitzvah of listening to the Chazarat HaShatz by standing, just as the law requires for the silent Amidah. This is because even the listeners who do not fulfill their obligation by hearing the repetition participate in its recital to a certain extent and are considered as someone who recited an additional prayer. However, this is not an obligation, and one who wishes to sit is permitted (Mishnah Berurah 124:20; Kaf HaChaim 24).

[2]. However, according to the Chayei Adam and Shulchan Aruch HaRav 124:2, if he answered “Baruch Hu u’varuch Shemo,” he did not fulfill his obligation. That is also what is written in Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim, part 2, end of section 98. By contrast, according to Rav Rakach (Luv) one must answer “Baruch Hu u’varuch Shemo” even to a berachah in which he fulfills his obligation.

04 – Must Nine Men Respond to Chazarat HaShatz?

When the chazan repeats the Amidah, each and every congregant must be silent, have kavanah to hear the chazan’s berachot, and answer Amen to them all. We have already mentioned the opinion (in the laws of the minyan, 2:7) that the chazan is prohibited from starting to recite the Amidah repetition until there are nine men who will respond Amen to his berachot. Others say that even if a few members of the minyan are still praying the Amidah, although they cannot answer Amen, they are counted as part of the minyan.

L’chatchilah, it is customary for the chazan to be stringent and not start reciting the Amidah repetition until nine men are available to answer Amen after him. In extenuating circumstances, when there are people who are in a rush to conclude the prayer service, and it seems that the person extending his Amidah is not about to finish, it is permissible to rely on the opinion of most poskim and start Chazarat HaShatz when only eight people have concluded the Amidah. When this is impossible because there are a number of people prolonging their Amidah, if the situation is extremely mitigating, it is permissible to be lenient and begin the Amidah repetition when only five have finished praying, for together with the chazan they comprise the majority of a minyan. In order to avoid uncertainty, if it is necessary to begin the Amidah repetition when there are not yet nine people able to answer, the chazan makes a stipulation in his heart before praying. He stipulates that if the law follows those who maintain that there must be nine who answer, his prayer is voluntary (tefillat nedavah). Since a person is permitted to pray voluntarily, according to all opinions his berachot will not be in vain.

Similarly, one who is leading the prayer service in a place in which many people normally chatter, so much so that there is doubt as to whether will be nine men there to respond Amen to his berachot, he makes a stipulation in his heart before the repetition, that if the law follows those who maintain that there must be nine who answer, if there are not nine, his prayer is voluntary.

In order not to enter into such uncertainty, every person who hears Chazarat HaShatz must presume that without him there are not nine men; he must concentrate on the chazan’s berachot and respond Amen to them (Shulchan Aruch 124:4).[3]

[3]. The dispute of the Acharonim as to whether nine people are needed in order to respond to the Amidah repetition is clarified by the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 55:6-8 and 124:4, and in its commentaries. A summary is presented earlier in this book in the laws of the minyan, chapter 2:7. L’chatchilah, we are stringent like the opinion of the Graz and the Ben Ish Chai. However, in extenuating circumstances we may be lenient, for that is the opinion of most poskim, among them Tzitz Eliezer 12:9 and Yalkut Yosef 124:14-18. Even when a person who is in the middle of his Amidah is included as one of the minyan, there is disagreement as to whether up to four may be counted, or only one, as brought by the Mishnah Berurah 55:32. Additionally, the advice to make a stipulation is brought by the Mishnah Berurah 124:19.

05 – When Is the Amidah Repetition Not Recited?

Situations arise in which there is no time to pray a silent Amidah first and then recite an Amidah repetition. For example, sometimes a number of people must leave for work and without them there is no minyan. In such cases, the Amidah repetition is not recited. In order to ensure that their prayer will be in a minyan, everyone prays silently together. So as not to miss Kedushah, the chazan starts reciting the first three berachot aloud, the congregation responds to Kedushah, and the chazan and the congregation continue from Birkat Attah Chonen to pray the rest of the Amidah silently (Rama 124:2).

Likewise, in a small minyan, in which some of the members greatly prolong their prayer and the others find it difficult to wait until they have finished, since they are rushed to be on their way, they are permitted to forgo Chazarat HaShatz. Instead, the chazan recites the first three berachot aloud in order to recite Kedushah. Although we learned that in extenuating circumstances it is permissible to recite Chazarat HaShatz while a few of the nine are still standing in prayer, nevertheless, l’chatchilah it is preferable not to enter into this uncertainty and to forgo the recital of the Amidah repetition altogether.

When there is a minyan whose members normally chatter and there is concern that there may not be nine men responding Amen to the chazan, there is reason to consider canceling Chazarat HaShatz. Perhaps it would be best to forgo its recital in order to reduce the desecration of Hashem’s Name caused by the talking during the Amidah repetition. Still, the prevalent minhag is not to cancel the Amidah repetition in a place that people normally chatter during the prayer service. All these laws must be decided by the local rabbi.[4]

When the chazan begins reciting the first three berachot out loud, there are two customs as to when the congregation starts to recite the silent Amidah. Some are accustomed to start after the chazan finishes Birkat HaKel HaKadosh (Mishnah Berurah 124:8), and others are accustomed to starting to pray along with the chazan (Kaf HaChaim 124:10). It seems that it is best to recommend starting to pray with the chazan in Shacharit so as not to pause in the middle of Birkat Emet V’Yatziv. In Minchah, it is best that whoever normally prolongs his prayer starts to pray with the chazan so that he can conclude his prayer and respond to the Kaddish after it. Concerning a person who is used to praying quickly, it is best that he starts praying after the chazan concludes “HaKel HaKadosh.”[5]

When Chazarat HaShatz is not recited in Shacharit, and there are Kohanim present, in order not to lose out on Birkat Kohanim, it is best that the Kohanim wash their hands before praying and stand to recite the Amidah in the place in which they normally raise their hands to recite Birkat Kohanim. When the chazan reaches Birkat Retzeh, he begins to pray aloud again, so that the Kohanim can bless Israel after the conclusion of Birkat Modim. Whoever is reciting the same berachah in his silent Amidah should respond Amen to it (see Mishnah Berurah 128:71).

[4]. The Radbaz (section elef 165) writes that the Rambam cancelled the silent prayer due to the people who chattered during the Amidah repetition. He instructed the chazan to recite the prayer aloud, and the well-versed to pray silently with him. However l’chatchilah, it is clearly proper to pray twice, as the Chachamim instituted. See Yalkut Yosef 124:17 and Yechaveh Da’at 3:16 who summarize the obligation to recite Chazarat HaShatz and conclude that if there is concern that there will not be nine people to respond Amen, it is preferable not to recite Chazarat HaShatz at all.

[5]. The minhag of the Ashkenazim is that the congregation starts their Amidah after BirkatHaKel HaKadosh, and according to the Sephardic custom, the congregation starts along with the chazan. The basis for this difference is in how each custom relates to the berachah of Hakel HaKadosh. The poskim disagree as to whether the halachah follows the Yerushalmi, which maintains that there is special virtue in answering Amen to the berachotHaKel HaKadosh and Shome’a Tefillah. According to the Rama, a person may respond to their recital even if he is in the middle of saying Birkot Keriat Shema, whereas according to the Shulchan Aruch 66:3 the law regarding them is like the laws concerning all other berachot to which we may not respond while in the middle of reciting Birkot Keriat Shema. Therefore, according to the Mishnah Berurah, one starts his Amidah after BirkatHaKel HaKadosh so that he may respond Amen, and according to the Sephardim, there is no reason for this. This is clarified in Shulchan Aruch 109:1.
Even so, I have presented one approach for both Sephardim and Ashkenazim since there are numerous reasons why even Ashkenazim should start with the chazan in Shacharit: 1) L’chatchilah, it is best to abide by the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch, which rules that one does not answer Amen to HaKel HaKadosh in the middle of Birkot Keriat Shema, and if he starts reciting the Amidah with the chazan, he avoids this uncertainty. 2) From the standpoint of prayer in a minyan, there is virtue in the fact that all ten start praying together as explained in this book, chapter 2, note 2. 3) It is less complicated halachically to respond to Kedushah after Birkat Mechayei Meitim than in the middle of Birkat Emet V’Yatziv. 4) It is possible that reciting the Amidah in a minyan together with the chazan is considered as responding Amen (see Mishnah Berurah 109:13-14). In Minchah, it is easier to recommend to Ashkenazim who normally extend their prayer that they should start with the chazan enabling them to respond to the Kaddish after the Amidah, for certainly its virtue is no less than the virtue of responding Amen to HaKel HaKadosh. However, for those who shorten their prayer, even according to the Sephardim it is good that they start after HaKel HaKadosh, so that they will merit answering Amen after the berachot of Chazarat HaShatz, including HaKel HaKadosh, which some say possesses special virtue. Another reason for this is so that they will not be idle upon finishing the Amidah.

06 – Kedushah

In the third berachah of the Amidah, Kedushah is recited. The essence of the Kedushah is in the responses, “Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, Hashem Tzevakot, melo kol ha’aretz kevodo” (“Holy, holy, holy is Hashem, master of Hosts, the whole world is filled with His glory”) and “Baruch kevod Hashem mimkomo” (“Blessed is the glory of Hashem from His place”). Originally, it was customary for only the chazan to recite the connecting passages and the congregation would answer the verses, “Kadosh,” “Baruch,” and “Yimloch” (Shulchan Aruch 125:1). Nowadays, according to the Arizal, the congregation also recites the connecting passages, the chazan repeats them aloud afterwards, and the congregation responds with the verses of the Kedushah (Mishnah Berurah 125:2; Kaf HaChaim 2).

Some say that the verse “Yimloch” is not an essential part of Kedushah, but rather  one of the chazan’s connecting passages, and therefore, if a person is in the middle of reciting Birkot Keriat Shema, and he hears Kedushah, he may only recite the verses “Kadosh” and “Baruch” and not the verse “Yimloch.” Others say that he recites “Yimloch”, since this verse is included in Kedushah as well. This is the prevalent minhag.[6]

Kedushah is recited a total of three times in Shacharit: in Birkat Yotzer Or, in Chazarat HaShatz, and in the passage U’va L’Tzion. However, the poskim disagree as to whether the laws of the Kedushah in Chazarat HaShatz apply to the other two, and whether it is necessary to recite them in a minyan. In practice, the halachic ruling is that an individual is permitted to recite them. However, to avoid uncertainty, it is best that he recite them in a melody of cantillation as if reading from the Torah (see further in this book 16:4; 23:2). The Kedushah in the Amidah repetition is the essence of Kedushah and it is only recited with a minyan.

It is proper to stand with one’s feet together for Kedushah, since we recite this Kedushah like the angels whose legs are so close together that they resemble one leg (Shulchan Aruch 125:2). There are those who enhance the mitzvah by remaining with their legs together until the end of Birkat HaKel HaKadosh (Eliyah Rabbah 125:6). However, this is not an obligation and many prominent rabbinic authorities are not strict concerning this.

It is customary to raise one’s heels slightly when saying “Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh,” “Baruch,” and “Yimloch,” and to turn one’s closed eyes upward, thereby expressing the desire to transcend physical boundaries and soar upward. The source for this resides in the Midrash (Beit Yosef and Rama 125:2; Mishnah Berurah 6; Kaf HaChaim, paragraphs 2 and 9).

[6]. The Mishnah Berurah 125:1 mentions both opinions and in section 66:17 he writes that in practice one may not respond the verse Yimloch while in the middle of Birkot Keriat Shema, for that is the opinion of most Acharonim, and so rules the Yechaveh Da’at 6:3. That is also the law concerning reciting this verse in the middle of the prayers of supplication after the Amidah (Elokai Netzor), as explained in Mishnah Berurah 122:4. However, Aruch HaShulchan 66:6 writes that this matter is left unresolved and one may do as he pleases. After bringing many Acharonim who maintain that Yimloch is not part of the main section of Kedushah, Kaf HaChaim 66:18 (and section 122:1 and 124:17), writes that Yimloch is, indeed, considered part of the Kedushah, as can be inferred from Sha’ar HaKavanot. This issue also has halachic significance pertaining to one who is in the middle of reciting the Shemoneh Esrei, whether he must also be quiet during Yimloch. See Aruch HaShulchan 104:13.

07 – When Does the Chazan Recite the Verses of Kedushah?

The chazan must recite the verses “Kadosh,” “Baruch,” and “Yimloch” together with the congregation, in order to say them with a minyan. He must also recite them out loud, so that if someone is in the middle of the Amidah, he will be able to hear them, thereby fulfilling his obligation of Kedushah, for one who hears is like one who answers (Shulchan Aruch 104:7). After reciting the verses, he should be silent until the majority of the congregation concludes saying the connecting passages, and then he recites them aloud.

If the chazan’s voice is not strong enough to be heard by the congregation, he should wait until most of the congregation finish reciting the verse, so that their voices fade slightly, and only then start to recite the verse. That way, on the one hand, everyone will be able to hear him, and on the other hand, since some have not finished reciting the verses of Kedushah, he is still considered to be reciting them in a minyan.

If the congregation is very large, so that the chazan can only make his voice heard after everyone has finished reciting the verse, there are various opinions as to how he should practice. Some maintain that it is crucial that he recites the verses of Kedushah with the congregation and tries to be heard by at least ten people. Others say that it is most important that everyone can hear him; he should not be concerned that he may not be reciting the verses with ten people. Since he is the chazan, when there is a minyan there that can hear him, he is, indeed, considered to be saying them in a minyan. Therefore, he must wait until his voice can be heard by everyone. Both minhagim are valid.[7]

[7]. The Bei’ur Halachah 125 s.v. “Ela” writes that if the chazan starts the verse before the congregation finishes saying it, he is considered to be reciting it in a minyan. However, if even then they will not hear him, the Bei’ur Halachah is uncertain as to whether the chazan may recite the verses after the congregation has finished, for perhaps because he is saying them in order to fulfill the obligation of the people listening, he need not say them with ten people, and it is enough that ten people hear him to be considered reciting them in a minyan. He leaves this matter unresolved. Divrei Yosef 13 writes that the chazan must say the verses with the congregation. However, Beit Yehudah, part 2, 3, writes that we are not strict that the chazan recite the verses with the congregation and that is also implied from Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim 3:4.

When a person is praying the Amidah and silently stops so as to hear the chazan recite the Kedushah, as explained in Shulchan Aruch 104:7, yet does not succeed in hearing him, the Levushei Mordechai, part 1:17 writes that he should have kavanah to hear a congregant instead. However, many poskim maintain that since the people in the congregation do not have kavanah to fulfill him in his obligation, this is not effective. Therefore, if he cannot hear the chazan, it is best that he continues praying the Amidah. So is written in Kaf HaChaim 104:36 and implied in the Igrot Moshe there.

08 – Modim D’Rabbanan and Additional Laws

When the chazan reaches Modim, the whole congregation bows with him and recites Modim d’Rabbanan, whose nusach differs from that of the Modim in the Amidah, as clarified in the Talmud (Sotah 40a).

The entire congregation bows down in Modim d’Rabbanan. The laws concerning this bow are similar to the laws of Modim in the silent Amidah (Mishnah Berurah 127:2; Kaf HaChaim 1; see earlier in this book 17:6).

There are those who say that it is necessary to bow again at the conclusion of Modim d’Rabbanan. Others say that it is proper to recite the full Modim d’Rabbanan while bowing. The prevalent minhag is to bow only in the beginning of Modim d’Rabbanan, as was the minhag of the Ari (see Shulchan Aruch and Rama 127:1; Kaf HaChaim 10).

In a prayer service in which Birkat Kohanim is recited, as in Shacharit, Musaf, and in the Minchah of fast days, if there are no Kohanim present, the chazan recites the verses of Birkat Kohanim as a prayer, and the congregation responds “Ken yehi ratzon” to every verse.

There are two versions of Birkat HaShalom – “Sim Shalom” and “Shalom Rav.” According to Nusach Sephard, which follows the Ari, Sim Shalom is recited in all the prayers. According to Nusach Ashkenaz, Sim Shalom is recited in a prayer in which Birkat Kohanim can be recited. In a prayer in which Birkat Kohanim cannot be recited, Shalom Rav is recited. If one mistakenly said the wrong wording, he still fulfilled his obligation (Rama 127:2, Mishnah Berurah 13; Kaf HaChaim 24).[8]

If a chazan becomes disoriented to the point where he cannot continue praying, the congregation waits to see if he can return to his senses. If he cannot continue, another chazan is appointed to replace him. If this happens in one of the middle berachot, the second chazan starts from the beginning of that berachah. If it happens in the middle of the first three or the last three berachot, he starts from the beginning of those three berachot (Shulchan Aruch 126:1-2).[9]

[8]. Bei’ur Halachah 127:2, s.v. “Aval” writes that if he remembers in the middle of the berachah that he began Shalom Rav in Shacharit, he must go back and correct it as long as he did not finish the berachah, because the wording of Shalom Rav is short and lacks some of the content mentioned in Sim Shalom. However, if in Ma’ariv someone realizes in the middle of the berachah that he mistakenly started Sim Shalom instead of Shalom Rav, he need not go back and correct it because Sim Shalom includes the wording of Shalom Rav. The Nusach of most Chassidim is to recite Sim Shalom every day in Minchah. It seems that the reason for this is because on fast days Birkat Kohanim is recited in Minchah, since there is no concern of intoxication then. If so, we see that essentially, it is befitting to recite Birkat Kohanim in every Minchah when there is no concern of intoxication; therefore, it is appropriate to recite Sim Shalom.

[9]. The Shulchan Aruch 126:3 writes that a chazan who forgot to recite Ya’aleh V’Yavo in the Amidah repetition on Rosh Chodesh or Chol HaMo’ed does not repeat it. Although an individual must repeat his prayer following such a mistake, nevertheless, a chazan does not, since subsequently in Musaf, the specialness of the day is mentioned and therefore, so as not to trouble the congregation, we do not compel him to repeat Chazarat HaShatz. However, if he has not yet finished praying, he returns to Retzeh in order to insert Ya’aleh V’Yavo, for that is not such a big bother to the congregation. A chazan who errs in his silent Amidah does not need to repeat his prayer, since he fulfills his obligation in the Amidah repetition (Shulchan Aruch 126:4).

09 – Is It Possible to Make Up the Amidah Repetition?

Ten men who each prayed individually and later gather in one place do not have the status of a minyan and cannot recite Chazarat HaShatz since they each already prayed as individuals (Radbaz; Mishnah Berurah 69:1; Kaf HaChaim 1; Barchu is made up after the prayer service for those who came late, as clarified further in this book 23:9).

However, if there is a person among them who did not yet pray, he may say Half-Kaddish and Barchu after Yishtabach. When he reaches the Amidah, he recites the first three berachot aloud and the others then say Kedushah with him. That way, everyone is able to hear Kaddish, Barchu, and Kedushah. This law is called “Pores al Shema (“dividing the Shema”). Similarly, in Minchah, a person who did not yet pray may recite Ashrei, Kaddish, and then the Amidah, saying the first three berachot aloud.

The law concerning an individual who arrived late to prayer is similar. If there are nine people willing to answer Amen after him, when he reaches Yishtabach, he may recite Kaddish and Barchu and when he reaches the Amidah, he says the first three berachot out loud, thereby enabling the recital of Kedushah.[10]

If six people have gathered to pray and another four who already prayed join them, the chazan may recite the entire prayer service. Since there are ten Jews there, and among them, a majority of a minyan who did not yet pray, they are considered a minyan and all the relevant laws apply.[11]

However, if there are only five that have not yet prayed, their law is like that of an individual. When they arrive at Yishtabach they recite Kaddish and Barchu, and when they reach the Amidah, one of them recites the first three berachot out loud and subsequently they say Kedushah (see Bei’ur Halachah 69 s.v. “Omer”).

[10]. Some say that when this individual, to whom the congregation agrees to respond, finishes Tachanun, he says Half-Kaddish, and when he concludes U’va L’Tzion, he says KaddishTitkabal. So write Kaf HaChaim 56:37 and Ishei Yisrael 34:4. The Hagahot Ish Matzliach on section 69 writes that some say that Kaddish-Titkabal is recited only when at least three people did not pray, and others say that it is only recited when six people who did not pray are present. Each community follows its own customs. As it seems, the prevalent minhag is to recite the Kaddishim after the Amidah only for six people who did not pray.

In principle, if the person who did not yet pray is unable to pray aloud, someone else may be chazan for him, say the Kaddish and Barchu for him, and start the first three berachot of the Amidah out loud. Afterwards, that chazan who prayed for him must finish the rest of his prayer silently (see Rama 69 and Mishnah Berurah 17).


[11]. [1] If six people start reciting the Amidah with the hope that four others will eventually join them, and indeed, after they conclude their silent prayer, four people who already prayed arrive and are willing to complete the minyan, according to the Radbaz, since when they prayed silently there was no minyan, they cannot recite the Amidah repetition. Many poskim maintain, however, that since they assembled in order to pray in a minyan, they hoped that people would arrive to complete their minyan, and they even comprised most of a minyan, so they may recite Chazarat HaShatz. So writes Har Tzvi Orach Chaim 1:51 and Yalkut Yosef 69:1.

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