Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023

Megillah 18: The Chazzan’s Error

On this daf, we find some teachings that show that the order of Shemoneh Esrei is exceedingly important.

It is easier than many believe for a chazzan to err during davening, especially if there is a fast pace. One chazzan skipped HaKeil Hakadosh during the repetition of Shemonah Esrei. Since he davened very quickly, the minyan didn’t notice this until he was about to begin Hashiveinu and did not know what to do. Should the chazzan say Atah Kadosh and then continue with Hashiveinu or should he go back to Atah Kodesh and repeat Atoh Chonein? Or perhaps the chazzan had to begin Shemonah Esrei from the beginning, just like one who erred when saying the first three brachos.

When this question was presented to Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, he ruled that they must go back to Atah Kadosh and continue in order: “This was already discussed in the Sho’el Umeishiv, who was consulted regarding a similar case. One Shabbos, a chazzan forgot to say Atah Kadosh, only remembering after he had already said mekadeish haShabbos. Their rov ruled that they should go back to Atah Kadosh and repeat everything, but later felt unsure and consulted with the Sho’el Umeishiv. He ruled that they had been obligated to go back; the earlier brocha is considered like speaking b’shogeig. It is therefore clear that the kehillah never finished Atoh Kadosh, and they do not have to repeat Shemonah Esrei from the beginning, merely from Atah Kadosh. And the same is true in the present case.” (Shu”t Kovetz Teshuvos).

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