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Chapter 69:4-6
The Afternoon Service

4. One must wash one's hands up to the wrists in preparation for the afternoon service, as required in preparation for the morning service, as mentioned in Chapter 12, Law 5 and 6. Similarly, such a washing is required if one makes an interruption between the afternoon service and the evening service, or between the morning service and the additional service.

5. The prayer Ashrei, which begins the afternoon service, should not be recited until there is a minyan present in the synagogue. Thus, the chazon will recite kaddish following prayers which were recited together by a minyan.

If Ashrei was recited without a minyan, and afterwards the minyan is completed, a psalm should be recited [in unison], and then the chazon should recite Ashrei.

The chazon should wrap himself in a tallis godol* before reciting Ashrei, so that he does not make an interruption between the two. If a tallis is not brought to him until after Ashrei is recited, he should recite some verses from Psalms so that the kaddish is associated with them.

* {There are some communities which do not follow the custom of having the chazan wear a tallis for the afternoon service.}

6. If it is late and close to nightfall, directly after reciting kaddish the chazon should recite the Shemoneh Esreh out loud. The congregation should not pray together with him. Rather, they should wait and respond to his prayers [as in the repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh] until he concludes the blessing Ho'e-l hakodosh. Then they recite Amen and begin their own prayers in a hushed tone. [The chazon also continues in a hushed tone.]

If the hour is extremely late and it is possible that if they wait until the chazon concludes the blessing Ho'el hakodosh, they will not be able to conclude their prayers while it is still day, they may recite the Shemoneh Esreh word by word together with the chazon until Ho'el hakodosh. [The congregation prays in a hushed tone, while the chazon prays out loud until Ho'el hakodosh.] However, if possible, it is preferable that at least one individual wait to respond to the chazon's prayers.

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