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Chapter 20: 1-3
The Chazon's Repetition

1. When the chazon steps back after completing his prayers recited in a hushed tone, he should stand still for the amount of time it takes a person to walk four cubits. Then he returns to his place, recites in a hushed tone Ado-noi s'fosai tiftoch... (G-d, open my lips...), and recites in a loud voice Boruch Attoh...

At this time, everyone should remain quiet and listen carefully, concentrating on what he is saying. They should respond Boruch Hu uvoruch Shemo to each blessing, as it is fitting. It is forbidden to study during the chazon's repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh. Needless to say, one must be careful not to indulge in idle talk.

It is easy for him to do so, [during the chazon's repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh], a person should stand as if he is reciting the Shemoneh Esreh himself. He should keep his eyes closed or follow the chazon's prayers in the Siddur. There are some who remove the tefillin prescribed by Rashi after Kedushoh, in order to put on those prescribed by Rabbenu Tam. This practice is not in accordance with the law.

2. Since the chazon has already recited the Shemoneh Esreh by himself in a hushed tone, his repetition of those prayers is intended only for those listening. Accordingly, there must be at least nine people listening to his blessings and responding Amen to them. Otherwise, his blessings are considered as having no purpose. (Thus, this law does not resemble Chapter 15, Law 7.)

Therefore, if there are only ten people in the minyan, one must be careful to see that the chazon does not begin the repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh until everyone has concluded their prayers, so they can all respond to him.*

* {If there is a question whether all nine can answer or not, it is customary for the chazon to repeat the Shemoneh Esreh on the condition that, were there to do fewer people answering than required, his prayer is to be considered tefillas n'dovoh, a prayer offered as a N'davoh - gift. (See Mishnoh Beruroh 124:19.)}

3. After completing one blessing, the chazon should take care not to begin the next blessing until the majority of the congregation have recited "Amen." If he began the next blessing immediately afterwards - e.g., he completed mogen Avrohom and started immediately Attoh gibbor - once he begins Attoh gibbor, the congregation should no longer recite "Amen". He and they will suffer punishment for the failure to recite "Amen".


     The Chazon's Repetition
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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 


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