Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

After the Fact

We have established that one is obligated to concentrate on the meaning of the words that he is saying, at least during the first berachah of Shemoneh Esrei. If a person did not pay proper attention, he did not fulfill the mitzvah of tefillah; however, he is not required to repeat his prayer, for fear that the next tefillah would encounter the same lack of intention (Rema).

What can a person do if he has just completed the first blessing of Shemoneh Esrei without intention? If he is in shul, he may listen to the first berachah recited by the shaliach tzibbur, and then continue his tefillah (Biur Halachah 101,1). However, this is not the customary practice (Ishei Yisrael 11,8). Some suggest that reviewing the entire first berachah in one's head without verbalizing the words, instills the concentration into one's tefillah.

Since today the attention span has dwindled down to seconds, we must address the following question. If a person did not have the proper intention for the first blessing, how can he be permitted to continue? Aren’t all of the ensuing berachos considered to be uttered in vain?

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach explains that the blessings that follow are not said in vain. Once the first berachah was recited devoid of proper intention, his berachos cannot be considered a cohesive unit of tefillah. Rather, they are related to as nineteen separate blessings (as cited in Siach Halachah 104,4). Although one does not fulfil the mitzvah of tefillah, it is as if he recited nineteen blessings.


Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON ACHAREI MOS AND KEDOSHIM:

View Complete List

A Sacred Appointment
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Don't Take it to Heart
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Holy Pursuits - Mundane Paths
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

ArtScroll

Life After Death
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

A Reservoir of Love
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

The Shepherd’s Shepherds
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Empty Nest
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

State of the Union
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Everyday Holiness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Seeking Counsel - When and Where
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

A Tremendous Mitzvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Of Demons and Goats
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

> In the "Judging Business"
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

The Good, The Bad, and The Process of Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Belief and Circumstance
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Love From Inside Out - Part 2
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information