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

Email this article to a friend

Shemoneh Esrei Revisited: Understanding Chazaras Hashatz

Pay Attention

It was a regular Tuesday afternoon in the shul where the Rambam prayed Mincha, during the period when he lived in Egypt. The usual crowd had gathered for services, and a light-hearted atmosphere filled the air. As the shaliach tzibbur repeated Shemoneh Esrei, half the congregation was engaged in small talk, while the rest busied themselves with other matters.

For many years the Rambam had been filled with concern regarding the community’s lack of respect for the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei. That day his patience ran out, and the Rambam decided that what was going on was a chillul Hashem, a desecration of Hashem’s honor. From that day onwards he decreed that Shemoneh Esrei would no longer be repeated in Egypt (as cited in Responsa of the Radvaz 1165).

Almost one thousand years later, we live in an age when technological advances have made information accessible to us almost instantaneously, causing our attention spans to dwindle. If something is not packaged in a five-second sound bite, many people have difficulty finding the patience to hear it out. Listening to the entire repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei seems like an arduous task.

Yet the Zohar writes that the principal mitzva of Shemoneh Esrei is the chazaras hashatz, the prayer leader’s repetition of this prayer. During chazaras hashatz, one member of the minyan represents the entire congregation to bring their prayers before Hashem.

Let us try and understand some of the customs and halachos of this crucial part of the prayer service.


Text Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 
Sell Chometz Online


ARTICLES ON PESACH:

View Complete List

Ordering Priorities
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Relating the Chain of Events: Part 3
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

A Holy Nation?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

This Night
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Providing for the Needy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

And You Shall Tell Your Son
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5774

ArtScroll

4 Seder Cups & 1 Yiddishe Cup
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Telling Others
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

You and Your Sons
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Sipur Yetzias Mitzrayim: Once Upon a Time…
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Maybe Next Year, in Jerusalem!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

> The Symphony Of Life
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Forget Your Belt...
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5762

Cyclical Celebrations
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

The Real Us!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772



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