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Hilchos Berachos 53 (page 166)
מסימן נג סעיף כב עד סעיף כה

The Requirement to Appoint Rabbanim
Reckoning the Individual's Contribution to the Communal Coffers
The Benefits of an Offical Chazan

The requirement to appoint Rabbanim
A congregation that cannot afford to hire both a Rov [halachic expert]and a chazan should choose a Rov first. Even in the days when the chazan's recitation was needed for the congregation to fulfill its obligations of tefilla, hiring a Rov took precedence -- even if the Rov was unqualified to serve as chazan (i.e. the congregation would be unable to daven at all). This halacha demonstrates the crucial need to hire a Rov who will lead the people in fulfilling mitzvos and avoiding mistakes.
( סעיף כד, ס"ק עא וביה"ל ד"ה שליח)
Reckoning the individual's contribution to communal coffers
There are several communal obligations that any member of the community can compel the others to fund. Some of these are a shul, a mikvah and a Rov. The expenses for these projects are divided amongst the townspeople according to their wealth. There are other communal obligations that are paid for based on the number of members in the community (and not on their finances). The expenses that fall into this category are determined by local custom and by comparing the extent to which various sectors of the community would benefit from the service. In many instances, the wealthy would receive greater benefit from the service than the poor.
( סעיף כג, ס"ק סה ו־סו-ע; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 75-78)
The benefits of an official chazan
Among the benefits of appointing an official chazan is that only a qualified person will lead the davening. In places where there is no official chazan and volunteers lead the service, there is a possibility that unqualified people may serve as chazan. Additionally, a chazan who is paid for his services and shoulders the responsibility of getting the job done right will likely pay greater attention to every detail. An unofficial chazan must also meet the congregation's approval. Someone who forces himself on the congregation is viewed as a thief, and one should not respond Amen to his berachos.
( סעיף כב וס"ק סג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 74)


  • The role of the chazan is to help the entire congregation fulfill their obligations. A chazan who hates a member of the congregation and excludes him from his tefillos cannot represent the rest of the congregants either. There is a discussion in the poskim as to whether a ba'al koreh is disqualified if he hates another member of the tzibur.
  • During the year following the passing of a parent, it is common practice for an avel to serve as chazan and recite kaddish. Leading the congregation in tefilla and reciting kaddish is a merit for the soul of the deceased and draws it out of gehinom.
  • If the ba'al koreh feels hostility towards a congregant, that person should not be called to the aliyos of the tochacha of parshios Bechukosai or Ki Savo. There is a concern that the ba'al koreh will intend for the curses to befall his enemy, putting him in danger.



  • When is it permissible to remove a communal servant?

  • Inheriting a communal position

  • Disqualifying someone who went to non-Jewish court from serving as chazan



PLEASE NOTE : The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.