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Hilchos Tefilla 90 (page 242)
מסימן צ סעיף ד עד סעיף ח

Davening in a Closed Area vs. an Open Area
Shul Windows
Davening Outside a Shul

Davening in a closed area vs. an open area
Shemoneh Esrei requires awe and submission, and it should be recited in a place with walls (a roof is not required) in order to be conducive to this mentality. Chazal call someone who davens in an open area chatzuf (brazen). A traveler who does not have access to a walled area may daven in an open area. If a semi-protected area (e.g. between trees or bushes) is available, he should daven there. There is an opinion which permits davening in an open area if there are no passersby who will distract him. According to the Zohar, one should always daven in a closed area.
( סעיף ה וס"ק י-יב; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 11)

Shul windows
One should daven only in rooms with windows facing Yerushalayim. Looking out the windows towards heaven before he starts can help him focus on his davening or reset his focus during davening should the need arise. According to the Zohar, it is proper for a shul to have twelve windows (some of them facing Yerushalayim). There is no maximum number of windows a shul can have.
( סעיף ד וס"ק ח-ט; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 7-9)

Davening outside a shul
Someone who must daven outside of a shul should not daven with his back towards the shul or facing a direction opposite to the one that the congregants face while davening. If someone realized in the middle of davening that he is facing the wrong direction, he should turn around -- even during Shemoneh Esrei.  Someone davening alongside a shul should face towards Yerushalayim. If that is not possible, he should turn towards the shul. The poskim discuss whether the prohibition against davening while facing the wrong direction is in effect at all times or only while there is a minyan davening in the shul. . והמתפלל מחוץ לבית הכנסת בסמוך לו, ומסיבה כלשהי אינו יכול להתפלל לכיוון שאליו מתפללים - יתפלל לכיוון בית הכנסת
( סעיף ז וס"ק טו-יט; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 13-14)

  • Someone who must set out on a journey early and cannot wait until neitz to daven may daven before neitz.
  • Someone who must daven before neitz should omit Kriyas Shema and its berachos and should not recite the beracha on the tallis and tefillin prior to mesheyakir. If he recited those parts of the tefilla after alos but before mesheyakir, he is yotzei b'dieved and should not repeat the berachos later.
  • It is forbidden to stand on any object or ground elevated more than three tefachim when daveningShemoneh Esrei.



  • Tefilla b'tzibur

  • Dividing a large group into subgroups to make minyanim for multiple chiyuvim

  • Other forms of tefilla b'tzibur


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.