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 Hilchos Tefilla 104 (page 264)
 מתחילת סימן קד עד סעיף ה

Dealing With a Child During Shemoneh Esrei
Clarifying a Halacha During Shemoneh Esrei
Relocating During Shemoneh Esrei

Dealing with a child during Shemoneh Esrei
It is permissible to quiet a child who is crying or creating a disturbance during Shmeoneh Esrei by waving at him or making noises, but not by talking. It is permissible to relocate if that doesn't work. If moving away is not an option, one can move towards the child in order to quiet him, again without talking. If the child is in shul and cannot be quieted, and if moving away from the child is not possible, then it is permissible to take the child out of the shul in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei. Likewise, if the child needs the restroom and will not go without his parent, the parent is permitted to stop in the middle of tefilla to take him out.If a father is disturbed that his child cannot find the place in the siddur, he may show him the correct place even during Shemoneh Esrei.
( ס"ק א; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 1, 3 ו־4)
Clarifying a halacha during Shemoneh Esrei
A person may signal to others to clarify a halachic question that arose during Shemoneh Esrei (e.g. whether he must repeat the tefilla if he forgot an important passage). If signaling does not work, he may move from his place to consult a sefer and even walk around to find that sefer. If he cannot decide the issue on his own, he may write the question down or ask it verbally. (Writing is preferable to talking, and if one is writing in this case, it is advisable to bear in mind that one does not wish his writing to be considered as talking.) It is permissible for someone davening Shemoneh Esrei who hears another person nearby err in his tefilla (e.g. the person said v'sein tal u'matar instead of v'sein beracha) to signal him to correct his mistake. If the situation requires it, one may talk (only between berachos) to correct someone else's mistakes and prevent him from reciting berachos l'vatalah.
( ס"ק ב; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 6, 9 ו־11)
Relocating during Shemoneh Esrei
A person should not move from his place during Shemoneh Esrei. Exceptions are: the cases of the disturbing child or halachic question cited above, situations in which a person is forbidden from completing his tefilla in his present location (e.g. forbidden waste was discovered nearby), or situations in which he finds himself standing in shul facing the wrong direction. Likewise, a person should not move from his place while saying the passage E-lokai, nitzor recited at the conclusion of Shemoneh Esrei. It is, however, permissible to walk after the completion of Shemoneh Esrei even before taking the three steps back in order to perform a mitzva (e.g. the chazan sitting down to recite tachanun, accepting an aliyah to the Torah, etc.). In the situation of a minor mitzva (e.g. opening the Aron kodesh for Avinu Malkeinu), it is advisable to recite the pasuk Yihyu l'ratzon before walking. After completing the mitzva, he should take the customary three steps back in the location where he finds himself. It is not necessary to recite E-lokai, netzor after the interruption.
( סעיף א וס"ק ט-י, וראה ביה"ל ד"ה לא; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 14 ו־20)

  • It is forbidden to pass within four amos in front of someone reciting Shemoneh Esrei because doing so separates between the supplicant and the Shechina and is likely to disrupt his kavanah. The poskim discuss whether this rule is limited only to the area directly in front of the supplicant or whether it also includes the visible areas to the sides as he faces forward.  It is permissible to be lenient when necessary.
  • It is forbidden to pass before someone reciting Shemoneh Esrei to join a minyan. There is an opinion which permits this, however, if the person is needed to complete the minyan. The poskim discuss whether one who is carrying the Torah to read it in shul is permitted to pass before people who are davening.
  • It is forbidden to take three steps back after Shemoneh Esrei if there is a person davening within four amos behind him [or a person who will be within four amos once he takes his steps back].


  • Restarting Shemoneh Esrei after an interruption

  • Pausing during Shemoneh Esrei

  • If Ya'aleh v'yavo was inserted in error



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.