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 Hilchos Tefilla 104 (page 265)
 מסעיף ה עד סעיף ז

Restarting Shemoneh Esrei After an Interruption
Pausing During Shemoneh Esrei
Talking During Shemoneh Esrei

Restarting Shemoneh Esrei after an interruption
According to the Mechaber, if one paused (silently) during Shemoneh Esrei for long enough to complete the tefilla (the berachos without E-lokai, nitzor), he must restart Shemoneh Esrei. If, after the break, he continued from where he left off and completed the tefilla, he must repeat it. According to the Rama, starting again from the beginning is only required if the lengthy pause was caused by an ones, whether halachic (e.g. there was forbidden waste in the area) or practical (e.g. a dangerous predicament).  Similarly, the Rama holds that if he completed the tefilla, he need only repeat it in the case of a halachic ones. If the break was voluntary, he must only restart a beracha if he was in the middle of one when he paused. The span needed to complete Shemoneh Esrei depends on the person in question. If a person davens at an irregular speed, the pace is set according to his speed from the beginning of the tefilla. Small pauses throughout tefilla are not combined into a disqualifying pause.
( סעיף ה-ו, ס"ק יג, יד, טו, טז ו־כב, וביה"ל ד"ה ואם; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 26, 27, 32 ו־33)
Pausing during Shemoneh Esrei
A person who inserts many small pauses (not long enough to present a problem) between the berachos continues from where he is up to. According to the Mechaber, if he stopped in the middle of a beracha for long enough to complete that beracha, he must restart the beracha. According to the Rama, however, he only restarts the beracha if the pause was the result of an ones (see previous paragraph). There are opinions that hold that he can always return to where he left off and others that hold that the matter is questionable. According to all, if he continued from where he was up to, he does not need to repeat the tefilla. Some poskim permit pausing during Shemoneh Esrei in order to refocus one's mind on the tefilla.
( סעיף ה, ס"ק יז-יט, וביה"ל ד"ה ואם; וראה עוד בסעיף ה, וס"ק כ-כא, וביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 31, בנוגע לשלש הברכות הראשונות והאחרונות שבתפילת העמידה)
Talking during Shemoneh Esrei
The rules of someone who talks during Shemoneh Esrei for long enough to complete the tefilla are the same as those described above for someone who pauses. After small breaks between berachos, one may continue from where he left off; breaks in the middle of a beracha require one to restart the beracha. If a person continued from where he left off, some poskim hold that he is yotzei b'dieved. According to one opinion, it is unnecessary to restart Shemoneh Esrei if the [long] interruption was the result of an ones or mistake (e.g. if someone inserted Yaleh v'yavo on the wrong day or recited a Shabbos beracha on a weekday; if someone thought that talking was permitted during davening), but one must always repeat the tefilla if he spoke intentionally for other reasons. (According to some, this opinion requires restarting only if the pause was in the middle of a beracha, but not between berachos.) A final opinion treats accidental and intentional interruptions the same way.
( סעיף ו, ס"ק כג ו־כה, וביה"ל ד,ה דינו; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 34; וראה עוד שם)

  • It is permissible to quiet a child who is crying or disturbing during Shmeoneh Esrei by waving at him or making noises, but not by talking.
  • A person may signal to others to clarify a halachic question that arose during Shemoneh Esrei. If signaling will 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.
  • Generally, a person should not move from his place while reciting the passage E-lokai, nitzor 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) to perform a mitzva. 

  • Women's obligation to daven

  • The obligation of women with small children to daven

  • Listening to kaddish during Shemoneh Esrei



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.