Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Novel Proposal for Tefilla B'Tzibur on Yomtov Sheini in Israel

Despite my recently ruined left knee, which has severely constrained my mobility, and even that only with the assistance of a medieval brace and a cane (as a friend said, "Welcome to the golden years",) I was in Israel for Shavuos. Going to Israel under these circumstances was not a good idea, but the alternatives were worse. I came a few days before Yomtov and left the morning after.  Basically, my time there was spent going to my parents' and the Feinsteins' kevarim on Har Hamenuchos, spending fifteen minutes at the Kosel, and laboriously gimping from Kikar Shabbat to Manny's to buy the latest A'aleh B'samar. The rest of the time I was either at my son's house in Givat Zev or in shul.  The local kids constantly asked me "למה אתה צולע" while zooming by on their bikes.

An added disorientation of the trip was doing Yomtov Sheini in Israel.  While there are minyanim for outsiders for Pesach and Sukkos, there wasn't any for Shavuos in Givat Zev.  As a chiyuv to say kaddish for my mother, this was unpleasant, but at least I could daven while they were davening and say kaddish.

If I was saying the Shemoneh Esrei of Yomtov, and the tzibbur was saying that of a weekday, was my davening tefilla betzibur?  I would say yes.  The first and last three brachos are the same, and the main thing is standing before Hashem and davening.  What you're davening doesn't make any difference, as long as we're all saying Shemoneh Esrei.  I am told that this is indeed the opinion of Rav Usher Weiss.

On the other hand, other rabbis, namely Reb Moshe Feinstein and Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, hold that this is not called tefilla betzibur.  With all due respect to Rabbi Usher Weiss, whose opinion is held in high regard by many people, and despite my high estimation of my own opinion, let's assume like Reb Moshe and Reb Shlomo Zalman.

So I was left saying Shemoneh Esrei without a minyan.  Sure, I had Barchu and Kedusha and Kaddish, but I did not have tefilla betzibbur.  This bothered me, because part of the kibbud Av of Aveilus is to daven betzibbur, not just to say kaddish.

So I came up with an idea.  It is clear in OC 268 that the weekday Shemoneh Esrei is a valid option for Shabbos and Yomtov, but the Anshei Knesses HaGedola gave us a different nusach to make davening less burdensome.  On that basis, the mechaber there paskens that if one forgot it was Shabbos/Yomtov, and began Attah Chonein instead of Attah Kidashta/Yismechu/Attach Echad/Attah vechartanu, he is obligated to finish Attach Chonein with a bracha, and only then return to the Shabbos/Yomtov Shemoneh Esrei.  This extends even to the point that if you mistakenly said Barech Aleinu on Shabbos, and said Tal uMattar in the summer, you would have to repeat it.  Strange, but true.

This is based on Brachos 21a:
אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל היה עומד בתפילה ונזכר שהתפלל פוסק, ואפי' באמצע ברכה. איני והאמר רב נחמן כי הוינן בי רבה בר אבוה בען מיניה, הני בני בי רב דטעו ומדכרי דחול בשבת מהו שיגמרו, ואמר לן גומרין כל אותה ברכה. הכי השתא, התם גברא בר חיובא הוא ורבנן הוא דלא אטרחוהו משום כבוד שבת, אבל הכא הא צלי ליה

So I proposed to the local Rav, Rav Yaakov Horowitz, the Rebbe of D'Zikov in Givat Zev, and a big talmid chacham, that I begin my Shmoneh Esrei with the weekday brachos, and then, after Shema Koleinu, go to Attah Bechartanu of Yomtov.

By doing so, I would be saying the same thing as the others there, and I would have Tefilla BeTzibur.

(I only made this proposal regarding Maariv, Shachris, and Mincha, but not Mussaf, because Mussaf has nothing to do with the regular weekday Shemoneh Esrei, as the Rambam says (10 Tefilla 7)
מי שטעה והתפלל של חול בשבת לא יצא. ואם נזכר והוא בתוך התפלה גומר ברכה שהתחיל בה וחוזר ומתפלל של שבת. במה דברים אמורים בערבית או בשחרית או במנחה. אבל במוסף פוסק אפילו באמצע הברכה
and the Kesef Mishna there explains
 וסובר רבינו דכיון דבמוסף לא היה בדין לצלויי י"ח ....פוסק ואפילו באמצע ברכה)

Rav Horowitz said, and I quote, "זה חשבון טוב, אבל זה לא חשבון שלך."  "It is a good analysis, but it is not your analysis to make." In other words, the logic is good.  The halacha is correct.  But I should not be fiddling with the nusach Chazal instituted.

Out of respect of the Rav, I only did this in one of the Shmoneh Esreis of the day, in Shacharis, and even then I only added Atta Chonein and Hashiveinu.  I figured that Shavuos is the day of tefilla for Hatzlacha in Limud HaTorah (see Mahrsha RH 16a, and this article in Yeshurun,) so what better brachos are there than Daas and Torah?  Then I switched back to Attah Bechartanu and finished the nusach for Yomtov.  It was a "seven-plus-two" Shemoneh Esrei.

I kind of regret not doing this all the time.  I think it's an excellent idea.  I don't believe it would be called meshaneh mimatbei'ah, I don't believe it's like saying mezonos on an apple.  If it were, then the mechaber in 268 would not say that you are obligated to finish the bracha.  Also, it's Yomtov Sheinu in Israel, for goodness sakes!  I'm not suggesting that this be done regularly, I saying that under the circumstances, it's a legitimate application of Chazal's intent.  But Rav Horowitz definitely knows more than I do, he's a professional poseik and a yarei Shamyim, and I did, after all, ask him for a psak. Also, my personal interest may have colored my opinion (along the lines of "every man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client," or "A Rebbe who is his own Chassid has a fool for a Rebbe.)  I guess that listening to him was the right thing to do.

They bring down the Shelah (Maseches Shabbos #33) that says that if this mistake happens to a person, and he has to finish the weekday bracha, he should be nervous and upset the whole week.  Someone suggested that this shows that it's not a good thing.  I say, I'm no expert on the Shelah, but a raya it's not.  The Shelah is talking about forgetting that it's Yomtov, an indifference which shows disrespect, a zilzul of the chag.  I'm talking about intentionally adding to the tefilla with full awareness that it's yomtov and the intention to say the proper Shemoneh Esrei.

I have finally decided that this depends on a machlokes between the girsa and the shitta of the Sefer haManhig/Rashi in the Pardes/the Tanchuma, and the Ohr Zarua.

The Sefer haManhig (Shabbos 11) and the Abudraham (after Mincha of Shabbos) say that when the Gemara says pshat in לא אטרחוהו that it means that it's assur to ask for your need on Shabbos because you will come to be mitz'ta'eir.
Similarly, Sefer haPardes (p 315) says assur, and this is also found in the Shibalei HaLeket (128.)
The Tanchuma is in the beginning of Vayeira, where he talks about the problem of Meitzar, which contradicts oneg and menucha.

But I believe they had a different girsa in the Gemara, and I believe that our girsa is the basis of the Ohr Zarua (Krias Shma 95) who says clearly that even though there's an issur to be shoeil tzrachim on Shabbos, that does not apply when you're using the nusach of Shmoneh Esrei that was created by the Anshei KhG.  His words:
אי לאו משום לא אטרחיה משון כבוד שבת היה נכון להתפלל כל י"ח


  1. How did you achieve Tefillah BeTzibbur if you only said the first 2 of the Middle Brachos?

    1. Are those two brachos not tefilla betzibur? I think the obvious answer is, yes. If so, I cannot believe that there's such a thing as a partial tefilla betzibur. Bishlema if I'm doing yomtov and they're doing Chol, their tefilla is rachami and mine is not, as the rishonim say, so they are fundamentally different, it is mei'ein hame'ora alone. But once I add rachami, then our tefillos are fundamentally the same, although mine adds something.
      I appreciate your remark. I'm going to have to sharpen that point.

  2. Thank you. By the way, I am a newcomer to this blog and I enjoy it immensely.
    Y. Oppenheimer

  3. Brilliantly creative and Refuah Sheleimah. I've enjoyed the Dzikover Bais medrash in Givat Zev.
    Rav Shlomo Zalman in yom tov kehilchaso (9:6) quoted in the Dirshu, I don't have the sefer, seems to say that it would be tefilla betzibur in your scenario even though it's a totally different shemoneh esrei, but not with an Israeli in chul.
    Not getting into the whole 'second day minyan' thig, but suffuce it to say that there is no huge halachic advntage according to many poskim.

    1. So you know that Rav Horowitz is a big man, and a wonderful baal middos as well.
      I have to check the Dirshu. I didn't see it in RSZ myself, just when I mentioned to Rav Horowitz that Reb Moshe says it's not Tefilla BeTzibur, he said that RSZ also says that it's not Tefilla beTzibur, only a "Ma'aleh."

    2. You're in good company with Ya'akov Avinu post battle with the malach.

    3. So what should my family not eat? P'tcha?
      My injury was less momentous than a battle with Sar shel Eisav. It involved the corner of a piano bench, and then two weeks later, a re-injury by stupidly walking into a lowered seat in shul just at the right height to multiply the damage.

  4. I'm not sure my question is a question, but acc to the Yerushalmi there is an issur of tefilas chol on Shabbos -- havdalah goes in atah chonein because you first need to say havdalah before you can daven a tefilas chol. So m'mah nafshach: if you think it's yom tov and that's why you are you are adding the portions of tefilah for yom tov, then you are in effect saying your intentional davening of a tefilas chol is b'issur; if you think it is chol, then why add the yom tov part? The case of ta'us is different than intentionally setting out to say a tefilas chol on what you think is a Y"T.

    1. I know that the Yerushalmi, which is brought in OC 284, is a problem. So either the Bavli is not like the Yerushalmi, or the din of טופס ברכות makes it muttar. But one could argue that טופס ברכות only applies in case of error, but since they weren't mesakein because of tircha, you can't use the טופס ברכות excuse. But I don't think that's true. If the טופס ברכות svara mandates that you finish when you started in error, you can start on purpose too if you want to. But I agree, it's a point that needs to be addressed.
      I know the Abudraham holds that the expression "lo hitrichu" is a code for "you shouldn't be mitzta'er by being shoel tzrachim," but I don't have to believe it. The Abudraham is not from the yud gimmel ikrim.
      That's what I hold: lo hitrichu; so you have no right to make it a habit. But if you have a special need, like mine, you have the right to say shel chol.