Halacha for Tuesday 2 Iyar 5779 May 7 2019

Erring During Shabbat Prayers

Question: If one makes a mistake during the Amida of the Shabbat night Arvit prayer and instead of reciting “Ata Kidashta,” one begins to recite “Ata Chonen” which is the continuation of the weekday Amida, how should one proceed?

Answer: As anyone who prays regularly knows, the weekday Amida consists of nineteen blessings, beginning with the “Magen Avraham” blessing followed by the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing followed by the blessing of “Ata Kadosh.” On weekdays, the “Ata Chonen” follows “Ata Kadosh” whereas on Shabbat, “Ata Kadosh” is followed by a special blessing designated for Shabbat: Either “Ata Kidashta” (during Arvit), “Yismach Moshe” (during Shacharit), or “Ata Echad” (during Mincha).

Rabba bar Avuha’s Reply
The Gemara (Berachot 21a) relates that Rav Nachman said that when he stayed by Rabba bar Avuha, he saw people coming to ask him what the law is if they made a mistake and proceeded to recite “Ata Chonen” as they would during the week during Shabbat prayers. It would seem that they should immediately stop in the middle of the blessing and return to the blessing reserved for Shabbat, such as “Ata Kidashta” and the like.

Nevertheless, Rabba bar Avuha replied that they must first conclude the blessing they had mistakenly begun and only then should they return to the “Ata Kidashta” blessing. The reason for this is because “Ata Chonen” as well as all of the other blessings of the weekday Amida apply to Shabbat as well. However, our Sages exempted us from reciting these blessings in honor of Shabbat, for they did not wish to burden us with long prayers and supplications. Nevertheless, according to the letter of the law, it would have been appropriate to recite all of the weekday blessings.

Thus, if one mistakenly begins the “Ata Chonen” blessing, one must conclude it by reciting “Baruch Ata Hashem Chonen Ha’Da’at” and only then proceed to recite the “Ata Kidashta” blessing. The same applies to any other blessing during which one becomes aware of his error in that one must conclude the current blessing and only then return to “Ata Kidashta,” “Yismach Moshe,” “Ata Echad.”

One Who Errs During Mussaf of Shabbat
On the other hand, if makes a mistake during Mussaf of Shabbat and begins reciting “Ata Chonen,” Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 268) rules that one should not conclude the current blessing one finds himself in; rather, one should immediately return to the “Tikanta Shabbat” blessing, for the weekday blessings have no bearing to the Mussaf prayer whatsoever. The Rambam, Rabbeinu Yonah, and others rule likewise.

Summary: If one mistakenly continues with the “Ata Chonen” blessing during Shabbat prayers, one must conclude the current blessing one finds himself in and only then return to blessings reserved for Shabbat, namely, “Ata Kidashta,” “Yismach Moshe,” or “Ata Echad.” However, if this happens during the Mussaf prayer of Shabbat, one must immediately return to the “Tikanta Shabbat” blessing without concluding one’s current blessing.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Praying Shacharit Early

By Popular Demand: When is it permissible to begin praying Shacharit? Many individuals must arrive at their places of work at a very early hour in the morning and would like to know when the earliest possible time to pray Shacharit is. Answer: Preferably, the time to pray Shacharit is from sunris......

Read Halacha

Question: Is it obligatory to stand during the Birkot Ha’Shachar (morning blessings) and the Birkot Ha’Torah (blessings of the Torah)?

Answer: There are certain blessings which require one to be standing while reciting them. There is a unique reason for why one must stand while reciting each of these blessings. For instance, regarding the blessing on counting the Omer, the Torah states, “From when the sickle begins [to make c......

Read Halacha

The Proper Order of Prayer for a Workers’ Minyan

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that one should preferably not pray Shacharit before sunrise. Nevertheless, workers who must arrive at their jobs early in the morning and do not have an opportunity to pray after sunrise may act leniently and pray beginning from dawn which is calculated as......

Read Halacha

Praying for Spiritual Matters- Rabbeinu Moshe Alshich zt”l

We have quoted in the past Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l’s words regarding one of the “Harachaman” texts customarily recited in Birkat Hamazon, “May the Merciful One sustain us in permissible ways as opposed to forbidden ones,” that although our Sages teach us ......

Read Halacha


The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” ref......

Read Halacha

Personal Requests During the Amida Prayer- Maran zt”l’s Behavior

Question: May one add one’s own personal requests into the Amida prayer? What is the correct custom regarding this matter? Answer: Our Sages (Berachot 34a) discuss whether or not one may add personal requests into one’s Amida prayer and said, as follows: “One may never ask for o......

Read Halacha

Inserting Personal Requests in the Amida Prayer on a Constant Basis

Question: You have written in the Halacha Yomit that one may insert personal requests into the blessings of the Amida. Is this permitted even on a constant basis, i.e. adding personal requests in one’s Amida prayer every day? Answer: Indeed, it is permissible to add personal requests into t......

Read Halacha

Using Sifrei Kodesh (Holy Books) For an Alternate Purpose

Question: May one place one Sefer on top of or lean it against another Sefer so that it is easier to read from the Sefer? Answer: Some have the custom to take one Sefer, such as a book of Mishnayot, and lean it on an angle against another Sefer, such as a Siddur, so that it easier to read from th......

Read Halacha