Halacha for Thursday 8 Cheshvan 5782 October 14 2021

The Laws of One Who Forgets to Mention “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” in the “Blessing of the Years”

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed in a general manner that our Sages enacted that beginning from the Seventh of Marcheshvan (outside of Israel from the Fourth or Fifth of December), one begins reciting “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” (a request for dew and rain) in the “Blessing of the Years” within the Amida prayer. One should take care not to forget to mention the request for rain in his prayer. We shall now discuss the laws of one who has forgotten to request rain in his prayer. Since there are eight different scenarios, we have summarized this Halacha briefly at the end of the Halacha.

One who Forgets to Request Rain Must Repeat the Amida Prayer
The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (29a) states: “If one errs and forgets to request rain in the ‘Blessing of the Years,’ we require him to go back.” This means that if one mistakenly omits the request for rain in the “Blessing of the Years,” it is considered as if he has omitted an entire blessing from the Amida prayer, in which case his prayer is not considered a prayer, and if he has concluded his entire prayer without asking for rain, he must repeat the entire Amida. The Rambam (Hilchot Tefillah, Chapter 10) and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 117) rule likewise.

If One Remembers in the Middle of the Amida that he has Forgotten
Nevertheless, if one remembers that he has forgotten to request rain before concluding the “Blessing of the Years,” i.e. before reciting the last words in the blessing, “Mevarech Ha’Shanim,” he should go back to the beginning of the “Blessing of the Years” and recite the text we customarily use during the winter months. If one has already begun the conclusion of the blessing by saying “Ki Kel Tov U’Metiv Ata Umvarech Ha’Shanim, Baruch Ata Hashem,” and only then remembers that he has forgotten to request rain, he cannot immediately revert back to the beginning of the blessing, for this would cause him to have recited Hashem’s name in vain; rather, one should recite the words “Lamedeni Chukecha” (in which case his mentioning of Hashem’s name will not have been in vain, for there is a verse in Tehillim, “Baruch Ata Hashem Lamedeni Chukecha”), after which one should go back to the beginning of the blessing, i.e. Barech Alenu, and request rain.

If one remembers after he has already concluded the “Blessing of the Years” but before beginning the next blessing of “Teka Be’Shofar Gadol,” he may insert “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Livracha” right there and he may then continue his prayer as usual. (It is preferable that he once again mention “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Al Kol Peneh Ha’adama” within the “Shema Kolenu” blessing of the Amida.)

If one has concluded the “Blessing of the Years” and then remembers that he has forgotten to request dew and rain, the Gemara explains that if he remembers this before reciting the “Shema Kolenu” blessing of the Amida, one does not go back and begin praying anew since he can request rain in the “Shema Kolenu” blessing which includes all requests of the prayer; by doing so, one can supplement what he has previously left out of his prayer. This means that during the “Shema Kolenu” blessing, before reciting “Ki Ata Shome’a Tefillat Kol Peh,” one should recite “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Livracha Al Kol Peneh Ha’adama,” and by doing so, one will have requested rain. If one remembers that he has not requested dew and rain only once he has already begun concluding the “Shema Kolenu” blessing by saying “Baruch Ata Hashem,” he should immediately insert the words “Lamedeni Chukecha” and go back to the beginning of the “Shema Kolenu” blessing and then insert his request for rain.

If one only remembers after completing the “Shema Kolenu” blessing but has not yet begun saying “Retzeh Hashem Elokeinu Be’Amecha Yisrael,” one should insert “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Livracha,” and may then continue the “Retzeh” blessing as usual.

If, however, one has already begun saying “Retzeh” and only then remembers or if one remembers at any subsequent point in the Amida prayer, even in the middle of “Elokai Netzor” for that matter, as long as he has not yet recited the last “Yihyu Le’Ratzon” following “Elokai Netzor,” one must go back to the “Blessing of the Years” and ask for dew and rain there and subsequently continue all the other blessings as usual, in their order.

However, if one only remembers after reciting the “Yihyu Le’Ratzon” following “Elokai Netzor,” he no longer has any recourse but to go back to the beginning of the Amida prayer and pray again.

Summary: If one has forgotten to request rain in the “Blessing of the Years”:

  • If one remembers in the middle of the Blessing of the Years, one should return to the beginning of the blessing and recite the appropriate text for the winter months.
  • If one remembers after one says the words, “Ki El Tov U’Metiv Ata Umvarech Ha’Shanim Baruch Ata Hashem,” one should say the words “Lamedeni Chukecha” and return to the beginning of the blessing and recite it correctly.
  • If one remembers after concluding the blessing by saying “Baruch Ata Hashem Mevarech Ha’Shanim” but has not yet begun the “Teka Be’Shofar Gadol” blessing, one should insert the words “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Livracha Al Kol Peneh Ha’adama” right there and then proceed with the “Teka Be’Shofar Gadol” blessing.
  • If one remembers only after he has begun the “Teka Be’Shofar Gadol” blessing, one should insert the words “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Livracha Al Kol Peneh Ha’adama” in the “Shema Kolenu” blessing before the words “Ki Ata Shome’a Tefillat Kol Peh.”
  • If one remembers during the “Shema Kolenu” blessing after reciting the words “Ki Ata Shome’a Tefillat Kol Peh Baruch Ata Hashem,” one should recite the words “Lamedeni Chukecha,” return to the beginning of the “Shema Kolenu” blessing, and insert “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Livracha.”
  • If one remembers only after he has completed the “Shema Kolenu” blessing but has not yet begun the “Retzeh” blessing, one should insert “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” right there and then proceed with the “Retzeh” blessing.
  • If one remembers after beginning the “Retzeh” blessing, one must return to the “Blessing of the Years”, recite the correct version, and continue with the rest of the blessings of the Amida (“Teka Be’Shofar Gadol”, “Hashiva Shofetenu”, etc.) once again.
  • If one remembers only after reciting the “Yihyu Le’Ratzon” verse after the “Elokai Netzor” prayer, one must return to the beginning of the Amida and pray again, this time concentrating and requesting rain in accordance with the law.

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