Halacha for Tuesday 8 Sivan 5779 June 11 2019

Some Laws Regarding the Compensatory Prayer and the Laws of Women Regarding the Compensatory Prayer

In the Halachot sent out before Shavuot, we have discussed the general laws of the compensatory prayer which is that if one forgets to pray a certain prayer, one must compensate for this prayer immediately at the end of the following prayer one prays. For instance, if one has forgotten to pray Shacharit, immediately after praying Mincha, one will recite the Amida prayer again as compensation for the missed Shacharit prayer.

We should point out that the law of a compensatory prayer does not only apply to one who has completely forgotten to pray a certain prayer. Rather, it applies even if one has forgotten to mention something in the prayer in a manner that would obligate the individual to repeat the Amida prayer.

For example, if one forgets to add “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” into the Shacharit prayer of Rosh Chodesh such that one would be obligated to repeat the Shacharit prayer. Thus, if one remembers that he has forgotten to recite “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” only after the time for Shacharit has passed, this individual may no longer pray Shacharit and he must recite a compensatory prayer for Shacharit immediately after having prayed Mincha.

Similarly, if one has forgotten to request “Tal U’Matar” within one’s Amida prayer during the winter months or if one has requested “Tal U’Matar” within one’s Amida prayer during the summer months and one only becomes aware of one mistake after the time for that specific prayer has passed, one must recite a compensatory prayer for such a prayer since it is as if one has not prayed at all.

Let us now discuss the status of women regarding these laws. We have already discussed several times that according to the Sephardic custom, women are not obligated to pray three times a day; rather, they are only obligated to pray once daily.

We have also explained that a woman who customarily always recites the Shacharit prayer and forgets to pray one day and only remembers once the time for Shacharit has already passed must recite a compensatory prayer for Shacharit after having prayed Mincha. This means that she will now be required to pray Mincha and then recite a compensatory prayer afterwards for the missed Shacharit.

Based on this, if a woman customarily prays the Shacharit prayer every day and she has forgotten to recite “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” during the Shacharit of Rosh Chodesh and she has only become aware of this once the time for Shacharit has passed, she certainly must compensate for this prayer after having prayed Mincha. Thus, she will now be obligated to pray Mincha and then to recite a compensatory prayer for Shacharit after concluding Mincha.

There is nevertheless room for discussion in a situation where a woman has already fulfilled her obligation of praying that day, such as if she has already prayed Shacharit and mentioned “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” within the Amida and then she acts stringently and prays Mincha during which she forgets to mention “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” and she has only become aware of this mistake after the time for Mincha prayers has passed. Must she now pray Arvit in order to be able to recite the compensatory prayer for Mincha or is she not obligated to do so?

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that indeed, such a woman must repeat her Amida prayer based on the enactment of our Sages, for a woman’s law is equal to a man’s law in this regard. Although she has already prayed Shacharit and thereby fulfilled her obligation of praying that day and only then did she pray Mincha while forgetting to mention “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” or “Tal U’Matar”, she must nevertheless repeat the Mincha prayer since she has accepted the Mincha prayer upon herself although she had been exempt from reciting it to begin with.

Similarly, if she becomes aware that she has forgotten to mention “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” or “Tal U’Matar” only after the time for the specific prayer has passed, the woman is nevertheless obligated to pray the following prayer and she is also obligated to then recite a compensatory prayer for the previous prayer where she had forgotten to recite “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” or “Tal U’Matar”. Thus, if the woman has prayed Shacharit and has forgotten to insert “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” and only realized her mistake after halachic midday when the time for Shacharit has passed, she must pray Mincha just as a man must and she must recite a compensatory prayer for Shacharit immediately thereafter.

Summary: If one forgets to recite “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” during one’s Amida prayer on Rosh Chodesh, has inserted “Tal U’Matar” into one’s Amida prayer during the summer months, and the like, one must repeat that Amida prayer. If one becomes aware of one’s error only after the time for that prayer has passed, one must pray a compensatory prayer for that prayer. For instance, if one has prayed Shacharit but has forgotten to insert “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” and one has only become aware of this after the time for Shacharit has passed, one must pray Mincha and immediately thereafter, one must pray a compensatory prayer for the Shacharit one has prayed inadequately. There is no distinction whatsoever between men and women regarding this law.

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