Halacha for Thursday 22 Shevat 5781 February 4 2021

Making a Mistake in the “Hashkivenu” Blessing

Question: If one mistakenly concludes the “Hashkivenu” blessing on Shabbat night as one would during other weeknights, must one repeat the blessing? Similarly, what is the Halacha regarding one who mistakenly concludes this blessing during the rest of the week with the Shabbat text?

Answer: In the previous Halacha we have written that during weeknights, we conclude the “Hashkivenu” blessing with the words “Shomer Et Amo Yisrael La’ad, Amen” as opposed to Shabbat when we conclude this blessing with the words “Ha’Pores Sukkat Shalom Alenu Ve’al Kol Amo Yisrael Ve’al Yerushalayim, Amen.”

We shall now discuss a situation where one mistakenly concluded this blessing on Shabbat night with the regular weeknight text or vice versa. Must one repeat the blessing a second time? The Poskim have discuss this issue and their words are recorded by the great Rishon Le’Zion, Hagaon Harav Yitzchak Yosef (in his Yalkut Yosef-Shabbat, page 267) and we shall quote the main points he discusses.

Indeed, from the Talmud Yerushalmi (Chapter 4 of Masechet Berachot) it seems clear that in the times of our Sages, there were some places where it was customary to conclude this blessing during the week with the same text we use on Shabbat, i.e. on weeknights they would recite “Ha’Pores Sukkat Shalom” and on Shabbat they would conclude the blessing with the same words “Ha’Pores Sukkat Shalom”. This seems clear from the Midrash and from the words of the Ritba.

The Meiri proves in his Sefer Magen Avot (page 20) that in the times of the Sages of the Talmud, they would use the “Ha’Pores Sukkat Shalom” throughout the rest of the week as well, however, this custom was not accepted in most places and they followed the same custom we have today, i.e. reciting “Shomer Et Amo Yisrael La’ad, Amen” on weeknights and “Ha’Pores Sukkat Shalom” on Shabbat.

We have already explained in the previous Halacha that there were some places which customarily concluded this blessing on Shabbat with the same text we use during the rest of the week. This is quoted in the Siddur of Rav Amram Gaon.

Based on all of the above opinions among the Poskim, if one has already mistakenly concluded the blessing on Shabbat using the weeknight text or if one has concluded the blessing on a weeknight using the Shabbat text, one need not repeat the “Hashkivenu” blessing, for a change in these texts does not cause the blessing to be considered invalid.

Nevertheless, we have not seen this law stated specifically in the works of the Rishonim until the aforementioned Yalkut Yosef writes that he had found in the Sefer Orchot Chaim (page 61c) who writes as follows: “In the ‘Hashkivenu’ blessing, one concludes by saying ‘Ha’Pores Sukkat Shalom’. However, if one has already concluded by saying ‘Shomer Et Amo Yisrael La’ad,’ one need not repeat the blessing, for Rav Shalom Gaon would say that in the Yeshiva this blessing would not be changed on either Shabbat or holidays.”

Thus, halachically speaking, one who concludes the “Hashkivenu” blessing on Shabbat with the text recited on weekdays or vice versa need not repeat this blessing.

Nevertheless, if one becomes aware of one’s mistake immediately before approximately two seconds have elapsed, one should quickly fix the text of the blessing, i.e. if one concluded with the words “Shomer Et Amo Yisrael La’ad, Amen” on Shabbat night and immediately becomes aware of one’s error, one should immediately insert the words “Ha’Pores Sukkat Shalom Alenu Ve’al Kol Amo Yisrael Ve’al Yerushalayim, Amen.” (See Mishnah Berura, Chapter 288, Subsection 9).

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