Halacha for Monday 6 Tevet 5781 December 21 2020

Praying Very Late-The Custom of Some Chasidic Rebbes

In the previous Halacha we have explained that the time for praying Shacharit spans until the end of the fourth seasonal hour of the day. If one erroneously did not pray by this time, one may still pray until halachic midday which is at approximately 11:35 AM during this time of year in Israel and in New York, it is at approximately 11:55 AM.

All Poskim agree that no one, neither man nor woman, may recite the Shacharit prayer past halachic midday, as we have discussed.

In previous generations and in ours, there are certain individuals who do not possess fear of Heaven and pray Shacharit after halachic midday; this is certainly contrary to Halacha. On the other hand, there have been and still continue to be some holy rabbis who pray Shacharit after the latest time for prayer or after halachic midday on a constant basis (and they behave in general regarding the various times for Mitzvot however they wish) and they support this behavior with explanations from both the hidden and revealed Torah.

Some great Acharonim discuss this idea. Indeed, the Responsa Eretz Tzvi-Frummer discusses this matter and defends those righteous individuals who pray after halachic midday by explaining that the reason for this is because before Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge, all hours were equally good and appropriate for prayer and only after Adam sinned were the times ruined. Avraham then came and established that the morning hours be worthy for the Shacharit prayer, Yitzchak established the Mincha prayer, and Yaakov established the Arvit prayer. However, righteous people whose actions are pure and complete are tantamount to Adam before having committed the sin and the entire day is equally good and worthy for prayer in their eyes.

Nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rebuffs this opinion in his Yalkut Yosef-Volume 1 and writes that explanations are worse than the actual sin and G-d-forbid should one rely on such weak explanations to treat the laws of the Torah lightly. There is certainly no one in our generation or in any one of the previous generations who can proclaim that he is greater than Maran Ha’Bet Yosef and all the other Poskim who absolutely forbid praying Shacharit past halachic midday. Therefore, those who customarily pray in this manner are doing so contrary to Halacha and are reciting blessings in vain and although there may be certain righteous individuals who do so, they are nevertheless incorrect. All of the great Poskim concur.

We must nevertheless discuss whether or not one who wishes to begin praying close to the time of halachic midday may begin praying if one knows he/she will conclude one’s prayer only once midday has passed. (Clearly, our discussion revolves around the Shacharit Amida prayer which is the primary part of the prayer service.)

Maran zt”l discusses this question in his Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 7, Chapter 34 and he quotes the Sefer Batei Kennesiyot authored by Hagaon Harav Avraham ben Ezra who is in doubt regarding one who has not yet prayed until right before halachic midday such that if one begins, one will surely finish after halachic midday has passed. Maran zt”l concludes that, halachically speaking, although halachic midday will pass while one is still praying, one may nevertheless begin praying before midday, for regarding this matter we follow the beginning of one’s prayer. He proceeds to support his opinion.

Summary: Under no circumstances should one pray Shacharit following halachic midday. However, if it is a minute or two before halachic midday, one may begin the Shacharit Amida prayer although one will conclude it once halachic midday has already passed.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Megillah Reading- Coronavirus

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor- Coronavirus

“Remember What Amalek Has Done to You” On the Shabbat preceding Purim, which is this coming Shabbat, after the opening of the Ark immediately following Shacharit prayers, two Sifrei Torah are removed; in the first one, we read the weekly Parasha (which is Parashat Vayikra this year, 577......

Read Halacha

Caution Regarding Chametz Issues

Our Sages (Tosefta Pesachim, Chapter 3) taught: “We inquire about and expound the laws of Pesach from thirty days before Pesach.” Based on this, great rabbis throughout the generations have taken the opportunity to teach the laws of Pesach to the public between Purim and Pesach since eve......

Read Halacha

Matanot La’Evyonim- Coronavirus

In the previous Halacha we briefly discussed the Mitzvah of “Matanot La’Evyonim” on Purim day which is the distribution of two monetary gifts, one to each pauper. What Must One Give? In order to fulfill this Mitzvah, one need not give actual gifts; rather, it is permissible to ......

Read Halacha


The Days of Purim and the Laws of Mishloach Manot- 5781

The Days of Purim Purim will be celebrated in approximately two weeks from today. This year, we must discuss several unique laws, first of all, because Purim day (the 14th of Adar) falls out on a Friday. Second of all, in Jerusalem, a “three-day Purim” will be celebrated since the 15th ......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of the Purim Feast This Year (5781)

Holding the Purim Feast at Night The holiday of Purim is different than all other holidays we celebrate in that whereas regarding other holidays the Mitzvah of partaking of a joyous holiday meal applies during the day and night, regarding the holiday of Purim, there is only a Mitzvah to hold a feas......

Read Halacha

 A Joint Mishloach Manot by Husband and Wife

Question: On Purim I stay home and I do not give out my own Mishloach Manot. May I fulfill my obligation by sending a joint Mishloach Manot along with my husband? Answer: First, let us discuss the obligation of women with regards to Mishloach Manot. A Woman’s Obligation in Mishloach Mano......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Joy and Torah Learning on Purim Day

There is a Mitzvah eat heartily during the Purim Feast. One should preferably eat bread during this meal. The Rambam (Chapter 2 of Hilchot Megillah, Halacha 15) writes: “What is the extent of one’s obligation during this feast? One should eat meat and prepare a delicious meal to the b......

Read Halacha