Halacha for Thursday 6 Cheshvan 5772 November 3 2011              

Halacha Date: 6 Cheshvan 5772 November 3 2011

Category: Shabbat


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.
 
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 HaShulchan Aruch (Chapter 117) rule likewise.
 
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,” but remembers within the “Blessing of the Years,” he should go back to the beginning of the blessing and request rain. If one only remembers after beginning the blessing’s conclusion of “Baruch Ata Hashem,” he should insert the words “Lamedeni Chukecha” and then go back to the beginning of the “Blessing of the Years.” If one remembers only after concluding the blessing entirely but before beginning the “Teka Be’Shofar Gadol” blessing, he may insert “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” right there and then proceed with the “Teka Be’Shofar Gadol” blessing.
 
If one only remembers after starting the “Teka Be’Shofar Gadol” blessing, he should request rain within the “Shema Kolenu” blessing by inserting “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Livracha Al Kol Peneh Ha’adama” before saying “Ki Ata Shome’a Tefillat Kol Peh.” If one remembers only after beginning the conclusion of this blessing, i.e. after saying “Baruch Ata Hashem,” he should insert the words “Lamedeni Chukecha” and then go back to the beginning of the “Shema Kolenu” blessing and request rain. If one remembers only after concluding the “Shome’a Tefillah” blessing but has not yet begun reciting “Retzeh,” he may insert “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar Livracha,” after which he may continue reciting “Retzeh” as usual.
 
If one remembers only after beginning the “Retzeh” blessing, one must go back to the “Blessing of the Years” and request dew and rain there and then continue reciting the rest of the blessings of the Amida as usual. If one remembers only after reciting the final “Yihyu Le’Ratzon” following “Elokai Netzor,” one must go back to the beginning of the Amida prayer and pray once again.

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