Halacha for Monday 15 Elul 5781 August 23 2021

The Law of “Entering One’s Boundaries”

In the previous Halacha we have discussed the prohibition to sit in close proximity to one praying Amida. We have also written that sitting in front or on the sides of one praying is an absolute prohibition along with the reasons behind this.

“Entering One’s Boundaries”
If one was seated and another individual stands and begins praying the Amida prayer nearby, the one praying is considered to have “entered the boundaries” of the individual sitting there before him. In such an instance, the seated individual is not obligated to get up and move somewhere else.

This means that although it is forbidden to sit within four Amot of one praying, this applies only when the one praying has begun his prayer before another individual sits down next to him. However, if one was seated before the other began praying, the individual praying cannot obligate his seated fellow to move away.

This is based on the words of the Gemara (Berachot 31b) where our Sages teach us that one “may not sit” near one praying; however, the Gemara does not say that one “may not be seated” there. This implies that the prohibition applies when one enters the four Amot of the individual praying and sits down there; however, if the individual praying “enters the boundaries” of the one sitting, he need not get up. The Rosh and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 102) rule likewise.

The Opinion of Rabbeinu Yitzchak Abohav
Rabbeinu Yitzchak Abohav writes that although, according to the letter of the law, one need not get up if one was seated before the individual praying “entered his boundaries,” nevertheless, it is preferable for one to act stringently and get up as a measure of piety, for merely being seated next to one praying is a disgrace, for it seems like one’s friend is praying and he is not. Additionally, it is likewise disgraceful for the one praying since he caused the seated individual to be in such a situation. It is therefore proper, as a measure of piety, to get up, even if the one praying “entered one’s boundaries.”

Summary: Although it is forbidden to sit near one praying Amida, nevertheless, if one was seated first and only then did another enter one’s four Amot and begin praying, one is not obligated to get up and move. One who acts stringently and gets up even in such a situation is especially praiseworthy.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women cu......

Read Halacha

Lighting the Chanukah Candles

The Mitzvah of Lighting Chanukah Candles There is a Mitzvah to light Chanukah candles throughout all eight nights of Chanukah (beginning from next Sunday night). The Sephardic custom is to light one set of Chanukah candles per house. The Ashkenazi custom, however, is that every member of the househ......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Boarders, Guests, Soldiers, and Yeshiva Students Regarding Chanukah Candles

Question: If one will be away from home as a guest during Chanukah, how should one act regarding lighting Chanukah candles? Similarly, what is the law regarding a soldier who will be at his military base during Chanukah? Answer: If one is away from home during the holiday of Chanukah and stays a......

Read Halacha

A Guest On Motza’ei Shabbat Chanukah

Question: If one is staying as a guest at one’s parents’ or in-laws’ home for Shabbat Chanukah, where should one light Chanukah candles on Motza’ei Shabbat? Answer: Regarding a married individual who is staying as a guest at his father’s home, according to the Sephar......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Married Children Staying with Their Parents and One Staying in a Hotel

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that although one who has no one lighting on his behalf at home (for instance, because he has no family or because his family is with him) and is staying as a guest in a friend’s home on Chanukah should have been obligated to light candles in one&rsqu......

Read Halacha

“Al Ha’Nissim”

Starting from the Arvit prayer on the first night of Chanukah (this year, 5782, starting from tonight, Sunday night) “Al Ha’Nissim” is added in the Amida in the middle of the Blessing of Thanksgiving (“Modim Anachnu Lach etc.) as it is printed in all Siddurim. Even if mos......

Read Halacha

Hallel on Chanukah as it Pertains to Women

Question: Since women are obligated to light Chanukah candles, does this mean that they are likewise obligated to recite the Hallel every morning of Chanukah as well? Answer: Women are exempt from all positive, time-bound Mitzvot, such as eating in the Sukkah, taking the Lulav, and hearing the Sh......

Read Halacha

Havdala Without Besamim and a Candle

Question: One Motza’ei Shabbat when we were on vacation in the summer, we were not able to procure Besamim (a fragrant object) and a candle. Is it permissible to recite the order of Havdala without Besamim and a candle? Answer: This law is discussed by the Gemara (Berachot 53a): “Rav ......

Read Halacha