Halacha for Sunday 19 Tevet 5781 January 3 2021

Mistakenly Inserting a Text for a Special Day

Question: If one prays Shacharit on a regular weekday under the mistaken assumption that it is Rosh Chodesh and inserts “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” into the Amida prayer, must one repeat the Amida prayer?

Answer: This question would apply to any addition in the prayer that is not applicable on that given day. For instance, if one inserts “Ata Chonantanu” into a regular weeknight Arvit or “Retzeh Vehachalitzenu” into a weekday Birkat Hamazon.

Does such an insertion constitute an interruption in the middle of one’s prayer and Birkat Hamazon such that if one becomes aware only after one concluded the prayer or Birkat Hamazon, one must repeat it, or is such an insertion not considered an interruption?

The Opinion of the Orchot Chaim
Maran Ha’Bet Yosef (Chapter 108) quotes the Orchot Chaim regarding one who forgot to pray Mincha on Shabbat in which case this individual must pray Arvit on Motza’ei Shabbat twice with the second acting as a compensatory prayer. In this case, the first Amida prayer corresponding to Arvit must include “Ata Chonantanu” as usual on Motza’ei Shabbat and the second prayer which serves to compensate for Mincha will not include “Ata Chonantanu.” Nevertheless, if one inserted “Ata Chonantanu” into the second Amida prayer as well, this is not considered an interruption of speech in the middle of one’s prayer and one need not repeat the Amida. The Bet Yosef derives from here that any mistaken addition to the Amida which is not applicable to that specific day is not considered an interruption and one has fulfilled one’s obligation.

The Shulchan Aruch
Thus, the Shulchan Aruch rules (ibid.) that if one mentions “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” and the like in one’s prayer on a day when it is not applicable, this is not considered an interruption and one need not repeat one’s prayer.

The Dispute in Understanding Maran
Some say that Maran only means this is not an interruption in a compensatory prayer, such as reciting “Ata Chonantanu” in both prayers on Motza’ei Shabbat. On the other hand, others disagree and explain Maran as meaning that it is never considered an interruption regardless of what prayer it is.

The Bottom Line
It seems that according to the letter of the law, any time one inserts a text for a special time, such as “Ya’aleh Ve’Yavo” or “Ata Chonantanu,” this is not considered an interruption of one’s prayer. Nevertheless, out of reverence for the Poskim who write that it is, one should preferably pray again while stipulating that if he is obligated to pray, it should be considered an obligatory prayer and if not, it should be considered a voluntary prayer. It seems that regarding Birkat Hamazon, one should not repeat it at all.

(Sources: See Yabia Omer, Volume 9, Chapter 94, Section 19; Halichot Olam, Volume 1, page 180; Yalkut Yosef, page 612. Based on the Poskim who derive this law from “Ata Chonantanu” and from the Mishnah Berura who rules that according to all Poskim it is not considered an interruption regarding “Ata Chonantanu” and nevertheless, Maran equated the law of any mistakenly inserted text to it, it seems that there should be no difference between them, in accordance with the ruling of the Yalkut Yosef.)

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

Motza’ei Yom Kippur

Adding From the Mundane Onto the Holiness One must add some of the mundane weekday onto the holiness of Yom Kippur upon its exit, i.e. one should not end this holy day immediately with nightfall; rather, one should wait another few minutes. Thus, it is prohibited to eat or perform work on Motza&rsq......

Read Halacha

The Obligation to Eat in the Sukkah

Since there is not so much time left to discuss the laws of Sukkot, let us now spend the next few Halachot discussing some pertinent Halachot for the upcoming Sukkot holiday. A Meal of an Established Character Throughout the entire Sukkot holiday, both during the night and day, it is prohibited ......

Read Halacha

Reciting Selichot Alone, Without a Minyan

Question: If one is unable to recite Selichot with a Minyan (quorum of at least ten Jewish men) for whatever reason or if a woman wishes to recite Selichot and she cannot do so with a Minyan, may one recite the Selichot texts alone or should one abstain from doing so? Answer: If one wishes to rec......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Eating a Kezayit of Bread in the Sukkah on the First Night of Sukkot and One who is Uncomfortable in the Sukkah

In the previous Halacha we have discussed that one may not eat an established meal outside of the Sukkah anytime during the Sukkot holiday. One must be aware that the reward for the Mitzvah of Sukkah is that it protects one during turbulent times (see Zohar, Parashat Tetzaveh). The Mitzvah of......

Read Halacha

The Custom of “Tashlich”

Following Mincha services of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to go to a seashore, river, well, or pit in order to recite the order of “Tashlich.” If there is no river, lake, or pond in close proximity of one’s vicinity, it is likewise perfectly acceptable to recite ......

Read Halacha

The Proper Behavior for the Days of Rosh Hashanah-The Custom of Maran zt”l

It is customary to eat red meat and sweet foods on the days of Rosh Hashanah, as the verse in Nechemia states, “Go eat fatty foods and drink sweet beverages and sent gifts of food to those who do not have, for the day is sanctified to our Lord.” One may not fast at all on Rosh Hashana......

Read Halacha

Blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

It is a positive Torah commandment to hear the Shofar blasts on the day of Rosh Hashanah, as the verse states, “It shall be a day of [Shofar] blasts for you.” One may not speak between the various sets of Shofar blasts and certainly not during the blasts themselves. The Poskim disagree r......

Read Halacha