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If the Shaliach Tzibbur for maariv (outside of Israel) goes too quickly for me to start the Amidah with him, is there a source which would allow me to omit the section ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן? This assumes that I could not have started maariv before the shaliach tzibbur and catch up that way.

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In general, the Arizal was firmly opposed to skipping any part of davening to stay with the tzibur. On the other hand, he didn't include ברוך השם לעולם in his siddur... –  yoel Nov 16 '11 at 15:56
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If I recall, the whole reason for the institution of "baruch hashem l'olam" is to let everyone catch up in time for the amida. –  jake Nov 16 '11 at 16:14
    
@yoel - Is that written in a book somewhere? –  Adam Mosheh Jun 12 '12 at 16:46
    
@AdamMosheh I'm sure it is. My source is probably Artscroll. I'll look when I get home b'n. –  yoel Jun 12 '12 at 19:27
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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I was advised many years ago by one of my Rabbeim to skip it if, as is usually my situation, I would be unable to finish in time to start Shemoneh 'Esreh with the Tzibbur. I was also advised (when I asked someone else several months later) that it is not possible to make it up afterwards - in case you were wondering. I believe the reason for the latter point is that it is a Berachah HaSemuchah LeḤavertah. The original point, I believe, is as Ariel K stated, that it interrupts Semichath Geulah LiThfillah and is not recited at all in many congregations for that reason.

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It is not clear that birkot keriat shema are semuchim to each other, especially not baruch hashem leolam (as evidenced by the amen at the end of hashkiveinu for sefardim), and even if they were it is not problematic bedieved to say them separately. See Shut Rashba 1:317 and Shulchan Aruch OC 60:3 –  Double AA Nov 23 '11 at 5:05
    
Interesting. Tzarich 'Iyun. –  Seth J Nov 23 '11 at 19:08
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Tefillah btzibur by maariv takes priority even over semichas geulah ltfillah (saying shema and its brachos before shemoneh esrei), so it obviously takes priority over "baruch Hashem..", which according to many sources should not even be said lchatchilah.

I also don't think you should not start maariv early just so as to say "ברוך השם לעולם ", since then Bar'chu will not be next to birchos kerias shema. You should only start maariv earlier if you won't be up to shemoneh esrei at the same time even with omitting "baruch Hashem..".

More on ברוך השם לעולם :

It is a controversial bracha since it is not one of the brachos instituted by chazal for birchos kerias shema. It seems it may 'mess up' the number of 7 total brachos they instituted for shema. It also seems to go against "semichas geula ltefillah" since it separates between "ga'al yisrael" and shemoneh esrei. Many rishonim have discussed its status and whether it should be said or not. While many have the custom to say it, it should not be confused with the obligatory brachos and shouldn't take priority over universal halachik rules.

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Thank you. I would value the sources for your statements please. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Nov 16 '11 at 15:38
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While I agree with your halacha in the first paragraph, the reasoning is not complete. Accordingly, if I just finished the first bracha of shema and the tzibbur starts davening shmona esre, I should skip, which is a chidush that I have not seen. You should include why ברוך השם לעולם is a separate unit and is different than the unit of birchos k"s. Also, your second halacha requires a source. Maasim bechol yom that people start birchos k"s before barchu in order to daven tefilah betzibur. What makes you say that ברוך השם לעולם changes the game? –  YDK Nov 16 '11 at 15:40
    
I agree with @YDK. It is widely accepted that people start Davening before the Tzibbur if the Tzibbur's pace is such that the person cannot keep up and begin Shemoneh 'Esreh with them. However, I have seen that one should not say ANY of the Tefillah out of order - including Barchu! –  Seth J Nov 16 '11 at 15:57
    
@YDK, obviously you cannot skip once you started the berachos, since then you're not yotzei and they're brachos livatalos. I'll add in more information about "baruch HaShem.." –  Ariel K Nov 16 '11 at 16:40
    
A # of points: 1. I wouldn't say your not yotze/brachos levatalos if you skip, it's just not how we do it lechatechila. 2. I wasn't trying to say you should skip bk"sh for t"b, I was just saying that you need to define why ברוך השם לעולם is different. 3. Although it was not instituted by chazal as birchos k"sh, it was instituted by chazal. The reason why it is of lower priority is because the application of the takana doesn't exist and we only continue saying it because of minhag. 4. ברוך השם לעולם as well as bircas hayirah is geulah as m as much as shomer amo yisrael and kadish. –  YDK Nov 16 '11 at 18:14
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In order to undersantd this answer, we have to understand that maariv is not a single prayer, but a set of connected units:

  1. Krias Shema
  2. Birchos Krias Shema (SA OC 60:2)
  3. Shmona Esre (Brachos 4b)
  4. Baruch Hashem/bircas hayira (Pashut)

    • Birchos Krias Shema and shema are said together lechatchila (see, for example Aruch haShulchan OC 58:19)

    • Geula is lechatchila connected to shemona esre (as opposed to tefilos b'emtza tiknum).

    • Baruch/yir'u, originally a takana but now a minhag, was kept in its original place and did not pose a geula-tefila connection problem because it involves geula (Aruch haShulchan OC 236:8).

When the institution of tefila b'tzibbur collides with the above institutions, sometimes tefila b'tzibur wins, sometimes it doesn't. It trumps the geula-tefila connection and the minhag of baruch/yir'u. It cannot break up the unit of birchos krias shema.

When you are in a hurry to daven tefila b'tzibur, you are not "skipping over" birchos krias shema, you are merely disregarding the geula-tefila connection. When you skip Baruch/yir'u, you are literally skipping it- the minhag is to say it like the original takana and that is exclusively right after bichos krias shema (Aruch haShulchan 236:13).

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I've been looking for a mareh makom about Kriat Shema uBirkhoseha requiring they be said together lekhatchilah for a while now. Thanks for pointing it out! –  Adam Mosheh Jan 9 '12 at 1:57
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