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Some Chassidic courts are not makpid (careful) to daven the morning Amidah before z'man tefilah, although this seems to be a clear halacha. Are there any opinions they are relying on? I was once told in passing that there is a shitta (in the rishonim?) that as long as you start the general tefila before the zman it's ok to start amidah after, but I never found that opinion 'inside'.

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Rabbi Yosef Avraham Heller, the Rosh Kollel of Crown Heights, Brooklyn and former member of the Beis Din there, wrote a essay explaining the Halachic justification for davening after Chatzos, published in "Kobetz Beis Chayenu" 11 Nissan 5760 pg. 28. The crunch of the explanation is as follows:

The Gemora (Brochos 26a) states that, "He may go on praying [Shachris] the whole day. But up to midday he is given the reward of saying the Tefillah in its proper time; thereafter he is given the reward of saying Tefillah, but not of saying Tefillah in its proper time." Although the mainstream view in Rishonim is that of the Rashba that after Chatzos is only considered tashlumim if he accidently missed the time, the Perisha in OC Siman 89 cites an alternative view that even after Chatzos is still considered the time of davening Shachris but only that one would not receive the reward for davening on time. Rabbi Heller continues to back up this view based on many Rishonim that maintain that the time for Shachris is the entire day. Although this Prisha argues with the Mechaber and Rama, Rabbi Heller suggest that since it concurs with the view of many Rishonim, Chassidim relied on his ruling in order to have adequate kavana in their davening.

There are also several letters of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on the topic collected in "Sharey Halacha U'Minhag" OC Chelek 1 pg. 111. The Rebbe brings the halacha (OC 98:2 and Rambam Hilchos Tefila 4:15-16) that proper kavanah during davening is integral to the davening, and without it the teffila is nullified. He asserts that therefore proper preparation for davening takes precedence over being exact in the time of davening.

However, it must be stressed that all the above is only when one is involved in davening or it's preparation from before zman tefila. There is no justification to begin davening after chatzos.

In terms of an opinion that as long as one begins before zman tefilla they may continue even after, I heard that this comes from Tosfos in Brochos 7a "Sh'ilmaley". The Gemora relates that Biliam tried to find the exact second Hashem was angry to curse the Jews, and Tosfos asks what he could have said in that short moment. In their second answer Tosfos says that as long as he would have started at a time of Divine anger the curse would work even after. Similarly, the "zman tefilla" follows when one begins even if he finishes after.

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It's a good "tzushtel" :-). But I think it would be a bit of a stretch to use that tosfos as a justification for not keeping the halacha of zman tefilla. In any case, I was told that it was a shitta specifically addressing zman tefilla. –  Shraga Oct 28 '12 at 20:05
    
If I understand you and the Perisha correctly: the reason to miss Zman Tefillah is because there's apparently no way to have kavana before then so you are annus, and the reason it's ok even after chatzot is that there is no din of tashlumin by shacharit and and any time you daven during the day is considered a late shacharit, unless you missed shacharit by accident and davened mincha first in which case you get regular tashlumin status (which apparently is better than late shacharit status; odd how tashlumin could happen during the actual zman). –  Double AA Oct 29 '12 at 14:39
    
@DoubleAA As far as I understand the Prisha is saying that tashlumim will only help for an onnes or mistake after micha but will count as "tfilla bizmana". However, if it was not an onnes and he davens after chatzos although he does not get "schar tefilla bizmana" he still gets "schar tefilla" and it is not considered a brocha levatola. Being that tefilla without kavana is batel, better to at least have "schar tefilla" then nothing at all. –  Michoel Oct 29 '12 at 23:13
    
Fine, I accept that you found a early achron who allows Shacharit after chatzot (but it does seem that we don't paskin like him, as you noted). However, I still find it exceedingly mechudash to say that suddenly (in the last few centuries) we can't have minimal kavana before 10 AM. +1 for being the most level-headed explanation I've seen for this practice. –  Double AA Oct 30 '12 at 0:02
    
By chassidim, there are many scheduled minyanim that begin way after zman tefilla. I have always been wondering what the hetter is for making such a schedule. (Obviously it is not oines for those that attend the same late minyan every day.) –  NBZ Jul 30 '13 at 21:25
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