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In kedushah, in hazarat ha-shatz, when the congregation has finished saying 'Kadosh kadosh kadosh...' and it's time for the shliah tzibbur to repeat the line out loud, it seems like the practice is for him to begin one word in. I.e., he must have said the first 'kadosh' silently already. Why is this?

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I have not noticed this practice. Where have you seen it? –  Double AA Oct 2 '13 at 16:50
    
At various ashkenazic and hasidic minyanim on shabbat and yom tov. I think it seems to me that I notice it most of the time, most places. –  paquda Oct 2 '13 at 16:52
    
You may just not be hearing it. As a teenager, I was corrected for not reciting the entire line out loud. –  Seth J Oct 2 '13 at 17:00
    
This is the custom in Chabad synagogues in my experience. I've never seen it elsewhere that I recall (except in some specific instances, e.g. "Keser" on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipur). –  msh210 Oct 2 '13 at 18:16
    
Okay. Yes, actually it was at a Chabad shul recently that I heard it and was wondering about it. Maybe I'm mistaken about having heard it elsewhere. I'd still be interested to know rationale for it within chabad. –  paquda Oct 2 '13 at 22:40
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I learnt once (sorry, no sources) that the Kedushah is responsive - Shatz and Kahal, but the Shatz is himself part of the Kahal, so in order not to separate himself from the Kahal he starts with them and prolongs the first word until they have quietened down. This is particularly important with Shema in Musaf. Alternatively the Shatz can say the response together with the Kahal and then carry straight on with the next section.

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