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If one Davened an extra-long Shemoneh Esrei, and missed saying ויכולו... with the congregation, can he say it by himself? Or must he say it with someone else?

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Your mileage may vary as to the worth of the source, but the Artscroll siddur says that, while it is preferable to say with others, it can (and should, failing other options) be said alone. –  yoel Sep 5 '11 at 2:26
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People say it 'alone' every week... during kiddush –  avi Sep 5 '11 at 4:30
    
@avi: according to the Avudraham quoted in my answer, there is another reason why we say Vayechulu during kiddush. It is quoted somewhere that whoever says Vayechulu becomes a partner with G-d in the creation of the world. This is so important that everyone, women and children included, should be a part of this. They are included when it is said for them at Kiddush (probably because of Shome'ah K'Oneh, although the Avudraham doesn't say that explicitly). –  Menachem Sep 7 '11 at 2:17
    
Vayechulu is already part of the amidah on Friday nights, so why would somebody repeat it? –  Adam Mosheh Jun 1 '12 at 6:50

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Avudraham says that we repeat Vayechulu because we are testifying that G-d created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. The Halacha is that testimony must have two witnesses and be said standing, and therefore Vayechulu is said together while standing.

The Shulchan Aruch Harav, in his Kuntres Acharon to Orach Chaim 268:12, brings the opinion of the Taz that someone praying alone doesn't have to say Vayechulu standing, since it's not real testimony. Although the Rav concludes that the custom is to stand even if it is not real testimony, we see from there that he held that someone praying alone could say it.

The Shaar HaKollel brings the Tola'at Yaakov who questions the Avudraham's claim that we are giving testimony. One of the arguments brought is that it is against Halacha to give or accept testimony at night, so this isn't real testimony.

The Shaar HaKollel and Tola'at Yaakov also bring other reasons why it is important to say Vayechulu twice in the evening service (3 times with Kiddush), as does the Avudraham.

All that tells us is that one may say it alone. If however, you have easy access to someone else who can say it with you, it may still be better to say it with someone else.

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In shiur, I recall my rebbe telling over a retort from a gadol (I don't remember who), "Who are we trying to kill?" There is, after all, a concept of Eid Echad in halacha. –  josh waxman Sep 5 '11 at 19:36
    
@josh, whom are we trying to establish as dead? ;-) –  msh210 Sep 6 '11 at 1:29
    
precisely! in other words, establishing Hashem as Creator of the world is not testimony in a capital case. –  josh waxman Sep 6 '11 at 1:54
    
@josh, no, it was a joke. You were saying we don't need two, since it's not the kind of testimony that requires two: there is testimony that requires one. (Unless I misunderstood you.) But one testimony that requires only one ed is testimony that someone has died (to free an aguna), whence my question. –  msh210 Sep 6 '11 at 5:16
    
@msh210, not only to free aguna, it's also enough to say something is kosher (עד אחד נאמן באיסורין) –  jutky Sep 6 '11 at 11:39

He can say it by himself, but he should try to say it with another person. The reason that the mitsva here is of testimony, so reading out loud with someone else one would fulfil the mitsva of testimony, while reading alone it would simply count as you were reading any other pesukim.

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Testimony, apart from not being given at night, is also not given by two witnesses simultaneously. I heard this point connected to the position of the Chazon Ish mentioned above. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Sep 5 '11 at 12:41

The position of the Chazon Ish is that Vaychulu is part of davening, not testimony, and therefore it's preferably said alone, if one is not part of a minyan. Ask your local rabbi, or follow local norms.

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Can you cite your source? –  Adam Mosheh Jun 1 '12 at 6:50

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