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Shulchan Aruch Harav Orach Chaim 68:1 (basically paraphrasing the Ramo, with a reference to the Maharil): ומכל מקום לא יעסוק בשום דבר ואפילו בדברי תורה אסור להפסיק לעסוק כל זמן שהצבור אומרים פיוטים כ"ש לדבר שום שיחה בטילה ומכל מקום מי שלומד על ידי הרהור שרואה בספר ומהרהר אין בזה איסור כלל שהרהור אינו כדבור ואינו חשוב הפסק אלא שיש לחוש להמון עם שאל יראו ...


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In a Shul that I Davened there was such an issue and the Kohanim would go out prior to the beginning of the Chazaras Hashatz and have their hands washed and Chazaras Hashatz began when they came back into the Shul. I was once in a different community where they installed a sink in the back of the Bais Medrash as they had this problem too. From Din.org - ...


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I'm "extraplocombing" (extrapolating and combining) the answers from your referenced question regarding Shacharit with Mishnah Brura 232:2. See Sha'arei Tzion #4, who points out that since Ma'ariv is reshut (not obligatory) we are not as concerned about the requirement of smichat g'ulah litfilah (loose translation - connecting the concept of redemption as ...


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You asked: What if, during the hand-washing, less than ten people remain in the shul? Should the chazzan pause until they come back? The answer is: The Chazzan continues as usual. Source: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in 15:10 gives the rules what to do when the Minyan disappears: אִם אֵין בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת רַק מִנְיָן מְצֻמְצָם, אָסוּר לְכָל אֶחָד ...



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