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Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is quoted in the sefer Halichos Shlomo (Hilchos Teffilah chapter 13- siman 12) saying that one who finishes his Shmona Esrei and has taken his three steps back should stand in place and not move his feet until the Shaliach Tzibbur had begun Kaddish. In the explanation below (#19) he explains that the reason for this is different ...


There is no requirement to take three steps forward at the end of any shmoneh esrei prayer, whether that be shacharit, mincha, or ma'ariv. There is a halacha that one should take three steps forward for the beginning of kedusha. Of course, this is not applicable to ma'ariv.


If you really need to, you can say Maariv and Havdalah (omitting the blessing on the candle) from Plag HaMincha (1.25 hours before sunset) (ShA OC 293:3) just as much as you can say Maariv and Kiddush after that time on Friday. The blessing on the candle can be recited separately after nightfall. All labor remains forbidden until after nightfall (even after ...


Maariv is originally a tefillat reshut (optional prayer), so if one couldn't, one didn't. Mincha and Shacharit were already obligatory which is why the chazzan's repetition was enacted for those who couldn't on their own. Presumably even if your argument were otherwise a justification of instituting a chazarat hashatz for optional services, the tircha ...

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