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Say you finished Rifo'einu and didn't have Kavanah, but you already said Bareich Aleinu, can you stop and concentrate on Rifo'einu?

What about if you forgot to concentrate on the first brachos till Magain Avraham?

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This question is discussed in OC 101:1

The Shulchan Aruch says that if one did not have proper kavana during the first bracha, he must repeat it. The Rama says that today since we do not have proper kavana anyway, we do not go back:

המתפלל צריך שיכוין בכל הברכות ואם אינו יכול לכוין בכולם לפחות יכוין באבות אם לא כיון באבות אע"פ שכיון בכל השאר יחזור ויתפלל: הגה (והאידנא אין חוזרין בשביל חסרון כוונה שאף בחזרה קרוב הוא שלא יכוין אם כן למה יחזור) (טור):

The Biur Halacha (vs “haidnah”) wonders if the person is still before the end of the second bracha, if he should go back or continue. Since according to the letter of the law he isn’t yotzei, by continuing he’s making a bracha lvatala, however he says the Chaya Adam seems to disagree with this issue. He then concludes that the best solution is to wait for the chazzan repetition, listen and have kavana, and then proceed. Perhaps this idea can work in your case as well:

והאידנא אין חוזרין וכו' - לכאורה כונתו אם סיים השמ"ע ולא כיון באבות אבל אם עומד אצל אתה גבור ונזכר שלא כיון באבות כיון דמצד הדין לא יצא בזה האיך נאמר לו שיברך עוד ברכות שלא יצא בהם אחרי דחסר לו ברכת אבות וכי מפני שקרוב שלא יכוין נאמר לו שיברך עוד ברכות שבודאי לא יצא בהם כן היה נראה לי אבל מדברי הח"א כלל כ"ד דין ב' משמע דאינו חוזר אפילו עומד אצל אתה גבור ויותר נ"ל עצה אחרת באופן זה שלא יאמר עוד עתה כלל וימתין על הש"ץ שיאמר ברכת אבות ויכוין לצאת וכשיגיע הש"ץ לברכת אתה גבור יתחיל בעצמו דהלא בתפלה קי"ל דאינו מוציא אלא דוקא מי שאינו בקי משא"כ באבות כיון שאינו יכול לברך אותה בעצמו:

Your idea of retroactive kavana is mentioned by R’ Chaim Kanievski in Siach Sadeh (vol 3, Brachos 13B) where he says in the name of the Chazon Ish that if he didn’t start yet the second bracha he should have kavana without repeating the words and that is counted as well. However, he says it is apparent from the Biur Halacha that he didn’t agree with this solution, since he didn’t mention it.

It would seem from all this, that having retroactive kavana is a machlokes if it works. However, even those who say it works, it is only before he started the next bracha. Once you are beyond that, it seems that it wouldn’t work even according to the Chazon Ish.

This is also discussed in a case where someone didn’t have kavana in the first passuk of Shema. In that instance, R’ Chaim Kanievski (in Daas Noteh page 198) says that the same machlokes would apply, and he clearly says that the Chazon Ish only allows it before starting the next passuk. (Interestingly, in that case, R’ Shmuel Wosner in Shevet Halevi 10:16 says retroactive kavana can work from the end of a passuk or bracha to the beginning, but not once you finish)

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    In Halichos Shlomo in the footnotes the Biur Halacha that you qoute is mentioned ,but he notes that halaacha lmaaseh we do not go with that Biur Halacha,but rather be meharher b'libo
    – sam
    Aug 8, 2023 at 2:13
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    Regarding how many berachos one can be meharher according to the Chazon Ish it seems Rav Shlomo Zalmen held that its not only on avos but even if you are further along in shmoneh esrei it works
    – sam
    Aug 8, 2023 at 2:15
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    See it inside Halichos Shlomo page 100: Dvar Halacha 12 and Orchos Halacha 41
    – sam
    Aug 8, 2023 at 2:17
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    Amazing! So there you have it. R Chaim says that it can’t work, and RSZ says it could. So the OP solution works according to R Shlomo Zalman
    – Chatzkel
    Aug 8, 2023 at 2:17
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Yes,see Halichos Shlomo (psakim of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Aurbach) pages 98,99,& 100. He explains that if one forgot to have kavana for Avos and remembers in the midst of shmoneh esrei ,even though we do not go back and daven,nevertheless ,since from the din perspective one should go back to the beginning they should be noheg like the Chazon Ish who held one should have kavana in their mind from what they missed and then continue on .

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