If you daven more slowly than the chazzan, should you skip what someone who came late to davening would skip so that you can reach barchu with the tzibbur?


I have to agree with everything YDK said in his answer - except for his conclusion (which he stated first). My direct answer to the question is, instead, absolutely. The question is, which parts should you skip and when are you considered "caught up"?

You should skip parts of Pesukei DeZimra as outlined in the Shulhan 'Aruch (O"H 52:1), in order to catch up to the Tzibur. The point of this is to be caught up for Shemoneh 'Esreh. As outlined later (O"H 66:3), one should interrupt Shema' and its Berachoth to answer to Barechu.

Consequently, as a personal matter, as someone who is a) often able to keep up within a few Pesukim over the course of a handful of Perakim (especially Shema', since the Tzibur generally slows down there), but b) will fall behind by an insurmountable distance over a period as long (and generally fast) as Pesukei DeZimra, I believe it is appropriate and advisable to skip those parts of Pesukei DeZimra that are outlined in the Shu"'A if one is in danger of falling too far behind to be able to begin Shemoneh 'Esreh with the congregation. If you get ahead of the congregation and begin Birchoth Keriath Shema' on your own, you can and should answer Barechu wherever you are.

I am not making this up on my own, either. I have been advised that this is the correct approach by various rabbis over the years.


Absolutely not. Barchu can be answered at any time and if there were such an idea of skipping to say barchu in order, it surly would have been discussed regarding someone who came late.

However, this person has the same law as someone who came late and may skip in order to daven shemona esre together with the tzibbur. If he has time to skip and get ahead enough to daven sh"e with the tzibbur, he should do so regardless of when he says barchu.

  • I thought you were supposed to try to say shema with the tzibbur as well. Is that not true? – 2345678876543 Jan 30 '12 at 4:12
  • @AriA yes, but it doesn't mean at the exact point they are at in Davening. – Hacham Gabriel Jan 30 '12 at 4:14
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    Also, practically speaking, if you are not caught up by shema, how are you supposed to be caught up by smoneh esreh? – 2345678876543 Jan 30 '12 at 4:31
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    I want to know what you should skip and at what point you should be caught up. I assumed that was barchu, because you can't really skip anything after that. If you are behind at barchu, you will still be behind by shmoneh esre. – 2345678876543 Jan 30 '12 at 23:07
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    @AriA, in short, shemona esre is the main catch up point. For a guy who is slower than the tzibbur, I would recommend (lechatechila) coming early and davening at a pace that will allow him to daven Shemona esre with the tzibbur without consideration of when he will be answering kaddish/Barchu. If he didn't come early enough to do that, then he is a "late-comer". What a late-comer skips should either be a different question, or you should edit your question to reflect what you want an answer to. – YDK Jan 31 '12 at 0:41

I once heard that, according to the opinion of the ARIZAL, one should always go in order and recite all of the Davening (prayers in the Siddur), even if it will entail falling behind. In fact, in some Synagogues, the Chazzan will not move on until there everyone has finished reciting each section, and I think that it is a nice custom to follow because it is more fair for people who take a longer time to recite prayers so that they don't feel embarrassed.

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    A well known Chabad Posek says that if you start Hodu with the minyan, you are yotzei regardless of when you finish. It is something unique to Chabad as most communities do not hold the AriZ'al in this regard. – user1292 Jul 3 '12 at 17:44
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    It may be more fair to people who take more time, but it also emphasizes more to the public those who came late. – Double AA Jul 3 '12 at 17:53
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    @DoubleAA My response is for a person who comes early and prepares for davening and chooses to daven at a slower pace concentrating on their personal connection to Hashem while still be apart of communal prayer. As the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe said about a personal hechi kedusha. It's bad enough a person comes late to shul, now he wants everyone to know he came late? – user1292 Jul 3 '12 at 19:22
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    @DoubleAA I understood his post in that people come to shul to daven and daven slow by choice and should not skip al pi Arizal any of pesukei d'zimra to catch up to the tzibur for Baruch Hu. It is emphasised by a minhag in shuls where the tzibbur waits for a certain person known to daven slow to make sure everyone is caught up. This is something done at a few of the minyanim at my shul. Not sure what is embarrassing but that is up to the individual. – user1292 Jul 3 '12 at 19:29
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    @mochinrechavim My impression from AdamMosheh's answer was that the Chazzan waits for everyone around to finish each paragraph. This would single out latecomers who would not be waited for. This seems different from what you describe. – Double AA Jul 3 '12 at 22:48

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