In Askenazi communities, the piece beginning 'misod chachomim unevonim' is said at the repetition of the Amidah at Shacharis when there are piyuttim (except Purim) and on Musaf on Yomim Noraim as well as, in my Machzor, at Mincha and Neilah on Yom Kippur.

I thought the reason was to establish permission to “interrupt” the Amidah with these additional prayers.

But it is not said before the piyuttim in Musaf on (1) Shabbos Shekolim and (2) Shabbos Ha'Chodesh and at the beginning of the (3) Krovets on Purim morning.

Why not?

  • Isn't it also said by Mincha and Neilah on Yom Kippur?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 15:06
  • @DoubleAA, I find machzorim (nusach Ashkenaz) that don't have it at Minchah. But yeah, I haven't yet found one that is missing it at Ne'ilah.
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 4:45
  • Thank you @DoubleAA. I have edited the question to take account of both comments. Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 14:22
  • Very similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/47500
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 18:38
  • This may not be very satisfying, but a poetic "reshut" like Misod is a technical part of the structure of a "kedushta" which is a particularly formatted series of poetic embellishments to introduce the holy Kedusha which in the old Israeli practice was only recited at Shacharit on Shabbat/holidays (and all prayers of YK). Other poetic prayer structures are "low key" if you will and aren't as embellished. (In short, it's never a halakhic requirement and was only included in particularly fancy compositions for special occasions.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


Possibly the difference has to do with the structure of the piyutim in each case.

The halachah is that you're allowed to add any kind of requests, even private ones, in the middle berachos of Shemoneh Esrei (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 119:1), and you can add public ones even in the first and last ones (ibid. 112:1). In either case, though, the addition has to be thematically related to the berachah.

Arguably, then, the relatively short paragraphs inserted into the berachos, in the instances mentioned in the question, are closely related enough to their parent berachos to not need any kind of special "request for permission" (which is basically what Misod is). In fact, I have a volume of ancient piyutim (found in the Cairo genizah) for individual Shabbasos throughout the year (מחזורי שבעתות לסדרים ולפרשות, ed. Shulamit Elitzur), from which it seems that there were times and places where they used these as replacements for the original bodies of the berachos (i.e., the chazzan would begin his repetition of Shemoneh Esrei by saying a four- or five-line piyut and then continue בא"י מגן אברהם, etc.) - so that there is precedent for considering these to be basically alternate versions of the berachos rather than interpolations.

Whereas when there are longer piyutim, even though the ones inserted in the berachos do (usually) end with a phrase containing the main theme of the berachah, it may be much harder to justify them on that basis.


I one time heard, although I do not recall the source, that we say it whenever there is an interruption between the Bracha of Mechayei Maisim and Kedusha, and we do not say it when there is no interruption between the Bracha of Mechayei Maisim and Kedusha. Thus the times you mentioned that it is not said, there is no interruption at that point and therefore it is not necessary to say.

  • 3
    But why are interruptions there different?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 2:01
  • 1
    I'm not too sure this distinction holds water. Consider the second day of Rosh Hashanah in Nusach Ashkenaz (and Ari): we say Unesaneh Tokef (as usual, after Mechayeh Hameisim and before Kedushah), but the chazzan doesn't say Misod. (See example here.)
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 2:26
  • @DoubleAA There is a difference in Unesaneh Tokef and other piyutim that are said between Mechayeh HaMeisim. Unesaneh Tokef is introduced by the sentence of ובכן תעלה קדושה... This makes this piyut a "siluk." I have heard that, for those who follow the minhag of taking three steps forward only when the Chazzan starts Kedushah, such a person would take those three steps forward at the beginning of a siluk, if there is one. However, in most Ashkenazic machzorim, there is Misod in the Rosh HaShanah Mussaf because they don't only include the siluk, but lots of other piyutim as well. Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 10:53

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