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Are you allowed to learn Torah silently during the chazzan's repetition of Shmonah Esrei?
(This is a case where you are davening with that minyan.)

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From the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

ואפילו ללמוד אסור בשעה שהשליח צבור חוזר התפלה
"And even learning is forbidden when the Chazzan repeats Shemoneh Esrei.


From Daily Jewish Law

One should not learn Torah during the repetition of the amidah. There are a few concerns:

  1. At least 10 men must pay attention to every word of the amidah;

  2. All of those who are present are obligated to pay attention to the end of each berachah and answer Amen;

  3. Even if there are ten who pay attention to every word, and even if the one who is learning is careful to pay attention sufficiently to answer Amen, others may misunderstand and assume that all learning is permitted.

(Rav Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe Orach Chaim 4:19)

  • 5
    However, Rabbi Eliezer Wenger says: "However as far as your question is concerned, the B'er Haitev in Siman 124:4 quotes an opinion that states that it is not necessary to protest against anyone that is learning or saying Tachanun [penitential prayers] during the repeetition of the Amidah provided that they concentrate by the end of each of the blessings to answer Amen, however there are those that disagree and disallow it totally." – HodofHod May 16 '12 at 19:41
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    so from r' moshe's answer if there are definitely 10 men doing 1 &2 and no one sees you learning, or you're in a place where people already know the halacha, its ok? – mah-nishtana May 16 '12 at 21:15
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    @mah-nishtana R' Moshe in particular was very wary of his letters being translated and taken out of context. So no, don't assume anything. I am just trying to bring the concerns and opinions of poskim. Do not learn out practical Halacha from this answer. Consult your LOR for practical Halacha. – HodofHod May 16 '12 at 22:07
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The Rama Mipano says (Shut Rama Mipano 102:8) that those that learn durin'g Hazarat HaSha"s have something to rely on. However, Hacham Yishak Yosef Shalit"a writes that "Yesh LeHimana" one should refrain from doing so (Yesh Lehimana doesn't mean that's an Isur rather not recommended).

  • However, Hacham Yishak Yosef Shalit"a writes that...Where does he write this? – mevaqesh Nov 21 '16 at 4:15
  • @mevaqesh Qizur Shulhan `Arukh, OH 123:10; OH 124:14 – Lee Jun 27 '17 at 13:27
  • @Lee Consider editing in the source. – mevaqesh Jul 2 '17 at 9:05
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Certainly not during kedushah and birkat kohanim. During the rest of chazarat hashatz, I am not sure, but I know that it is forbidden even to think hirhurei divrei torah during kedushah (which is part of chazarat hashatz) because at that time a person's mind should be focused on holiness alone.

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    Can you source this? – Double AA May 16 '12 at 22:52
  • I will try to look for it. Thanks for the edit, you were correct. – Adam Mosheh May 16 '12 at 22:55
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    Any luck? [15ch – msh210 May 31 '13 at 15:49
  • Wow, thanks for digging this up... I recall hearing this halakhah from a friend of mine. I can ask him. – Adam Mosheh Jun 5 '13 at 0:54

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