Suppose someone is praying maariv, shacharis, or mincha on Shabas, starts the weekday amida's blessings, and then realizes, amid those weekday blessings, that he should be saying the amida of Shabas. As ruled in Orach Chayim 268:2, he should continue through to the end of whatever blessing he's amid, and then start the Shabas blessing. The reason he continues with the blessing he's amid, Mishna B'rura 2 writes, is that that blessing is really suitable for Shabas in theory.

Now, during the third weekday-specific blessing ("S'lach lanu"), it's customary to strike one's chest with his fist. Suppose someone realizes, after starting that blessing but before reaching the part where he strikes his chest, that he should be saying the amida of Shabas. Then, per the preceding paragraph, he should finish "S'lach lanu". I wonder whether he should strike his chest. Arguably, yes, why not? On the other hand, though, (a) maybe, just as we don't (usually) say viduy on Shabas, there's some reason not to strike the chest on Shabas, and (b) maybe in order to save oneself the shame of revealing he started the weekday blessings, he can omit striking his chest. Does anyone have any sources on this, please?

  • 1
    Classic strike-chest-while-folding-arms situation.
    – Double AA
    Feb 17, 2013 at 5:50
  • 3
    Some have a custom not to strike the chest even on weekdays when tachanun is not recited. Also, some have a custom to strike the chest during the first line of Avinu Malkeinu (at least, in Ashkenazic rite) except on Rosh haShana when we don't generally say vidui.
    – Double AA
    Feb 17, 2013 at 5:50
  • @DoubleAA re your second comment's first sentence: if you can source that, it sounds like the germ of an answer.
    – msh210
    Feb 17, 2013 at 5:51
  • msh210 I saw it in a teshuva in Rivevot Ephraim. Now I have to go find it again....
    – Double AA
    Feb 17, 2013 at 5:52
  • 1
    Well it doesn't answer for those who don't follow this custom.
    – Michoel
    Feb 17, 2013 at 7:39

4 Answers 4


On Rosh Hashana, we recite Avinu Malekenu. However, some authorities maintain that one should omit the verse chatanu l'fanecha because it is like a viduy. The majority of the poskim hold that one may recite the verse as it is meant as a supplication, not a confession. However, they caution that one should not strike his chest as usual, lest it seem like a confession.

(I'm basically quoting from the Artscroll R. H. Machzor, Nusach Ashkenaz, p. 553. I had a vague memory that they discussed such a thing and indeed found it there, but I don't have the time to find the real sources. Sorry.)

  • This might be particular to Rosh Hashanah since we aren't supposed to confess sins on Rosh Hashana.
    – HaLeiVi
    Aug 16, 2015 at 19:56
  • We aren't supposed to confess sins on Shabbos either, as mentioned in the question: "we don't (usually) say viduy on Shabbos" Aug 16, 2015 at 20:14
  • Sounds like if this happens on Yom Kippur you would strike
    – Heshy
    Mar 23, 2017 at 22:53

For what it's worth, it seems that those who daven Mincha late on Erev Shabbos don't strike the chest when saying Slach Lanu. This is printed in the Bobover Siddur, Siddur Harav.


If he strikes his chest, he will publicizing to the whole shul that he goofed. Therefore, in the interests of kavod habriyos, it is logical that he should not strike his chest.


No. Source: see bottom of the page of the image attached. On Shabbos we don't say tachanun https://i.sstatic.net/pCDCz.jpg

Edit: This is Siddur Tehillat Hashem

  • 1
    What sidur is this? And I think you should qualify your "No", since afaik most people do hit their chests on weekdays tachanun is omitted.
    – msh210
    Aug 14, 2015 at 12:07
  • @msh210 Siddur Tehillat Hashem. It could be only Chabad. I don't know what others do.
    – user613
    Aug 15, 2015 at 9:17

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