I have seen many Yeshivas (and some not-so-yeshivas [day schools, etc.]) doing a Hoiche Kedusha for Mincha. They had the Chazzan start the first three Brachos of Shemoneh Esrei aloud and say Kedushah, and then everyone would say the Shmone Esrei together. They do this even if they are davening in the middle of he day.

What hetter do they have to do so? It says that one should do this only BeShaas Hadchak or Bedieved, not lechatchila?

I heard two explanations:

  1. They don't have time because of Bittul Torah. My objection to this is: come on. They time the break so perfectly they can't give up two minutes to say a lechatchila Chazaras Hashatz?
  2. There was no enactment of Chazzaras Hashatz in a Yeshiva, since everyone was a Talmid Chochom. My objections to this are: a. Where is a source in the Gemara/Rishonim which distinguishes between a Beis Medrash and a normal Beis Haknesses? and b. How do day-schools, which contain plenty of unlearned people, rely on this hetter?

Does anyone know any real source to this minhag?


Explanation #1 is a corruption of the real reason it was started in Slabodka by the Alter. The talmidim were so into their learning they couldn't stop talking about it and ended up talking during chazaras hashatz. The Alter felt it was a chillul Hashem (albeit unintentional), so he established the minhag of heicha kedushah. All yeshivos that come from Slabodka (Lakewood, Ner Yisroel, etc.) follow the minhag of the Alter.

Source: Rav Aharon Feldman in the name of Rabbi Ruderman, a close talmid of the Alter.

This minhag seems to me to be true even if the original reason may not apply anymore. So original heter: chillul Hashem. Now it's minhag, and I guess you could argue minhag shouldn't supplant the takkanas chazal, but that's the justification given.

  • 1
    To clarify was it done under the Ruderman administration, and if so, did he approve, and if so was it on the ground that the original reasoning was legitimate and still stood, or because of minhag, or something else?
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 1 '17 at 0:55

I have heard Poskim grumble about this one. (No, I won't provide a source for that without getting the permission of one or two of them.) They consider this as defining Sha'at haDechak too broadly.

Also without a source in writing since I have none, though I've heard variations of this from students of American Yeshivot that have their roots in Slabodka (i.e., Chofetz Chaim, Chaim Berlin & Ner Yisroel):

In Slabodka, and possibly in other Mussar Yeshivot, there were a number of things they shortened to give the students a sense of the great value of their time. For example, they would say Birchat HaMazon only until "leOlam al yechasreinu", leaving out the "HaRachamans"... then run right to the Beit HaMedrash. Similarly, only 10 students would go into a room to do Kabbalat Shabbat on behalf of the entire Yeshiva, with everyone else expected to be at a learning seder. Yotzrot & Kruvitz lePurim were to be skipped. Extra readings in the machzor were to be eschewed, etc.

The implied message was, "A minute of your Torah is more important in a cosmic sense than those customary but nonessential prayers!" So, even though Chazarat HaShatz is relatively essential, it's use was curtailed as well (possibly using the "everyone here is a Talmid Chochom" idea in tandem with a not-so-pressing need.)

(Another theory I'd heard, though substantially less authoritative or global, was the idea of "Tov Me'ot beKavanah meiHarbeh sheLo beKavanah" - "Better [praying] a little with proper focus that much but lacking proper focus!" Since they were davening slowly and carefully in those Yeshivot, they stripped away non-essential prayers to shorten davening times to be not much longer than that in "balabatish" synagogues.)

Anyone have a good book on "Slabodka customs" or "Mussar Yeshiva customs" to source this?


In another post, someone referenced Rav Binyamin Zilber in Az Nidberu Volume XII, Ch. 23 http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=885&pgnum=43, so I'll use him as a "not very pleased poseik" source.

In this quote, he first talks about how he used to unabashedly fight the custom, but now [that it's been over 40 years since he saw this done by his teachers] thinks he gets his teachers' point, and that it may indeed be reasonable...

He also says there that it started as the Yeshiva custom on "Shiur Day" when the lecture would spill over into Mincha time, truncating Mincha, but was then extended to include all weekday Minchas.


It is said that Rav Aharon Kotler instituted it in Lakewood bedieved- He was rebuilding Torah in USA and felt that the imperative of the importance of their mission needs to be highlighted. Every minute of limud Torah is precious and needed for the emergency rebuilding. Therefore a short Shemone Esray But I once taught in Ateres Yaakov of LI and They always daven a short Shmoneh Esray by Mincha as guided by the psak of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky who said the takana of Chazaras Hashatz was to provide for "an haaratzim".. According to Kabala you should never daven a short Shemoneh Esray!

  • BTW: Ner Yisroel, Baltimore also always davened a Hoiche Kedusha for Mincha - even on Erev Shabbos. Aug 31 '17 at 9:48

It's done in Kirov yeshivas in the beginners programs to make the repetition more palatable. It's also done when a member of a tzibur has a previous engagement, his staying for a full chazarah would constitute a theft of time which is not a mild sin.

  • 2
    1. It's done not only by "BT" yeshivas, it's also done by "mainstream" yeshivas 2. If it's lechatchila to do Chazaratz hashatz it's not a "theft of time", just like not skipping Pesukei Dezimra isn't. Jul 14 '13 at 21:50
  • Y W, welcome to Mi Yodeya. If you can edit evidence for your claims (even if it's just "I've prayed in thirty y'shivos in Israel on various occasions, and my experience is" or the like), that's boost its reliability. Anyway, I hope you stick around and enjoy the site, which values sourced answers. Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features.
    – msh210
    Jul 15 '13 at 5:09
  • @ShmuelBrin How do you know not skipping Pesukei Dezimra isn't also theft of time?
    – Double AA
    Sep 29 '13 at 20:17
  • @DoubleAA 1. The fact that it isn't skipped (so leshitaso) 2. Such a sevara isn't mentioned in Shulchan Aruch (or nosei keilim), and we're not as busy as people were 200 years ago. Sep 29 '13 at 20:34
  • Your engagement with Hashem is prior to other engagements (in other words, schedule your activities around minyan). Sep 29 '13 at 20:35

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