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Often, kadish follows a prayer for which the aron (cabinet for Torah scrolls) is open. Examples include "Avinu malkenu" (sometimes) and the prayer accompanying putting the Torah scroll back (sometimes). I have seen some prayer leaders, seemingly on purpose, wait until the aron was closed before beginning kadish.

Similarly, during s'lichos, immediately after "Sh'ma kolenu" (for which the aron is open) comes viduy, and I have seen some people, seemingly on purpose, wait until the aron was closed before beginning it.

Why wait?

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"Wait until the Aron is closed" - I suspect it's for practical reasons; at some points in the services, people will sit down (e.g. Tachanun) at the next prayer, and they ideally should remain standing while the Aron is open, so we wait. Another practicality is you can offend the poor confused fellow who's been honored with closing the Aron by starting the next piece and making him feel like he missed the boat.

Overall it's just a decorum/choreography thing. Prayer A, ark is open. Okay people see the ark close, time for Prayer B.

  • Maybe. And +1. But note that all the examples I gave in the question were where the following prayer is said standing. – msh210 Sep 9 '13 at 14:13
  • and they ideally should remain standing while the Aron is open. Source? – mevaqesh Oct 27 '17 at 6:35
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The Shulchon Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 268 S'eef 2,when discussing the Tefilos on Shabbos, says "אם טעה והתחיל תפלת חול גומר אותה ברכה",meaning that if someone started saying one of the weekday Brochos in Shemona Esrai he should already finish it. Why? Since in truth we should said the weekday Berochos on Shabbos (on Shabbos we also need Daas "אם אין דעת הבדלה הבדלה מנין").

The Chachomim,however,in order not to strain us too much on Shabbos chose to skip them .However if you started one of them already then finish it and with Kovono.

Now let us turn to the issue at hand,but not without first citing the' Levush'in OC siman 133 who lets us in on the secret of what transpires upon the opening of the Aron."שהוא לנו במקום ביאת מקדש לפני ולפנים" WOW! WE ARE IN THE KODSHAI HAKODOSHIM!

Now, returning to the point,if someone were to start saying Ashrei when the Aron is still open then it would be correct to finish the entire Ashrei with the Aron open, as Ashrei in the Bais Hamikdash לפני ולפנים is 'What An Opportunity',and so much more powerful and ideal,and the only reason we keep the Aron closed the entire Davening is simply because we are not ready to behave the entire time in the manner that would be due in such a lofty place.But if you started then finish it in the ideal place it should be said.Therefor people had a Minhag not to start Ashrai in the first place cto avoid running into the issue of needing to finish it with the Aron open.

In conclusion we don't want to start another section with the Aron open, so as not to dilute the feeling of the Kodesh Kodoshim(that one can say anything without paying attention)and so that one would not have to finish the next section with it open.

let us from now on realize where we are standing when the Aron is open and act accordingly.

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    You are discussing, whether one should stop if started Ashrei while the ark was open. This is not precisely, what the OP asked (whether one should start kaddish). Please consider revising your answer. – Kazi bácsi Oct 27 '17 at 8:17
  • @Avraham Yakov Silverstein - this is the right answer, but you need to conclude something like "we don't want to start another section with the Aaron open, so as not to dilute the feeling of the Kodesh Kodoshim (that one can say anything without paying attention) and (if you want) so that one wouldn't have to finish the next section with it open. – Danny Schoemann Oct 30 '17 at 13:51

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