There is a halacha that one is not allowed to interrupt once he has started Shemoneh Esrei until he has finished, with various exceptions (O.C. 104).

Let's say I take my three steps forward and then realize that the guy about to start davening behind me is the world's slowest davener and I will be stuck here until Moshiach comes (speedily in our days amen!) if I don't relocate. Can I relocate at this point?

When am I considered to have started? After I take three steps forward? After I say Hashem sefasai? After I say baruch of the first beracha?

  • Is this during Shacharis, or is it during another t'filla? Because although the amida essentially doesn't start until at least ה' שפתי, the need to juxtapose g'ula to t'filla could create further restrictions.
    – Fred
    Mar 31, 2014 at 5:04
  • 3
    If you would be stuck there until Moshiach comes, I would advise you to stay! How long can a Shemoneh Esrei be? Mar 31, 2014 at 8:57
  • @Fred juxtaposition of geula to tefila applies at Maariv as well, to a lesser extent
    – Eliyahu
    Apr 7, 2014 at 12:59
  • See Brachos 4b - Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi. I believe we hold that לכתחילה you should be סומך in מעריב as well, but to a lesser extent - and therefore if you are late you can skip to daven שמונה עשרה with the ציבור. (I think I heard this on an online dafyomi shiur.)
    – Eliyahu
    Apr 7, 2014 at 13:27
  • @Fred My question is about in all cases, but to isolate the point, let's make it about mincha. Do you have a source that it doesn't start until ה' שפתי? Apr 7, 2014 at 17:26


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