If a person begins Maariv and has just answered Barchu, and then realizes that they are going to have to go to the bathroom before they can say Shemoneh Esrei, when is the best time to go? Should they go immediately and not say Shema with the congregation, go after they finish Shema and not be there for Hashem Elokeichem Emes, or speed ahead and go after finishing everything up until Shemoneh Esrei and miss answering Amen to the berachos leading up to Shemoneh Esrei, and possibly Kaddish?

I am assuming that the person will make it back to start Shemoneh Esrei with the tzibbur no matter which of the above options he chooses. Thus I am not including the option of leaving after Kaddish or immediately before Kaddish, when I assume it is unreasonable to get back to start with the tzibbur.

  • Can he hold it in for 72 minutes or not ? – eramm Sep 10 '14 at 8:47
  • @eramm That is a halacha in being yotzei b'dieved. If you check yourself and realize you have to go at all, even if you can wait 72 minutes, you l'chatchillah have to go before you daven. I am asking what you should do, not what worked after the fact. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 92:1 – Y     e     z Sep 10 '14 at 17:29
  • It sounds like you are saying in all cases he will say all the parts of "Shema and its blessings" before starting Shmoneh Esrei. Is this accurate? Your only question is which communal aspects of the initial sections he should skip? – Double AA Sep 10 '14 at 17:37
  • @DoubleAA Yes - the question is which part to miss having participated in with the tzibbur. He won't skip saying anything, just some part won't be with the tzibbur. – Y     e     z Sep 10 '14 at 17:42
  • Also in all cases does he say all the parts of "Shema and its blessings" without interruption, or in some does he break in between Bracha X and Bracha Y? – Double AA Sep 10 '14 at 17:43

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