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In one of these hopefully rare events, I’ve found myself needing to daven Shemoneh Esrei in a hotel lobby. I tried finding a quiet place, only to realise mid-way one of the workers telling me I was not supposed to be there.

I had to move my location some distance away from my initial location, and then continue with Shemoneh Esrei. In such a situation, would my tefillah be acceptable? Or, should I have to restart from the beginning after I changed positions?

This was Maariv ... would it make any different if this was Mincha (or even Shacharit)?

Furthermore, what are the acceptable and non-acceptable reasons to permit change of location during Shemoneh Esrei?

  • Somewhat related answer: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/35685 – Fred Jan 14 '15 at 20:35
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    This question appears to have been answered already here: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/17287/… The general rule according to the Shulchan Aruch is that you go back to a certain point and start over. – Tim Biegeleisen Jan 15 '15 at 0:39
  • @TimBiegeleisen Thanks, but it seems this only discusses when people “pause” in Shemoneh Esrea - not actually walk and change location, which I feel is more of an interruption?! Or may be not? Nonetheless, is change of location qualified anywhere? – Larry Jan 23 '15 at 11:07
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    @Loewian, what is your idea in creating location? You seem to be applying it to questions about locating objects in local space as well as questions about locations on the globe, which seem to be two different topics. The latter may be pretty much the same thing as geography. – Isaac Moses Dec 23 '15 at 15:41
  • @IsaacMoses I put an explanation to distinguish it from geography in its description. – Loewian Dec 23 '15 at 15:43
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The Mishna Brura 104:10 rules that a "hefsek tfila" (a pause in prayer) is only speaking and not walking. So in case of need (he speaks of danger), it is permitted to move and pick up prayer from the new location, but one should not speak. If there is no need, then one should not change his place.

The poskim in Israel say clearly that in case of danger (e.g., animals, rockets), one has to change his place (e.g., to go to a shelter). See for instance R Shlomo Aviner here.

See here for a related MY question with sources on the need to restart or not from the start depending how long the interruption is.

I would assume (but don't have a source) that it is better to change places at the end of a brakha if one doesn't endanger his life by doing so.

PS. There is a logic to this as well. During shmone esre we are speaking to the King of the World. Interrupting this discussion by speaking with someone else is problematic. Changing place and continuing the discussion - much less so.

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