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The prayer "Me'en Sheva" or "Magen Avot" which is recited in shul in Friday nights after the silent Shemoneh Esreh was instituted to accommodate late-comers so that people would walk home from shul together to avoid dangers.

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 268:10 says:

אין אומרים ברכה מעין שבע בבית חתנים ואבלים דליכא טעמא דמאחרין לבוא שיהיו ניזוקין:

In brief, in a house that has a groom or mourner, this prayer is not said, because there is no concern of late-comers.

Some commentators have explained this concept that a non permanent "place" that does not have a regular minyan doesn't require saying this prayer.

In a few months, my friend's son will have his aufruf in a hotel. This hotel occasionally has Jewish groups and they set up a room for a minyan, when needed. However, it is a hotel - not a shul. But it is also not someone's home - it's a public place. It's not exactly as the Shulchan Aruch describes.

Does the Shulchan Aruch's principle apply to davening in a hotel Friday night?

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    "a house that has a groom or mourner": I think this should be "a groom's or mourner's house". – msh210 Feb 23 '15 at 4:46
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    The second-last paragraph sounds like a Rfפ. – Ypnypn Feb 23 '15 at 5:06
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I found a discussion regarding this here.

In conclusion a case could be made for both saying or omitting "Me'en Sheva" thus creating a situation of Safek. The author of the above article concludes:

the Pri Megadim (MZ 268:8) raises the possibility that those who recite Me'en Sheva out of doubt run the risk of a beracha l’vatala (in vain). Thus, in the final analysis, it is safer to rule that one should not have recited MS, but if they did (which I guess most groups do) there was insufficient reason to try to dissuade them.

As always - for practical halacha always consult with your Rav :)

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In a few months, my friend's son will have his aufruf in a hotel. This hotel occasionally has Jewish groups and they set up a room for a minyan, when needed. However, it is a hotel - not a shul. But it is also not someone's home - it's a public place. It's not exactly as the Shulchan Aruch describes.

I have often stayed at a hotel like this for Shabbatonim.

The custom there is to recite it.

  • Actually, my friend and his father are both rabbanim, and they had an interesting email debate on this question. There are valid rules to go either way. When I can, I'll try to paste and condense parts of their discussion. – DanF Feb 24 '15 at 21:21
  • The custom where? And did they do so with any Rabbinic sanction? – Double AA Feb 25 '15 at 0:05

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