Seemingly, if one is ahead of the congregation and reaches "Yishtabach", he should recite it. Now, suppose he does so, and then the fellow in charge of getting people to lead the services comes over to him and asks him to lead shacharis. (Assume for the purposes of this question that he cannot, or does not, refuse, and goes to the lectern to lead the services.) Normally, the shacharis leader starts reciting aloud from "Yishtabach" and then says kadish — but, of course, in this case, he's said "Yishtabach" already. Skipping reciting it aloud will be unusual for the congregation (not a big deal necessarily) and may cause someone present who cannot himself pray to miss out on hearing a prayer and fulfilling his obligation that way (not likely, but conceivable, in most synagogues). On the other hand, I seem to recall a rule that no one say chatzi kadish between prayer sections without saying the preceding prayer immediately beforehand; if I recall that rule correctly, then for our protagonist to start with kadish would be inappropriate also. So what should he do?

  • Do you recall in what context you heard your last rule (it may have been the kaddish before musaf on shabbat?)?
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 7:21
  • @DoubleAA nope. That's why I was so vague above.
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


Rama discusses a similar situation in ShA OC 54:3 where, after reciting Yishtabach, the congregation halted the prayer service for specific Mitzva/communal needs. He recommends in that case for the Chazzan to recite "some verses from Pesukei Dizimra" and say Kaddish "on them". (It seems to me that his specification of "from Pesukei Dizimra" is lav davka and any verses should suffice, though those may be thematically appropriate.)

Regarding your first point: I am not aware of an obligation on the Chazzan to fulfill illiterate congregants' obligation to say Yishtabach. Indeed it seems unlikely that there is one, as traditionally there is no mandated Chazzan for Yishtabach's sister-blessing of Baruch SheAmar (cf. ShA OC 53:1 who begins the Chazzan's role with Yishtabach). Furthermore, Rambam in his presentation of public prayer (Tefilla 9:1) omits the public recitation of Yishtabach entirely.

  • 1
    Having a Chazzan prior to Yishtabach (as many nowadays do) is a "convenience" for people to keep pace. This explains the grandiose traditional entrances for Chazzanim prior to Yishtabach on Shabbat/Holidays (Shochein Ad, HaMelekh etc.).
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 7:35
  • 1
    Also see the Kitzur 15:1 וּכְשֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ עֲשָׂרָה, יֹאמְרוּ תְחִלָּה אֵיזֶה פְּסוּקִים וְאַחֲרֵיהֶם יֹאמַר הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר חֲצִי קַדִּישׁ Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 8:13
  • In my shul, if there is a D'rasha on Shabbat before Musaf, we delay Ashrei to say just before Chatzi Kaddish then Musaf. However in winter months weekdays we often put Tallis and Tefillin on between Yishatabach and Kaddish. Delaying Ashrei here won't work because it is an integral part (the integral part) of Pesukei D'zimra. But we should recite something else before Kaddish?
    – CashCow
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 9:50
  • hebrewbooks.org/…
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 4:56

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