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In a number of shuls, it has become a minhag to switch Shat"z during the weekday Shacharit at these locations. I am assuming Nusach Ashkenaz in my examples:

  • One person says only Birkot Hashachar -> end of Rabbi Yishma'el
  • A new Shat"z from Mizmor shir Chanukat Habayit -> end of Shira (Az Yashir)
  • A new shat"z from Yishtabach -> end of Tachanun (see Hallel, below). On Torah reading days, he takes out the Torah and returns it
  • A new shat"z from Ashrei -> end of Shacharit

  • On Hallel days, another shat"z says Hallel only, and the previous one (oen that did Amidah returns to say Kaddish

What is the origin of this minhag (not everyone does every item mentioned above; I am listing the full range that I have seen in a some places), and why where these specific places chosen?

Among the list, an additional question. I would think that the one that begins Psukei Dezimra should end it. I.e. - it seems to start with a bracha, Baruch She'emar and end with a bracha - Yishtabach. Why do they call a new shat"z before Yishtabach? Isn't that still part of P'sukei D'Zimra ?

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The novel question here seems to be 'Why do we split it up at all, rather than having one person lead all of it?' I suspect these are all human rather than truly halakhic reasons, but they are all things I have witnessed. As such, my sole source can be my own experience. Sometimes it is to allow multiple mourners to daven, which is at least somewhat halakhic. Some people don't want to, or don't feel capable of leading all of it, but do want to lead part. Sometimes there is only a small cadre of people regularly at shul and ready to daven (already wearing tefillin, etc) at the announced start time who feel capable, but those people don't want to lead the whole service every day.

Why change at the places mentioned? See the other related questions.

  • I have to review the linked sources. It's been a while. From what I've read, the main reason for having any chazzan is for devarim shebikedusha, which is mainly focused on the Amidah. I think the reason they switch before Yishtabach is that in a sense, birkot Shema is connected to the Amidah (The Geulah Letifilla concept) and also so that the cong. can answer "Amen" to brachot. Why they start spec. before Yishtabach? I think this may be connected to the Kaddish, and one needs to say Tehillim before a Kaddish. Sep. reason for switch at Uva Letziyon. Rest may be for chinuch & is less common. – DanF Apr 20 '17 at 22:00
  • The kaddish goes with what was said before it, but you could have P.D. leader recite Yishtaback and Kaddish (with Shir Hamaalot in between if necessary), then next shaliach tzibbur starts directly with Bar'chu. – CashCow Oct 25 '17 at 15:47

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