Is one required to take 3 steps forward after finishing Shmona Esrei/Ammida of Arvit after he has taken the 3 steps backwards?

  • 2
    Why do you ask specifically about Maariv? Why would you think such steps are necessary?
    – Double AA
    Apr 23, 2015 at 22:39
  • 1
    Because mincha and shachrit you need to wait tilk Kedusha. Not maariv
    – samyb8
    Apr 24, 2015 at 1:16
  • the artscroll siddur (FWIW) says to take 3 steps forward at shacharis and mincha, but not ma'ariv, which one would think is related to kedusha, but it says by shacharis/mincha to take 3 steps forward even when davening alone.
    – rosends
    Apr 26, 2015 at 8:21
  • @Danno The all-Hebrew Artscroll siddur does mention this after the ma'ariv amida, though.
    – Fred
    Apr 27, 2015 at 1:51
  • @Fred interestingly, the English Interlinear Artscroll is closer to the Hebrew in that regard (though the Hebrew instructions are different in other ways from both English versions). Curiouser and Curiouser.
    – rosends
    Apr 27, 2015 at 12:28

3 Answers 3


Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is quoted in Halichos Shlomo (Hilchos Teffilah chapter 13- siman 12) saying that one who finishes his Shmona Esrei and has taken his three steps back should stand in place and not move his feet until the Shaliach Tzibbur had begun Kaddish. In the explanation below (#19) he explains that the reason for this is different than other teffilos for there is no Chazaras Hashat"z, nevertheless since the Shaliach Tzibbur is saying Tiskabel, which is an aspect of teffilah one should wait for the Kaddish to begin.

-Clearly, from this explanation we see that despite the fact that one is waiting in his place after the Shmona Esrei, similar to what we do for shacharis and mincha, nevertheless returning forward with three steps is not necessary, for the three steps are in order to return to your place for the repetition of the Chazaras Hashat"z.

Here is a picture of the Source quoted above


There is no requirement to take three steps forward at the end of any shmoneh esrei prayer, whether that be shacharit, mincha, or ma'ariv. There is a halacha that one should take three steps forward for the beginning of kedusha. Of course, this is not applicable to ma'ariv.

  • So if I walk into to another shul right before they get to Kedusha, I have to take three steps forward?
    – Double AA
    Apr 24, 2015 at 3:06
  • @DoubleAA I think so... Do you think (or know) otherwise?
    – Daniel
    Apr 24, 2015 at 3:10
  • 1
    I don't recall ever seeing or hearing of such a thing. That's just me, though.
    – Double AA
    Apr 24, 2015 at 3:14
  • @Daniel I don't think you have to, the walking forward three steps is because your are being חוזר למקומו, but if you סתם walked in, כנראה you would not have to walk forward three steps. See the משנה ברורה קכג ס"ק חושב Apr 27, 2015 at 14:37
  • This is wrong. Your source is discussing Kedusha so he says, "When the Hazzan reaches Kedusha during the Chazarat HaShatz, the congregation should take three steps forward, thereby returning to the place where they prayed their silent Shemoneh Esrei." That is the idea, to return to the place where you prayed. This is the case for every Tefilla.
    – HaLeiVi
    Jun 5, 2015 at 13:49

In Nefesh HaRav page 123, R' Schachter says that he saw R' Moshe Feinstein would wait until "לעילא" of Kadish after Maariv to take three steps back to place. nefesh harav

  • 1
    Did you skip the main part of R Schachter's testimony for a reason?? He's reporting on what R Soloveitchik did, and happens to mention he saw R Feinstein doing something different.
    – Double AA
    Jul 1, 2016 at 1:20
  • Yes I did, because it's unclear from his wording whether R Soloveitchik returned to his place after Maariv or just remained in his spot until Kadish was completed, however his wording regarding R Moshe it's clear that he returned to his place. Jul 1, 2016 at 1:31

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