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Why, in Yom Kippour and RH davening, when we say Tefilas responsively, does sometimes the baal Tefila go first, sometimes the congregation? For example, Shema Koilanu, aveenu Malkainu, the Baal tefila goes first and then the congregation. Many other Tefilas, like vechol Mammenum, hashem melec etc, the congregation says the first pasuk and then the baal tefila? why?

  • Very nice question. I'll try to research this. My understanding from something I read a while ago (have to see where it was): standard piyut format is to have the chazzan read the 1st stanza (as the chazzan is the shat"z, so he introduces things), cong. responds with the 1st stanza, then the rest of the piyut, the cong. goes first and the chazzan follows. I surmise that the concept is like the chazzan "teaches" the cong. what to do by introducing the 1st line, as a "sample". Then, it's really the cong. that "lead" the rest of the piyut. You'll see this in Chareidi shuls for Lecha Dodi, BTW – DanF Oct 15 '15 at 14:36
  • The answer to judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9557/… may be applicable here too. – Avrohom Yitzchok Sep 26 '16 at 16:54

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