Lets say you're saying the Amidah when a condition that would make davening unsuitable, i.e. ervah, tumah, ruach ra, a mirror or some sort of picture in front of you, suddenly enters your purview.

What should you do? Can you/should you interrupt your tefila? Move? How far?

Related: Saying the Amidah, you find yourself in yichud


According to Shulchan Aruch (OC 90:27), he should remain silent until it passes or relocate 4 amot, forward or to the sides, or leave the shul entirely. Rema adds that it is preferable to relocate rather than wait silently, because by waiting he may come to pause for a period of time longer than it would take to complete the entire Amidah, necessitating him to restart the Amidah.

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  • I found this but I have no idea what the source is besides "Congregation IKLF": archive.constantcontact.com/fs003/1101944367721/archive/… : "28. If a child accidentally soils himself from behind in shul in middle of Sh'mona Esrei, those within 4 Amos must stop their tefillah until it is removed or covered. If those within 4 Amos do not realize, one should step out of his Sh'mona Esrei and even speak if he has to, to let them know that it is an issur Dioraysah to continue their tefillah. {If it is covered, but still smells, one may not continue his + – SAH Jan 9 '18 at 13:57
  • " [...] tefillah and should step out and move more than 4 Amos away}. If the waste is only urine, one may not speak in the middle of his Sh'mona Esrei, because urine is only a problem m'dirabbonon. Shulchan Aruch with Mishna Brurah 90:26" – SAH Jan 9 '18 at 13:57

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