According to Rambam in Hilchot Tefilla 4:15, if one does not have Kavanat HaLev for the Amida, the recitation of words does not comprise Tefilla. Tefilla is defined by "standing in the presence of Shechina". Shulchan Aruch writes that minimally once must have Kavana for the first Beracha. The Rema writes, following the Tur, that nowadays we don't require one to repeat Amida even if he didn't have Kavana for the first Beracha, since the chances are that one won't have Kavana for the second time either.

If one inserted the Ata Chonantanu in the fourth beracha on Motzaei Shabbat, but failed to have the requisite Kavana for Amida, does the Havdala count or must one repeat Amida (or, conversely, make Havdala) before performing any מלאכה? Would there be any difference in the application of the law between Rambam, Shulchan Aruch and Rema? For example, would Sh"A hold that it's only a valid Havdala if one had Kavana during the first Beracha, whereas Rema would hold it's valid?

Related questions: Have to repeat shmoneh esrei on motze'i Shabbat. Say "ata chonantanu" again? Missed Maariv Motzai Shabbos - when to say Ata Chonantanu

  • 2
    You can do melakha after saying barukh hamavdil which isn't a bracha or a tefillah. So i don't see how this would be worse
    – Double AA
    Jul 9, 2017 at 22:42
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Good point. Perhaps since this in the context of a prayer which doesn't count, the Havdala too might not count.
    – Chaim
    Jul 9, 2017 at 22:57
  • @Double is baruch hamavdil mentioned in these laws?
    – user6591
    Jul 10, 2017 at 1:20
  • "Tefilla is defined by standing in front of the shechina" rambam doesn't write that. Are you perchance referencing Rabbi Hayyim Soloveitchik?
    – mevaqesh
    Jul 10, 2017 at 3:31
  • @mevaqesh I'm taking into consideration how he learns the Rambam, yes. Though note that in 4:16 Rambam himself does define Kavana as including seeing ones self as if he is standing in the presence of Shechina.
    – Chaim
    Jul 10, 2017 at 10:57


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