The other day I forgot to say Aleinu by Mincha. After Maariv I asked the Rabbi whether I should say Aleinu two times (one for Mincha & one for Maariv) and he said in my situation one only says Aleinu one time. So that got me thinking - say someone forgot to Daven Mincha, he Davens two Shemona Esreis by Maariv. See SA OC סימן קה in the Mishna Berurah. Why is Aleinu different than repeating Shemona Esrei if forgotten, where we do a makeup Shemona Esrei but not a makeup Aleinu?

  • Shemoneh Esrei seems a lot more important to me than Aleinu. In fact, the Rabbis simply call Shemoneh Esrei the Tefillah, the Prayer. It seems the entire prayer service kind of revolves around the Amidah, so it would make sense to me why you would daven Tefillah twice by Maariv when you missed by Mincha and not the same for Aleinu. Make sense to you?
    – ezra
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 3:32
  • Aleinu is just the formal conclusion of the tefillos. Note that Shacharis of Shabbos and Yom Tov are followed immediately by Mussaf and therefore don’t get an Aleinu. Note that Mussaf of Yom Kippur is immediately followed by Mincha, immediately followed by Ne’ilah, and so even Mussaf and Mincha don’t get an Aleinu. Note that Kiddush Levanah, a stand-alone tefillah, does get an Aleinu. In your case, why would you formally conclude Maariv twice?
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 4:11
  • Shemomeh Esrei is a separate obligation to daven three times a day; miss once, and although you can’t make up your chiyuv Shacharis, you can make up your chiyuv of one of three tefillos (Brachos 26b). Aleinu is an obligation to conclude the tefillah. If you’ve already finished without saying Aleinu, then there’s nothing to be done.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 4:13
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    @donie kiddush levana is not a tefillah. Some places would go out to do kiddush levana right after kaddish titkabbel like where many count the omer, so they'd finish maariv with alenu after. That's it. There is no alenu associated with kiddush levana. It's the same with a brit milah.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 5:10
  • @donie note as well that when Mincha and maariv are recited back to back there's no alenu in between, just like when Shacharit and musaf are back to back.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 5:12

1 Answer 1


Shemonah Esreh is tefilla. As such, if you miss out by mistake, you can repeat to "make up" your obligation. Saying Aleniu at the end of tefillah is purely minhag, and it is not part of the rabbinical/biblical command to pray*three times a day. As such, the obligation of tefilla, which mandates the repeating, is not really relevant.

*a discussion for another place

  • 1
    can you source this? it would make it a better answer.
    – Earl
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 14:07

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