If the tzibur is about the start shemonah esray however Reuven isn't up to Shemonah Esray yet, and Reuven knows that if he speeds up his davening he will be able to start with the tzibur, is it better for him to speed up his davening, but not have the kavanah since he will be rushing through the words, or should he actually say the words and miss shemonah esray with the tzibur? Would the answer be the same for all three tefillot? I would like sources please

  • 2
    "should he actually say the words" is not the opposite of "not have the kavanah"
    – Double AA
    Aug 30, 2017 at 13:29
  • This is an excellent question. It does seem that Shulchan Aruch puts heavy emphasis on Shemoneh Esreh betzibbur. Also, there is the debate of "mitzvoth tzrichot kavana", which might imply that tefillah betzibbur may be more important than the kavana requirement.
    – DanF
    Aug 30, 2017 at 14:17
  • There are different views on this subject and a lot of how to answer is dependent on the individual asking and their particular situation. In the context of what appears to be the OP's situation, which is that of a layperson, davening with the tzibbur would take precedent. And there are guidelines for what to shorten temporarily to join with the tzibbur and make up afterward. Aug 30, 2017 at 14:25
  • There may also be a difference if there are exactly 10 people in the Minyan and by not being up to Shemonh Esrai with the quorom the entire Minyan got to wait / if there is a larger Minyan where it only affects the person involved. Aug 30, 2017 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


The Chazon Ish was once asked by someone who wanted to daven at sunrise (naitz) but that day was running a bit late. He asked if he should skip a few of the parts of Pesukai Dzimrah to make sure he can daven shemoneh esray with the Minyan. The Chazon Ish replied- the idea is to daven. A hidur is to daven with naitz. Skipping is not davening. I guess we can extrapolate- each person knows what focused davening he is capable of doing. If he needs to move at a speed that compromises his kavana, then he is not davening, so why worry about starting with the Tzibur.

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