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It seems that the Amidah begins with the words ה שפתי תפתח, and not the word ברוך which begins אבות.

O.C. 111:2 indicates that when the Shat'z repeats the Amidah, he should say ה שפתי תפתח aloud. However Ba'er Hetev says he should say it silently.

It seems that if in fact the Amidah begins with this verse, Shat'z should say it aloud. What is the logic behind Ba'er Hetev's reasoning?

  • FYI Shaar Hatziyun on the MB, quotes "Acharonim" as the source for saying it quietly. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik advocated saying it aloud. Jul 15, 2018 at 10:41
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    I'm guessing because it's a part of the teffilah which is relevent only to him
    – user15253
    Jul 15, 2018 at 13:22
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    @oranges why is it relevant only to him? He was already yotzei. anything now is seemingly for the congregation to be yotzei with, no?
    – Double AA
    Jul 16, 2018 at 16:54
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    @DoubleAA it's in the singular , as opposed to the rest of shemonei esreh which is in the plural, since it applies to his recitation only.
    – user15253
    Jul 16, 2018 at 16:56
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    BTW, we don't all hold like the Be'er Heiteiv. @DonielF I think your experience is due to the rise of the Mishnah Berurah, and is contrary to the Arukh haShulchan. Jul 17, 2018 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


Biur Halachah 111:2 assumes that it is recited quietly because it is not relevant to the congregation:

דלא שייך גבייהו כלל זה הפסוק דאדני שפתי תפתח וגו' כיון שאינם מתפללים בעצמן

The verse of אדני שפתי תפתח etc. is not relevant to them at all, since they are not praying themselves.

I understand him to mean that it is only the chazzan (whose lips and mouth are actually going to open and speak) who needs to request assistance in praying. The congregation, even if they are fulfilling their obligation through the chazzan's repetition of the amidah, are not actually speaking at all, and thus do not need to say nor hear this verse.

  • This idea was already mentioned by @orangesandlemons and DanF in comments to the OP.
    – Joel K
    Oct 3, 2018 at 8:29

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