14 votes
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Why no repetition of the Shema in shul?

The Gra writes (Shenot Eliyahu to Brachot 1:1) that you have to read Shema yourself and you cannot fulfill your obligation by listening to another. (This is not universally agreed to, but see the next ...
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9 votes
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Is there any basis for Chabad minhagim regarding tallit gadol?

I emailed Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov (from Chabad.org) about your question. Here's what I said: B''H In most Ashkenazi communities, the custom is that bochurim do not wear a tallis. However, when a ...
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9 votes
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Why no Chazaras HaShatz at Maariv

The Rambam (Tefilah 9:9) and Rashba (Responsum 1:183) write that Maariv's status as reshut is the reason there is no enactment for the leader to repeat the Amida aloud for those who don't know how to ...
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8 votes

Why does Chazan ("seer") mean prayer leader?

The last Mishna Berura in סימן נג [regarding "דין הראוי לירד לפני התבה"] (s'if katan פז) addresses your question. וקורין שליח-צבור חזן, שצריך לראות האיך יקרא, ותרגום "וירא" וחזי And we call ...
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8 votes
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Priority for multiple "chiyuvim" to be Shaliach Tzibbur

Rule #1: Don't fight about it. First, one should never get into fights with others to do Mitzvot (Mishna Berura 53 sk 65). Regarding our case, the Chatam Sofer (YD 345) writes that if you deserve a ...
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8 votes
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Explain the use of the chazzan to end paragraphs

A Chazzan's job is to recite the Shema Blessings and Amida sections aloud for the congregation to fulfill their obligation with. (For the Amida, those who know how to pray themselves must also do so ...
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8 votes
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A person Below 20 as shliach tzibbur for tefillat Musaf

R Akiva Eiger (responsum #9 (old series), citing the controversial Besamim Rosh #89) argues that women are exempt from Musaf because they are exempt from the half-Shekel tax. R Yitzchak Elchanan ...
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8 votes
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Disqualification from being Shaliach Tzibbur

Siman 53 in Orach Chaim is rather long, and deals at length with the qualifications and disqualifications of a shaliach tzibur. You may wish to read through the entire siman. Since it appears from ...
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7 votes

When the חזן has finished and a mourner is saying קדיש, at what point is it correct for the חזן to leave the עמוד?

I have no source other than my teachers(' Mesorah?), but I was taught, and I believe, that it is proper for the חזן to wait until after the completion of the קדיש. It seems to me that, rather than ...
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7 votes
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In birkat kohanim, who calls out "kohanim"?

The Rambam (Tefillah 14:8) says explicitly it's the Chazzan who calls. Tosfot (Berachot 34a) quote Rabbeinu Tam who says that the Chazzan cannot call out "Kohanim" as it is a Hefsek. He proves this ...
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7 votes

"Yotzer Or" procedure

Yes, the Chazzan must say that line out loud. In fact, as part of his job as Chazzan, he should really recite all the blessings surrounding the recitation of Shema, in the morning and the evening, ...
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6 votes
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When there are four aveilim (mourners), Is it better to have one minyan of 40 people or 4 minyonim of ten each?

Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe YD 4:61:4) ruled they should not split up because of BeRov Am, and all the more so in a case where the extra group would not be in a Shul or even a room without a ...
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  • 95.1k
6 votes

Should a chazan who missed a day count the omer with a b'racha?

If the Rabbi of a congregation forgot to count one day and he usually makes the bracha out loud, he may continue to count with a bracha; by not continuing to count he will cause a disgrace for Torah ...
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  • 306
6 votes

Guitar during public weekday prayers

In describing the synagogues of Bavel in the Twelfth Century, R. Petachia of Ratisbon wrote as follows: בחולו של מועד אומרים המזמורים בכלי שיר On the half-holidays they recite the psalms to the ...
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6 votes

At what point does a chazzan take three steps back after chazaras hashatz?

In Shulchan Aruch siman 123 siff 5 the Mechaber tells us the Sha'tz does not need to take 3 steps back after his repetition aloud of the Shmoneh Esrei. The Mishna Berurah 18 explains this is because ...
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6 votes
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Learning while the Chazzan recites piyutim

I witnessed the Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel several times pick up a sefer and learn when the Chazzan would choose a slow tune for Mimkomcha of the Shabbos Shacharis Kedusha. I don't see piyutim being ...
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6 votes

How to start שחרית at the עמוד if one's already said ישתבח

Rama discusses a similar situation in ShA OC 54:3 where, after reciting Yishtabach, the congregation halted the prayer service for specific Mitzva/communal needs. He recommends in that case for the ...
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6 votes

Is it permissible to switch the chazzan in the middle of shacharit on a weekday?

Seems that the answer is: Yes, one may do so a priori. See the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן כו - דיני קדיש יתום: סעיף יד: מִי שֶׁיָּכוֹל וְרָאוּי לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, יִתְפַּלֵּל, ...
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6 votes

gedolim on "The Jazz Singer"

This doesn't really answer your question definitively at all, but I thought it might interest you. I was reading through some of the autobiographical essays of R. Isaac David Essrig (1893-1976), who ...
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6 votes
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Why does congregational prayer require a chazan / shaliach tzibbur (cantor)?

You ask why we historically needed a shali'ach tzibur, when did they begin and why do we still need today? R Ari Jacobson provides a first summary according to two different approaches Back in the ...
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6 votes

People with defects and their role in serving

See Thursday and Friday Yesterday, we noted the question as to whether the Torah prohibition which forbids a ba’al mum – person with a physical deformity – from performing the avoda (service) ...
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6 votes
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Being יוצא with the chazzan saying - ה' אלוקיכם אמת, if I am not up to Kerias Shema yet

It would seem that both questions can be answered at once. The Shaare Teshuva on that Halacha that listening to the 3 words from the Chazzan may be done even if you are in middle of krias shema ...
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  • 4,309
5 votes

How can we get people to stop talking (much, loudly) during minyan?

My personal experience, as Shaliach tzibur, to silence the Schul talkers has been to stop as soon as I sensed any utterances coming from the congregation. Following a few seconds of showing my "...
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5 votes

Answer after "Morid haTal" in the Amida

According to this article from the Da'at website: During the repetition of the amida, it is the Tunisian custom for the congregation to respond "livracha" (meaning "for blessing") after the words "...
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5 votes
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If a chazzan has to repeat Shmoneh Esrei, can he use the chazarat hashatz for that?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: It depends: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch states in סימן יט - דיני משיב הרוח, טל ומטר, יעלה ויבא ועננו that it depends: If the mistake was in the first 3 Brachot and he ...
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5 votes
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What is considered a picture for not davening in front of it

The Ramma in siman 90 siff 23 explains the reason not to pray in front of pictures is because it distracts one from concentrating. This is the same reasoning The Mishna Berurah there uses to explain ...
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5 votes
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"Chiyuv" to be chazan vs. congregational approval and refusal

R Eliezer Melamed addresses this (online under 3 but also in The Laws of prayer p. 51) The chazan is the emissary of the congregation, and therefore a person is prohibited from taking hold of the ...
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5 votes

Placement of Aneinu on the day of a fast

Peninei Halachah brings a citation from the Rama 565:3 that we consider that an individual might be forced to break the fast before having fasted most of the day. Once he has fasted until mincha, then ...
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  • 41.8k
5 votes
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What's the best way to learn how to lead mincha?

I had the same question years ago. I have used http://virtualcantor.com/ I liked the versatility of the site. But also its clarify for newcomers. I did not know the structure of the tefilla and ...
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  • 1,846
5 votes

Why does the chazzan start ashrei in selichot earlier?

I'm vaguely recalling what I had heard many years ago when I studied Nusach at the Belz School of Jewish music (part of Yeshiva University.) Cantor Beer taught the course on Selichot and he was (and ...
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