Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 109 – Coming late for Shemoneh Esray

  • If you enter shul and find the tzibbur daavening Shemoneh Esray you won’t be able to fulfil tefilla b’tzibbur in its fullness. As long as you do not exit the shul you must now make sure to be available to respond to Kedusha, Kaddish, omayn of Hakayl Hakadosh and Shomaya Tefilla, and you must also be available to bow with the tzibbur during Modim.(ShA 1 – MB 1 – BeH “hanichnass”)
  • Therefore, do not begin your Shemoneh Esray unless you will finish it before the chazzan reaches Kedusha (of Shacharis and Mincha) or Kaddish (of Maariv) so you will be able to respond to them.(ShA 1 – MB 4)
  • If you are waiting for Kedusha to end (until after omayn of Hakayl Hakadosh) to begin your Shemoneh Esray, be sure you will be able to complete it (or reach your own Modim) so you will be bowing together with the tzibbur during the chazzan’s Modim. (ShA 1)
  • If you are daavening something else at the start of Kaddish, do not say the “omayn” if you did not concentrate on what the chazzan said – just say “Y’hay sh’may rabba…” (MB 4)
  • When aiming to coincide your Modim with that of the chazzan’s Modim, be sure to coincide your Shomaya Tefilla with the Chazzan’s Shomaya Tefilla as well, so you will not be obligated to answer omayn. (MB 8)
  • If you are not able to wait to answer the above responses (e.g. you said until Go’al Yisroel by mistake instead of waiting by Shira Chadosha – or the time limit for the tefilla is running out) be sure to bow when the tzibbur bows during Modim but not to say Modim Derabbanan with them. This applies only when you find yourself in the middle of a beracha, but at the start and end of a beracha you are not allowed to bow except by Avos and Hodo’a. (ShA 1 – MB 9,10)
  • Another alternative is to begin your Shemoneh Esray together with the chazzan and say with him word for word the Kedusha like he says it. Say also the beracha Hokayl Hakadosh, Shomaya Tefilla, and Modim (so you can bow with the tzibbur) together with the chazzan. Rely on this option l’chatchila. (ShA 2 – MB 14 – BeH “avol l’chatchila”)
  • Let’s say you started Shemoneh Esray before Chazoras Hashatz – you daaven slow, so the chazzan caught up to you by Kedusha (or the opposite, you caught up to him by Kedusha), are you allowed to say Kedusha word for word with the chazzan? The Beur Halacha says yes, if you have no other way to hear Kedusha. (BeH “im”)
  • If you are daavening Shacharis Shemoneh Esray in shul while the tzibbur is saying Kedushas Yotzayr or Uva Letzion do not respond with them the Kedusha even if you are up to Kedusha in your tefilla. However, you can respond to the Kedusha of Musaf even though you are only up to the Shacharis Kedusha – say it word for word with the chazzan. (ShA 3 – MB 15,16,17)
  • The following is a list of mitzvos in descending order of importance. If you ever have to choose between two, choose the more important one:

a: S’michas Geula L’tefilla of Shacharis

b: Omayn. Y’hay sh’may rabba…

c: Kedusha

d: Bowing for Modim

e: Borchu

f: Omayn of Hokayl Hakadosh and of Shomaya Tefilla

g: Tefilla with the tzibbur (when you will not be beginning with them anyhow) 

h: S’michas Geula L’tefilla of Arvis (BeH “l’kedusha”)