Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 131 – Nefillas Apayim

80. Do not talk between Shemoneh Esray and Nefillas Apayim in a way that will involve you completely in your distraction. Mere light speech is allowed as long as Chazoras Hashatz is over. (ShA1 – MB1)

81. You are allowed to answer any dovor shebikdusha during Nefillas Apayim. (MB1)

82. Changing location between Shemoneh Esray and Nefillas Apayim is not considered a hefsek. (MB2)

83. The minhag today is to lower your head, tilt it to the side, and cover your face with a cloth – to cover it with your own arm will not suffice. (MB3)

84. Which side should you tilt towards? Usually you should tilt on your left arm with your face towards the Shechina which is on your right. But if you are wearing tefillin on your left arm, rather lean on your right arm and have in mind “His left is under my head and his right is hugging me.” (Rama1 – MB4,5)

85. If you daaven in a shul that has a different minhag for the tilting than yours, do as they do (MB6).

86. A chazzan who is positioned to the right of the Aron should lean his head a little towards the Aron. (MB6)

87. Our minhag is to say “Rachum v’chanun…” and to say some supplications while sitting up like “Va’anachnu lo nayda…”. Then say “…mah na’aseh…” standing. (Rama1 – MB 8,9)

88. Nefillas Apayim should be done while sitting. If it is urgent you can do it while standing. Two examples: You just stepped back from your private Shemoneh Esray and the tzibbur is now beginning Tachanun. You must stay back for the amount of time it takes to walk 4 amos, so while you wait lower your head in Tachanun with the tzibbur while standing in your place. You can’t sit because you are directly in front of someone still saying Shemoneh Esray and you don’t have an option to go to his side. Lower your head while standing. (ShA2 – MB10)

89. Lower your head only if there is a sefer Torah present. (If there isn’t a sefer Torah just other seforim, the poskim differ.) Still, say the mizmor even without lowering your head. (Rama2 – MB11)

90. Do Nefillas Apayim when you can see the Aron through a door or window. (Rama2 – MB13)

91. You can say the mizmor anytime but the position of nefillas apayim is not done at night after bain hashmoshos until chatzos. Therefore, we do nefillas apayim when getting up early for Selichos. (ShA3 – MB16,17,18)

              1. A mourner (during shiva) never says Tachanun no matter where he daavens. (MB20)
              2. In a mourner’s house Tachanun, Kayl Erech Apayim, and Lam’natzyach are omitted as well as Hallel. When you leave his house, you do not have to make up any omitted prayers except for Hallel of Chanuka. (ShA4 – MB 20,35)
              3. In a chassan’s house Tachanun is omitted already from the morning of the wedding until the end of the seven days of festivities. (ShA4 – MB21,26)
              4. Omit the Shacharis Tachanun in shul if a Bris Mila will be held there that day or if any of the Baalay Bris (father, sandek, mohel) or a chassan is present. (ShA4 –MB22)
              5. Those davening in an adjacent room to the shul that does not have its own Aron are also exempt from Tachanun. (MB24)
              6. After the Bris Mila is over say Tachanun at Mincha unless the baby is present and you have not yet bentched from the seudas bris. (MB25)
              7. The Baalay Bris themselves do not say Tachanun the entire day because it is their Yom Tov. (MB25)
              8. When daavening with a chassan, whether in a shul or not, omit Tachanun from the day of the wedding and for 7 – 24 hour periods from after the chuppah. If the chassan and kalla have both been married before, we reduce it to 3 days after the chuppah. (Rama4 – MB26)
              9. It is best for the chassan not to show up in shul during the 7 days of festivities so as not to cancel the tzibbur from saying Tachanun. (MB26)
              10. The above halachos from #91 apply as well to V’hu Rachum. (MB26)
              11. If there is a Bris Mila or a chassan in shul on a public fast day, Selichos and Viduy are still recited, just not Tachanun and V’hu Rachum. (ShA5 – MB 27)
              12. Omit Tachanun on the following days and on the Mincha before them:
                                  15 of AvChanukaLag B’omer
                                  15 of Shevat2 days of Purim9 of Av
                                  Rosh Chodesh2 days of Purim KotonYom Tov (ShA6 – MB 32,33,34)
                                  1. On Erev Rosh Hashana and on Erev Yom Kippur omit Tachanun even at Shacharis but not on the Mincha before them. (Rama6 – MB33)
                                  2. Omit Lam’natzayach and V’hu Rachum on the following days:
                                    Rosh ChodeshErev Pesach9 of Av
                                    ChanukaErev Yom KippurPurim Koton (2 days)
                                    Purim(MB34)

                                    106. The minhag Ashkenaz is to have a lot of fruit from trees on the 15th of Sh’vat. (MB31)

                                    107. Omit Tachanun during the following periods:

                                    Month of Nissan

                                      Between Yom Kippur and Sukkos

                                        From Rosh Chodesh Sivan until and including 6 days after Shavuos. (ShA7 – MB36)

                                        108. To prostrate with arms and legs spread out on a stone floor is ossur d’oraysa. To prostrate with arms and legs spread out on a non-stone floor – or to bow face to the floor without arms and legs spread out on a stone floor is ossur d’rabbonon. (MB40)

                                        109. You are allowed to bow face to the floor as long as you, both, do not spread your arms and legs and it is not a stone floor. (MB40)

                                        110. Even if it is a stone floor but you both don’t spread out and you tilt a little on your side – you may bow to the floor. (MB 40)

                                        111. Even if you spread your arms and legs but you both have a non-stone floor and you tilt a bit to your side – you may bow down to the floor. (MB40)

                                        112. Brick flooring is not considered stone. (MB41)

                                                1. If your face does not touch the stone floor (e.g. bowing at the waist during daavening) there is no prohibition. (MB41)
                                                2. Spreading grasses (or the like) over the stone floor to separate your face from the floor helps that you do not have to tilt when bowing to the floor without spreading arms and legs. (Rama8 – MB44)