Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

After the Fact

We have established that one is obligated to concentrate on the meaning of the words that he is saying, at least during the first berachah of Shemoneh Esrei. If a person did not pay proper attention, he did not fulfill the mitzvah of tefillah; however, he is not required to repeat his prayer, for fear that the next tefillah would encounter the same lack of intention (Rema).

What can a person do if he has just completed the first blessing of Shemoneh Esrei without intention? If he is in shul, he may listen to the first berachah recited by the shaliach tzibbur, and then continue his tefillah (Biur Halachah 101,1). However, this is not the customary practice (Ishei Yisrael 11,8). Some suggest that reviewing the entire first berachah in one's head without verbalizing the words, instills the concentration into one's tefillah.

Since today the attention span has dwindled down to seconds, we must address the following question. If a person did not have the proper intention for the first blessing, how can he be permitted to continue? Arenít all of the ensuing berachos considered to be uttered in vain?

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach explains that the blessings that follow are not said in vain. Once the first berachah was recited devoid of proper intention, his berachos cannot be considered a cohesive unit of tefillah. Rather, they are related to as nineteen separate blessings (as cited in Siach Halachah 104,4). Although one does not fulfil the mitzvah of tefillah, it is as if he recited nineteen blessings.


Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON EMOR AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

What's an Omer?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Make your teachers proud!
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Consider the Consequences
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Compassion For the Blasphemer
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Lag B'Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

In a World - Minus Peace
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

> High Potential vs. High Risk
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Mitzvah-Watch
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

The Power of Connection
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

I Am Because I Am Not
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Like an Angel
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

The Students of Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

ArtScroll

From Emor to Omer
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

An Elitest Nation?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Mitzvah Vigilante
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5765

No Benefit
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information