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 LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Jews On the Move
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

The Lesson of Avraham
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Entering the Land of Canaan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Redefining Pleasure
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Avraham's Legacy to his Descendants
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Avraham's Strange Reaction
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Divine intervention in Our Wars Against Our Enemies
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

The Deeds of the Patriachs
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Worthy of the Brocha!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

ArtScroll

Outsiders
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

What Happened To Lot?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Bris Milah: Mark of Distinction
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

> The Mind's Eye
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

The Moral of the Story
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Lucky Man
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

A "Sneak Preview" of History
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761



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