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107:1. If one is in doubt (1) as to whether he said the Amidah (2) he should go back and pray it again and he does not need to add anything new, but if it is clear to him that he had said the Amidah (3) he may not say it again without adding something new [for an explanation of “something new” see paragraph 2 below]. By adding something new he may go back (4) and say the Amidah voluntarily as many times as he wants except (5) for the Musaf Amidah which one may not say voluntarily [over and above the obligatory saying of that Amidah]. On Shabbat and Yom Tov one may not say a voluntary Amidah (6) at all. If he started to say an Amidah thinking that he had not said it already and he then remembered that he had in fact already said it, he should stop [immediately], even in the middle of a Blessing and (7) even if he is able to add something new to his Amidah.

MB 1: As to whether he had said the Amidah – In regard to whether he is in doubt about the Shema and its Blessings see above in Siman 67.

MB 2: He should go back and pray it again – And he should make a condition and say “If I have not said the Amidah, then this [Amidah which I am now about to say] is in fulfillment of my obligation. But if I have not said the Amidah, then this will be a voluntary prayer”. Even though any doubt on a Mitzvah of Rabbinical origin is treated leniently [and therefore one might suppose that one would not need to say (or repeat) the Amidah if one was in doubt, because of its Rabbinical origin –SP], nevertheless here he does go back to say the Amidah again because would that a man would pray the Amidah all day long voluntarily with something new being added [each time] (as we shall see later), and here when he goes back and says the Amidah again because of a doubt there is no need to add anything new, as there is no greater new thing than that he extricates himself from his doubt. In the Derech HaChayim he writes that where one is in doubt as to whether he had said the Ma’ariv [evening] Amidah, one need not go back and say another Amidah as [the Rabbis] fixed [the Ma’ariv Amidah] as an obligation to be fulfilled only if one is certain and not if one is in doubt. But from the words of the P’ri Megadim it is implied only that everyone agrees that he has no obligation, but ideally it is better if one goes back and says the Amidah again, even for Ma’ariv, because in fact Ma’ariv also, even according to those who say that it is optional only, is nevertheless in the first instance a Mitzvah. In any case, by [repeating the Amidah and thereby] removing himself from doubt is considered as a new thing even for Ma’ariv, and so may be inferred, in my humble opinion, from the language of the Rambam in Chapter 10 of Hilchos Tefillah, see there. But to be on the safe side it is better if he does add something new when he repeats [the Ma’ariv Amidah].

MB 3: He may not say it again, etc. – Because the Amidah was instituted [by the Rabbis] to correspond to the Tamid [Continual] Sacrifices [in the Temple] and [repeating the Amidah] is like bringing two Tamid Sacrifices for one obligation which is forbidden because of “Bal Tosef” [the prohibition against adding to any Mitzvah in the Torah]; and even if he said the Amidah originally on his own and now he wants to say it with the congregation, it is still forbidden to do so.

MB 4: And say the Amidah voluntarily – Meaning only as a voluntary prayer, but [to say the Amidah again] as an obligatory prayer, even with something new added, is forbidden. The reason for requiring something new to be added to a voluntary Amidah is that with the addition of the new thing one can thereby recognise that his Amidah is for supplication purposes only and not as an obligatory prayer, and without the addition of something new it looks as if he is doing it as an obligatory prayer. See in the Beis Yosef who explains the opinion of the Tur that the same law applies if he says an Amidah neither for his obligation nor as a voluntary prayer but he does add something new to it, then this is permissible, because by the addition of the new thing we recognize that this Amidah is for supplication purposes; and see in the Biur Halacha.

MB 5: For the Musaf Amidah – He means to say that even [the Musaf Amidah] of Rosh Chodesh and Chol HaMo’ed [he may not say voluntarily] since it says [in the Musaf Amidah] “And the Musaf [additional] Sacrifices according to their Laws” and the Musaf Sacrifices are only brought by and on behalf of the congregation and a single person is not able to volunteer them himself. See in the Later Rabbis who wrote that according to this, with the Musaf Amidah, and so also with all the Amidos of Shabbat and Yom Tov, if he is in doubt as to whether he said any of them he may not go back and repeat them because he would need to make a condition as mentioned above in MB 2 and in this case he cannot make such a condition, [as part of the condition relates to voluntary prayer which is not appropriate to the Musaf Amidah and also to all the Amidos of Shabbat and Yom Tov -SP]; and see later in Siman 124:1 in the Biur Halacha.

MB 6: At all – Since no “Vowed Sacrifices” [Nedarim] or “Free Will Offerings” [Nedovos] were brought [in the Temple] on those [days of Shabbat and Yom Tov].

MB 7: Even if he is able etc. – Since the beginning of his Amidah was presumably to be a definite fulfillment of his obligation because he thought that he had not yet said the Amidah and [for that purpose] adding something new doesn’t have any effect, therefore even if he wanted now to finish it as a voluntary prayer [adding something new] doesn’t help, as he had already started it as an obligatory prayer and it is impossible to bring a sacrifice [which is what the Amidah represents] half of which is for an obligation and half as a free will offering. All this is where he started to say an Amidah thinking that he had not said it already, but if he was in doubt as to whether he had said it and he started it on the condition mentioned in MB 2 above and he then remembered that he had in fact said it already, then one could say that he does not need to add anything new and he may complete it as a voluntary prayer, as since he started at the outset correctly on the basis of his doubt, and since [as explained above towards the end of MB 2] [repeating the Amidah because of] a doubt is considered like adding something new, he need no longer add anything new. But in the Levush it is implied that one should complete it with the addition of something new, perhaps to be on the safe side.

107:2. This “something new” which we have mentioned is where he adds something new to any Blessing (8) by means of something similar to [the subject matter of] the Blessing. If he added something new to even only one Blessing, this is sufficient to indicate that it is a voluntary Amidah and not an obligatory one. {Rema: (Some say that it can only be called adding something new if he adds something that relates to him personally and which he had no need of previously (*)) (Tur in the name of [his father] the Rosh].}

[(*) The Be’er Hetev (a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Yehudah Ashkenazi) explains (quoting the Tur) that the reason why the “something new” has to be personal to the person praying is that everyone could add something new to each Blessing asking for healing of a sick person or for a good income or for success in learning and such requests would not be “new”. –SP]

MB 8: By means of – But not in the first three nor the last three Blessings, as will be mentioned later in Siman 112.

Stephen Phillips [email protected]

Siman 107. The Laws of Prayer One Who Is In Doubt If He Prayed and Voluntary Prayer (cont.)

107:3. A congregation (9) never prays a voluntary prayer.

MB 9: Never – Because a congregation can not make a voluntary sacrifice except to fill the altar when it is empty, and this is very rare. Therefore we cannot pray Shmoneh Esreh [the Eighteen Blessings, the Silent Prayer] in place of this sacrifice [again, all Amidah prayers are in place of sacrifices –YM], but a single person can pray a voluntary prayer by adding something new, even if he is praying with a congregation.

107:4. (10) One who wants to pray a voluntary prayer must recognize himself to be both zealous and cautious, and be sure of himself that he is capable of concentrating on his prayer from the beginning to the end but if he can not concentrate well this is what is written [Yeshayahu 1:11] “Why do I need all of your sacrifices” – and may we only be capable of concentrating on the three prayers that we are required to say each day.

MB 10: One who wants to pray etc. – meaning even if he is adding something new in his voluntary prayer.