Selichos & Shacharis

This question was originally answered by Rabbi Baruch Rubanowitz

A Visitor asked:
October 12, 2005

We have a few questions regarding the proper procedure for Selichos and Shacharis:

  1. What is the correct procedure if we don't have a minyan when we finish the first Ashrei?
  2. Should we skip any sections of Selichos, or should we stick to the text?
  3. Until Selichos began, I don't think we ever had a minyan by the time we started Pesukei Dezimra. In the interest of preventing tircha detzibbura, we therefore decided to announce that we would start Yishtabach at 6:30, by which point we usually had a minyan present. Now that we are saying Selichos, we always have a minyan from the outset—and we need guidance on questions such as the following:
    • Should we continue to announce a time for Yishtabach n minutes from the time we finish Selichos?
    • If so, what should n be? What should we do about people who want to say Kaddish after korbanos/mizmor shir chanukas habayis? And should we still say the morning berachos out loud?
    • If not, which parts of the korbanos should the shaliach tzibbur say and which should he skip?


Rabbi Baruch Rubanowitz answered:

1. When you start Selichos without a minyan and still have fewer than ten men at Chatzi Kaddish, skip Kaddish and continue with the Selichos beyichidus.[1] Whenever Selichos is said without a minyan or beyichidus, the thirteen middos are not said as a tefilla (i.e., a request for mercy), but they can be read as one learns Torah. Thus, when you recite Selichos without a minyan, the thirteen middos should either be skipped entirely or sung with the ta’amei hamikra. Reading them with the ta’amei hamikra indicates that you are studying Chumash.[2] Women who wish to recite Selichos beyichidus should do the same.[3] The tefillos in Aramaic should not be said when there is no minyan.[4]

Should a minyan form in the middle of Ashrei, say three pesukim (the last three pesukim of Ashrei are sufficient) and then Chatzi Kaddish. If you started lecho Hashem hatzedoko without a minyan and a minyan formed when you were in the middle of that section, continue saying a little of the Selichos with the minyan and then say Chatzi Kaddish.[5] If the small group has already begun the piyyutim and pesukim without a minyan and a minyan forms in the middle, they can stop and say Chatzi Kaddish right in the middle of Selichos after having said some pesukim and tefillos together, provided there is still at least one more "thirteen middos" to say. If they are almost at the end and just saying piyyutim, pesukim and techinos, then as long as the minyan has said some of them together, the shaliach tzibbur should continue with Kaddish Tiskabel.[6] In that case, Chatzi Kaddish is not said.

2. It is advisable to say only one vidui (oshamnu) instead of the three printed in the siddur. Repeating vidui twice after having just said it greatly enhances the risk of saying it without kavono, which is strongly discouraged.[7]]

piyyut of machnisei rachamim and mala’achei rachamim. Any tefilla that addresses the angels, sefiros or middos of Hashem should be avoided. Hashem should be approached directly and not through any intermediary.[8]

3. I suggest that the Selichos be timed to end moments before Shacharis is scheduled to begin. If Shacharis is scheduled for 6:15, then Selichos should end around 6:13. People should have time to go to the bathroom, wash netilas yodayim (this is necessary when Selichos begins before alos hashachar) and put on tefillin. Many of the berachos, such as birkas hatorah, netilas yodayim, asher yotzar, and elokei neshomo, may already have been said by individuals. All of these can wait until after Selichos except for birkas hatorah, since one should recite birkas hatorah before saying pesukim, even if they are said as a tefilla.[9]]

The shaliach tzibbur can recite the birchos hashachar out loud. If there is a minyan present, then even those capable of making the berachos on their own can fulfill their obligation to recite the berocho by listening to the shaliach tzibbur.[10] It is preferable, however, for every person to say his own birchos hashachar.[11] Therefore, one should either say the birchos hashachar before the shaliach tzibbur does so in shul, or make certain to say boruch hu uvaruch shemo or intend not to be yotzei with the shaliach tzibbur.[12]]

After the end of birchos hashachar (hagomel chasodim tovim, etc.), the minhag at Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun has been for the shaliach tzibbur to say the section from le’olam yehei odom until the berocho after Shema. The berocho should be said with the name of Hashem (baruch ato adonoi) and conclude hamekadesh shemo borabbim (and not as printed in most siddurim). When saying Shema, one should have intent not to fulfill the mitzva of Shema unless one will miss zeman kerias shema.[13]

The shaliach tzibbur at Shivtei Yeshurun should say the korbanos, eizehu mekoman and bereisa derebbi Yishmael,[14] but he does not have to say them out loud. It is best if he says the end of each section so that people know how to pace themselves in anticipation of the potential Kaddish Derabbonon after the recitation of the thirteen middos used to decipher the Torah.

After bereisa derebbi Yishmael, if someone wishes to say Kaddish Derabbonon, he may do so. In general, it is best to reduce the number of Kaddishim.[15] Seven Kaddishim must be said every day, and the regular davening includes this many.[16] The gabboim should minimize the number of optional Kaddishim as much as possible. However, when there are several chiyuvim and not enough Kaddishim to go around, they can use their discretion and add Kaddishim.

Mizmor shir chanukas habayis is not part of Pesukei Dezimra.[17] It should not be said by the shaliach tzibbur, although individual mispallelim are welcome to say it. Kaddish should not be said by any individual after his personal recitation of mizmor shir chanukas habayis.

I recommend that Yishtabach be said 20 minutes after the scheduled time for the beginning of Shacharis. If the birchos hashachar are said on time, there should be sufficient time for the berachos, korbanos and Pesukei Dezimra. Thus if Shacharis is scheduled to start at 6:15, Yishtabach should be at 6:35. If Yishtabach is supposed to start at 6:30, then the birchos hashachar should start at 6:10.[18]


[1]] אף שמרמ''א תקס''ה ס''ה מבואר דאסור לומר סליחות ביחידות, מ''מ הסכימו האחרונים דיחיד יכול לומר סליחות ביחידות בלא י''ג מדות, עמ''ב תקס''ה ס''ק י''ג.

[2] מ''ב סימן תקפ''א סק''ד, וע''ע מט''א תקפ''א סכ''א. ועיין מחבר תקס''ה סעיף ה' ומ''ב שם ס''ק י''ב.

[3]Most women, however, do not know the taamei hamikra.

ועיין בפרק י''ט ה''א מספר הליכות בת ישראל שכתב דין זה..

[4] When there is a minyan that said the Aramaic portion, but a single mispallel was not able to say the Aramaic section together with the minyan, he can still say the Aramaic section after they have finished. The same is true for Yekum Purkan before Mussaf and Berich Shemei after the aron kodesh is opened. Once it is permitted to say these tefillos with a minyan, even if one failed to say them together with the tzibbur, he can still say them afterwards. Similarly, berich shemei can be said until kerias Hatorah (Mishna Berura 134:13). The restriction of davening in Aramaic is only when the entire section is said without a minyan.

כן נראה ממש''כ רש''י בסוטה לג., דגם בכה''ג יש ע''ז שם תפלת צבור ולא ימאס בתפלתו, וכ''נ ממש''כ הראב''ד בתמים דעים סימן קפ''ד. וכ''כ בתשובות הגר''ח קניבסקי שליט''א בספר אשי ישראל אות שנ''ח.

[5]] עיין מ''ב תקפ''א סק''ד ומטה אפרים תקפ''א סעיף י''ז ובאלף המגן ס''ק ל''ג. וע''ע מ''ב סימן רל''ד סק''ה.

[6] עיין מטה אפרים סימן תקפ''א סי''ז.

[7] עיין מעשה רב להגר''א שאין לומר הוידוי אלא פעם אחת, וכ''כ האריז''ל בפ''ח משער הסליחות וז''ל ולא כמו שאומרים ב''פ או ג''פ הוידוי כי הוא כמו כלב השב על קיאו וכו' עכ''ל. והוא מיירי על אשמנו שאנו אומרים בסליחות. ואע''פ שיש נוהגים לאומרו ג''פ, וכן כתב הלבוש ומט''א תקפ''א סי''ח, ובאלף המגן כתב להסבירו דהוא כנגד מה שחטא במעשה דיבור ומחשבה, מ''מ אם באים לקבוע מנהג בית מדרשנו, נראה דיותר ראוי ליזהר מלהרבות בווידוי כדי שלא נחטא בזה. ואןלי גם כדי שלא נתרגל בזה יותר מדאי. (וע''ע מש''כ הגר''א בפ''ג מיונה פסוק ג', דהיינו טעמא דלא תוקעין בער'''ה כדי שלא נתרגל בזה ולא יעורר אותנו. כמו בטיטוס שלאחר ל' יום כבר התרגל לזה.)

[8] עיין כתר הראש להגר''ח וואלאהזין, שו''ת ח''ס קפ''ו, מהר''ל פי''ב מנתיב עבודה ושו''ת ריב''ש סימן קנ''ז.

[9] מ''ב סימן מ''ו ס''ק כ''ז.

[10] עיין מ''ב סימן מ''ו ס''ק י''ג וסימן ו' ס''ק י''ד וסימן נ''ט ס''ק כ''ט ובביה''ל שם ד''ה בפחות שלדעת הלבוש בעינן עשרה כדי לצאת יד''ח בברכות השחר.

[11] מ''ב סימן מ''ו ס''ק י''ג.

[12] עה''ש סימן ו' סעיף י''ג.

[13] Even if he will miss just zeman kerias shema of the Mogen Avrohom, still he should have intention to fulfill the mitzva now if the halocho is like the Mogen Avrohom. However, if the halocho is in accordance with the Gra, he should think that he does not want to fulfill the mitzva now. I have written a responsum regarding this particular topic of kavono al tenai. It can be found online at: http://www.shivteiyeshurun.org/DisplayQuestion.asp?ID=84

[14] If a person suspects that by saying the korbanos and the other sections he will miss shemone esrei bitzibbur, he should skip them (Biur Halocho 1:5 s.v. uparshas). However, one should make a serious attempt to say Parshas Hatomid at least. It is unclear from the Shulchan Aruch whether Parshas Hatomid is a chiyuv or minhag (see siman 1:9 and siman 48). The Shulchan Aruch Horav writes that it is a minhag that benei Yisroel have accepted upon themselves as a chiyuv (48:1). On Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh, one should also add the appropriate korban Mussaf (M.B. 48:6).

[15] מ''ב סימן נ''ה סק''א.

[16] עיין בית יוסף סימן נ''ה.

[17] עיין עה''ש סימן נ' ס''ד דשלמה המלך אמר מזמור שיר חנוכת הבית בשעה שהכניס הארון לקה''ק ולא נענה עד שהזכיר זכות דוד. ופסו''ד הם פסוקי דוד. ובליקוטי מהרי''ח ח''א דף נ''א כתב דאין מזמור זה בכלל סדר התפלה של הראשונים אלא נתוסף אח''כ, ולכן אינו בין הברכות של פסוד''ז. ובמעשה רב אות כ''ו איתא שלדעת הגר''א אין אומרים מזמור זה.

[18] Pesukei dezimra can even be said before alos hashachar (Biur Halocho 58:1 s.v. Zeman).

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