SECTION 111 Laws Relating to the Link between Gaal Yisrael and Shemoneh Esreh. (1-4)

סימן קיא דִּין סְמִיכוּת גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה וּבוֹ ד' סְעִיפִים:

1 (Even though the recitation of the Shema and its blessings and [the recitation of] Shemoneh Esreh are independent mitzvos,) one must recite the blessing Gaal Yisrael in direct proximity to Shemoneh Esreh.1 One should not interpose anything between them, even by responding Amen to the blessing Gaal Yisrael, nor by [reciting] any verse that is commonly recited before Shemoneh Esreh, such as the verse,2 “For I will call upon the name of G‑d...” and the like. An exception to this rule is the recitation of the verse,3G‑d, open my lips...,” which is an obligation ordained by the Sages. Since they ordained that it be recited within Shemoneh Esreh,4 it is not considered as an interruption but as part of that prayer, like an extension of it.5 There are authorities who say that it is permitted to respond Amen to the blessing Gaal Yisrael, and this is the prevailing custom,6 as explained in sec. 66[:9].

In the Mussaf and Afternoon Services, where there is no concept of linking the blessing Gaal Yisrael to Shemoneh Esreh,7 it is permitted to recite [other] verses before the verse that begins, “G‑d, open my lips...,” but not after it. To do so would be considered an interruption within Shemoneh Esreh, since this verse is considered as part of Shemoneh Esreh.

א (אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּבִרְכוֹתֶיהָ מִצְוָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָהּ וּתְפִלָּה מִצְוָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָהּ) צָרִיךְ לִסְמֹךְ בִּרְכַּת גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה,א,1 וְלֹא יַפְסִיק בֵּינֵיהֶם אֲפִלּוּ בְּאָמֵן אַחַר "גָּאַל יִשְׂרָאֵל",ב וְלֹא בְּשׁוּם פָּסוּק שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין לוֹמַר קֹדֶם תְּפִלַּת י"ח,ג כְּגוֹן פָּסוּקד,2 "כִּי שֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא" וְדוֹמָיו, חוּץ מִפָּסוּקה,3 "אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח",ו שֶׁהוּא חוֹבָה מִתַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִיםז וְאֵינוֹ חָשׁוּב הֶפְסֵק,4 שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁקְּבָעוּהוּ חֲכָמִים בַּתְּפִלָּהח,5 – נַעֲשָׂה מִכְּלָל הַתְּפִלָּה וְכִתְפִלָּה אֲרֻכָּה הִיא.ט וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁמֻּתָּר לַעֲנוֹת אָמֵן אַחַר "גָּאַל יִשְׂרָאֵל".י וְכֵן נוֹהֲגִין,יא,6 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ס"ו.יב

וּבְמוּסָף וּמִנְחָהיג שֶׁאֵין שָׁם סְמִיכַת גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה7 – מֻתָּר לוֹמַר פְּסוּקִים קֹדֶם "אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח", אֲבָל לֹא אַחֲרָיו מִשּׁוּם הֶפְסֵק בַּתְּפִלָּה,יד שֶׁהֲרֵי פָּסוּק זֶה מִכְלַל הַתְּפִלָּה הוּא:

2 There is an authority who maintains that one is not required to link the blessing Gaal Yisrael to Shemoneh Esreh on Shabbos. [The rationale is that] the Sages8 derived [the requirement to make] this linkage from the fact that [first] it is written,9 “May [the words of my mouth...] be acceptable [before You...], my Rock and my Redeemer,” and directly after that it is written,10 “May G‑d answer you on a day of distress” — and Shabbos is not a day of distress.11 [In this context,] festivals are considered as weekdays, because they are days of judgment: on Pesach the world is judged with regard to [the harvest of] grain, on Shavuos [it is judged] with regard to fruit, and on Sukkos,12 with regard to [the provision of] water.13

One should not rely on this reasoning except in a place where it is necessary to do so, for the derivation cited is only a support, whereas the fundamental [obligation] to link the blessing Gaal Yisrael to Shemoneh Esreh is based on the words of the Sages. They described the recitation of the Shemoneh Esreh blessings after the blessing Gaal Yisrael [with the following analogy].8 The friend of a king knocks on the palace gates and the king comes out to greet him. If he sees him depart and go on his way, he will also turn away, and will not approach him when he comes back and knocks again. This is the case when one makes a break between Gaal Yisrael and Shemoneh Esreh.14

ב יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵרטו שֶׁבְּשַׁבָּת אֵין צָרִיךְ לִסְמֹךְ גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁסְּמִיכָה זוֹ לְמָדוּהָ חֲכָמִיםטז,8 מִמַּה שֶּׁכָּתוּב:9 "יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן וגו' צוּרִי וְגֹאֲלִי", וּכְתִיב אַחֲרָיו:10 "יַעַנְךָ ה' בְּיוֹם צָרָה", אֲבָל שַׁבָּת לָאו יוֹם צָרָה הוּא.יז,11 וְיָמִים טוֹבִים דִּינָם כְּחֹל,יח הוֹאִיל וְהֵם יְמֵי הַדִּין, שֶׁבַּפֶּסַח הָעוֹלָם נִדּוֹן עַל הַתְּבוּאָה, וּבָעֲצֶרֶת עַל פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן, וּבֶחָג12 עַל הַמַּיִם.יט,13

וְאֵין לִסְמֹךְ עַל סְבָרָא זוֹכ אִם לֹא בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְכָךְ,כא לְפִי שֶׁלִּמּוּד זֶה אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא סֶמֶךְ בְּעָלְמָא,כב וְעִקַּר סְמִיכַת גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה הוּא מִדִּבְרֵי חֲכָמִיםכג שֶׁדִּמּוּ י"ח בְּרָכוֹת אַחַר בִּרְכַּת גְּאֻלָּה7 לְאוֹהֲבוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ שֶׁבָּא וְדָפַק עַל פֶּתַח הַמֶּלֶךְ וְיָצָא הַמֶּלֶךְ לִקְרָאתוֹ, וְאִם רוֹאֵהוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ שֶׁהִפְלִיג וְהָלַךְ לוֹ אַף הוּא מַפְלִיג, וְשׁוּב אֵין מִתְקָרֵב אֵלָיו כְּשֶׁחוֹזֵר וְדוֹפֵק – כָּךְ הוּא בְּמַפְסִיק בֵּין גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה:14

3 When the sheliach tzibbur begins [the recitation of] Shemoneh Esreh aloud, he must first recite the verse, “G‑d, open my lips...,” since it is part of Shemoneh Esreh. It is desirable that he recite it in a whisper. He need not recite other verses, though if he so desires, he may. There is no prohibition at all to interpose (matters concerning prayer and its needs) between the whispered Shemoneh Esreh and [his recitation of] Shemoneh Esreh aloud. (It is, however, forbidden15 to engage in other matters until after Tachanun,16 as explained in sec. 131[:1].)

ג הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר כְּשֶׁמַּתְחִיל י"ח בְּקוֹל – צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר תְּחִלָּה פָּסוּק "אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח",כד הוֹאִיל וְהוּא מִכְּלָל הַתְּפִלָּה.כה וְטוֹב שֶׁיֹּאמְרֶנּוּ בְּלַחַשׁ.כו

אֲבָל שְׁאָר פְּסוּקִים אֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר.כז וְאִם רָצָה לוֹמַר – רַשַּׁאי, וְאֵין אִסּוּר כְּלָל לְהַפְסִיקכח (בְּעִנְיְנֵי הַתְּפִלָּה וּצְרָכֶיהָ) בֵּין תְּפִלַּת לַחַשׁ לִתְפִלָּה שֶׁבְּקוֹל (אֲבָל לְהִתְעַסֵּק בִּדְבָרִים אֲחֵרִים אָסוּר15 עַד אַחַר נְפִילַת אַפַּיִם,16 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קל"אכט):

4 If one [enters a synagogue and] finds the congregation reciting Shemoneh Esreh, but he has yet to recite the Shema and its blessings, he should not recite Shemoneh Esreh with them first and then recite the Shema and its blessings afterwards, as is done with regard to Pesukei DeZimrah.17 The rationale is that [the obligation] to link the blessing Gaal Yisrael to the Morning Shemoneh Esreh outweighs [the distinctive quality of] congregational prayer. (In the Evening Service, by contrast, [the distinctive quality of] congregational prayer outweighs the obligation to link Gaal Yisrael to Shemoneh Esreh, as will be explained in sec. 236.)18

ד אִם עַד שֶׁלֹּא קָרָא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּבִרְכוֹתֶיהָ מָצָא צִבּוּר שֶׁמִתְפַּלְלִיןל – לֹא יִתְפַּלֵּל עִמָּהֶם תְּחִלָּה וְלִקְרוֹת אַחַר כָּךְ קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּבִרְכוֹתֶיהָ כְּמוֹ שֶׁעוֹשִׂים בִּפְסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה,לא,17 לְפִי שֶׁסְּמִיכַת גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה שַׁחֲרִית גְּדוֹלָה מִתְּפִלָּה עִם הַצִּבּוּר (אֲבָל בְּעַרְבִית תְּפִלַּת הַצִּבּוּרלב גְּדוֹלָה מִסְּמִיכַת גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן רל"ולג):18