Question: [Tuesday, 21st Sivan, 5781]
Sometimes it happens in Shul that I cannot yet take three steps back after I am done praying Shemoneh Esrei being that someone in back of me is still in middle of praying Shemoneh Esrei. My question is regarding what am I allowed to answer once I am done Davening prior to taking three steps back. Can I answer Amen and say Baruch Hu Uvarcuh Shemo to Chazaras Hashatz? Also, may I continue with the saying of Tachanun, Ashrei Uva Letziyon, etc, prior to being able to three steps back?
If you have already recited the second Yehi Leratzon [at the end of Elokaiy Netzor, prior to taking three steps back] then you may answer Amen and say Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo when you hear God’s name in a blessing, and may certainly recite the entire Nussach of Kedusha. If necessary, you may even continue Davening with the congregation with the saying of Tachanun, Ashrei and Uva Letziyon etc. However, you should not talk mundane speech until you take three steps back.
Explanation: Once one has recited the second Yehi Leratzon he has in essence finished Shemoneh Esrei and therefore the restrictions against making an interval during Davening don’t apply. Nonetheless, since it is still considered as one is standing before the King until he takes three steps back, therefore it is proper not to speak mundane speech until then.
Sources: See Admur 122:1 that it is still considered that one is before the king; The following Poskim write that one may answer even Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo: Mamar Mordechai 122:2; Chesed Lealafim 122:25; M”B 122:4 in name of Mamar Mordechai; Kaf Hachaim 122:2; The following opinions rule that one may even continue Davening: Salmas Chaim 124; Or Letziyon 2 7:35; Halichos Shlomo 8:31 in name of Rav SZ”A; Yechaveh Daas 5:10; Az Nidbaru 8:41; The following opinions rule that one may even learn Torah and say Tehillim: Keser Rosh 33 in name of Rav Chaim Volozhin; Orchos Rabbeinu 3:209 in name of Chazon Ish; Az Nidbaru 3:46; However Rav SZ”A is stringent; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 122:1