Skipping parts of Davening in order to Daven Shemoneh Esrei with Minyan

Skipping parts of Davening in order to Daven Shemoneh Esrei with Minyan:

Letter of law:[1] [From the letter of the law] one who arrives late to Shul for Shacharis is required to skip Pesukei Dezimra in order so he be able to Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the congregation.[2] This, however, [does not come to negate the importance of Pesukei Dezimra, which was instituted by the Geonim[3] and recorded by all Rishonim[4] and Achronim[5] and hence] only applies Bedieved if one already came late. However, initially, every person is obligated to do all in his power to come to Shul with enough time so he will not need to skip anything and will still be able to Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the Minyan [and heaven forbid to belittle this matter[6]].[7]

Ruling of Kabbalah: According to the teachings of Kabbalah, one who skips parts of Pesukei Dezimra is considered to have overturned the channels [of blessing and G-dliness that result from prayer].[8] Therefore, one is to be careful to come to Shul early, so he can recite the entire Pesukei Dezimra and still Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the Minyan.[9] Furthermore, some Poskim[10] rule based on this that one may not skip Pesukei Dezimra even for the sake of Davening Shemoneh Esrei with the Minyan [unlike the opinion brought above]. Practically, due to this, many meticulous individuals are accustomed not to skip any part of Pesukei Dezimra even if one came late to Shul and will not be able to Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the Minyan unless he skips.[11] This is the widespread custom of Chassidim in general and Chabad Chassidim in particular.[12] However, some Poskim[13] negate this understanding, and rule that even according to Kabala it is better to skip Pesukei Dezimra so one can Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the Minyan.[14] Each community is to follow their Rav and custom.

Saying Pesukei Dezimra quickly in order to Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the congregation:[15] One is not allowed to recite Pesukei Dezimra at a fast pace. It must be said slowly, word for word, in order so one can have proper concentration. Those who say it quickly are not doing a proper thing, as they are shortening the praise of G-d in order to ask for their own needs.[16] This applies even if one’s intent in saying it quickly is on order so he can Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the congregation.[17] [Thus, one who came late to Shul is to rather skip parts of Pesukei Dezimra than to read the prayer quickly.[18] If he is accustomed not to skip, as stated above, then he is to recite it in his normal slow pace.]

 

Summary:

Initially, one must come to Shul on time, so he can recite all the parts of the prayer slowly and without skipping, and Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the congregation. If one came late to Shul, then the Halachic ruling is that he should skip part, or all, of Pesukei Dezimra, in order so he be Daven Shmeoneh Esrei with the Minyan. It is better for him to skip then to say it quickly. However according to Kaballah, and so is the custom of Chassidim and meticulous individuals, one is not to skip any part of the Davening, and is certainly not to say it quickly, even if due to this he will miss Davening Shemoneh Esrei with the Minyan.

Q&A

What should one do if he Davens at a slower pace than the Minyan and even if he comes on time he will not reach Shemoneh Esrei with them?

The entire Halacha above is only regarding latecomers. However, one who comes to Shul on time, and Davens at a slower pace than the Minyan, may continue to do so without skipping any part of Pesukei Dezimra, or quickening his pace, even though this will cause him to be unable to Daven Shemoneh Esrei together with the Minyan.[19] In such a case he is to begin the prayer with the congregation and then Daven to the best of his ability, and if he is behind the Minya, so be it.[20] He is, however, to make sure to answer Kaddish and Kedusha and Barchu with Minyan.[21] Nonetheless, some Poskim[22]  write that it is best in such case for him to come to Shul early and begin Davening before the Minyan, in order so he be up to Shemoneh Esrei together with the congregation.

If a Minyan of six Shemoneh Esrei Daveners will not be available unless one skips Pesukei Dezimra, is one to do so despite the fact that he generally follows the Kabalistic ruling not to skip?[23]

In such a case, the person is to skip Pesukei Dezimra for the sake of establishing the Minyan, and it is only in a  scenario that the Minyan will any event take place that one is allowed not to skip.

Should one who skip Karbanos in order to be able to Daven with the minyan?

From the letter of the law, one is certainly to skip Karbanos and all the parts said before Hodu in order to Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the Minyan.[24] However, those who follow the Kabalistic ruling do not skip any part of Davening, even the sections said before Hodu, and so is the custom of Chassidim.[25] Vetzaruch Iyun regarding the Karbanos of Mincha.

 

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[1] Admur 52:1-2

[2] Admur 52:1; Michaber 52:1; Tur 52 in name of Rav Neturai Gaon 12; Rabbeinu Yona Brachos 32a; Rosh Brachos 5:6 in name of Rav Amram Gaon; Semak 11; Semag Asei 19;  Aruch Erech Tefila; Hagahos Maimanis Tefila 7 Nun in name of Rav Moshe Gaon; Rashba 3:285 in name of Gaonim; M”B 52:1 concludes to follow ruling in Shulchan Aruch; Ketzos Hashulchan 14:1 and 18:13; Rebbe in Igros Kodesh 7:139 writes that there are 91 Poskim who rule this way  

The reason: As the prayer of a Minyan is always accepted and received by G-d, as the verse [Iyov 36:5] states “Kabir Lo Yimas” and [Tehillim 55:19] Padah Beshalom Nafshi Mikrav Li Ki Berabim Hayu Imadi. [Admur ibid; Rambam Tefila 8:1; Braisa Brachos 8a] Therefore, one who comes to Shul and finds the Minyan at the end of Pesukei Dezimra is to skip Pesukei Dezimra, as Pesukei Dezimra itself was only instituted for the sake of the Shemoneh Esrei, so that it be well received and accepted by G-d, through first organizing the praise of G-d and then Davening Shemoneh Esrei. Accordingly, it is better [to skip Pesukei Dezimra and] Daven Shemoneh Esrei with the Minyan, as then ones prayer is certainly accepted above. [Admur ibid]

[3] Rav Amram Gaon; Rav Sadya Gaon; Rav Natrunaiy Gaon; Rav Moshe Gaon

[4] Rif; Rabbeinu Yona; Rashi; Rambam; Rashba; Ramban; Semag; Semak; Tur

[5] Beis Yosef; Rama; Bach; Levush; Taz ; M”A

[6] Rebbe in Igros Kodesh 1:229, printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:71

[7] Admur 52:2; All Poskim brought next regarding the Kabalistic ruling; Rebbe ibid

[8] The reason: As each part of the prayer contains mystical meaning and deep spiritual effects and is like a step on a ladder to reach the next part. For example, Pesukei Dezimras corresponds to the world of Yetzira, and hence how can one reach Shemoneh Esrei which is Atzilus if  he does not go first to Yetzira.

[9] Maggid Meisharim Parshas Behar as a warning from the Maggid to the Beis Yosef, brought in Elya Raba 52:5; Soles Belula 52:1; Beir Heiytiv 52:1; Siddur Arizal; Yosef Ometz and Shalmei Tzibur, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 52:1; M”B 52:1; Kaf Hachaim 52:2

[10] Pesach Hadevri 52 in name of many Poskim and that so is his opinion, brought in Kaf Hachaim 52:2; Yosef Ometz and Shalmei Tzibur, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 52:1, conclude that if one will not be able to ever say Pesukei Dezimra because he always comes late, then he should say the regular order [or at least Baruch Shemar, Ashreiy and Yishtabach] and not skip; Minchas Aaron 12:13; Rav Poalim 2:4 concludes “I am not fond of the skipping as is known to those with knowledge of Kabalah, and there is no need to lengthen on this.” Ben Yehoyada Rosh Hashanah 35a; Igros Kodesh 18:81 “In addition to the fact that some Poskim prohibit it” ; Yaskil Avdi 1:2 “So rule all Achronim”; Or Letziyon 2:7-2; See Poskim in next footnote

[11] Custom recorded in Beir Heiytiv 52:1, M”B 52:1 [although they conclude with stringent Poskim brought next]; Siddur Arizal p. 35; Soles Belula 52/1 that so he witnessed by many Gedolei Yisrael; Yifei Laleiv 52:1; Kaf Hachaim 52:2 and 236/22 regarding Maariv; Ketzos Hashulchan 27 footnote 27 regarding Maariv

The reason: As in these generations, the main Tikkun is through prayer [Tanya Kuntrus Achron] and thus we must place greater emphasis on the Avoda of Tefila. [Maaneh of Rebbe recorded in Shulchan Menachem 1:218] Alternatively, once they start skipping it teaches them a belittling of the prayer, and hence it is better not to skip at all. [Igros Kodesh 7:139]

[12] Rebbe in Toras Menachem 2:134 “Although the ruling in Shulchan Aruch is to skip, the Rabbeim direct that one is not to do so, but is rather to Daven the entire prayer in order”; Toras Menachem 18:282, printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:218; Igros Kodesh 7:139 that the Rebbe suggested the Bochurim not to skip; Igros Kodesh 15:170 “Despite the allowances, we do not do this”

[13] Peri Chadash 50; Chacham Tzevi 36, brought in conclusion of Beir Heiytiv ibid, M”B 52:1 [and so is final opinion of M”B]; Shalmei Tzibur and Mamar Mordechai, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah and M”B ibid, rules this applies even if one usually Davens in private and never skips, that if he is with a Minyan, he is to skip for the sake of Davening Shemoneh Esrei with them

[14] The reason: As even accoridng to the Zohar, the intent was not to negate the ruling of the Poskim, but rather to say that when one is Davening alone, he should never skip parts of Davening even if he is in a hurry etc. However, when Davening with a Minyan, even the Zohar agrees that one should skip for the sake of Davening with them. [Chacham Tzvi ibid]

[15] Admur 51:13; Michaber 51:8; Orchos Chaim Meah Brachos 33 in name of Hamachkim; Levush 51:9

[16] Admur ibid “Those who say it quickly are not doing a proper thing, as they are shortening the praise of G-d in order to ask for their own needs. Is there any ruler who would agree to this?”

[17] Admur ibid in parentheses “When there is a Minyan”; Beis Yosef in name of Orchos Chaim ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan 18:3 and footnote 12 explains this wording of Admur and Orchos Chaim to mean as statetd above that they are not to hasten Pesukei Dezimra even for the sake of Davening with the Minyan; Lechem Chamudos Brachos 5:16; Derech Chaim

[18] Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; Aruch Hashulchan 51:9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 52 footnote 3

The reason: As reading it quickly is a more apparent shortening of Hashem’s praise. [Ketzos Hashulchan ibid] As well as that it is better to recite a small amount with concentration than a large amount without. [Aruch Hashulchan ibid]

[19] Shaareiy Teshuvah 52:1; Ketzos Hashulchan 18 footnote 401; Igros Kodesh Rayatz 14:398 “If there is a Minyan without him then he is to Daven on his own pace and not with the Minyan”; Igros Kodesh 18:81, printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:218

The reason: As the main purpose of prayer is the concentration and the fact he started with the congregation is similar to Davening with a Minyan, although just similar. [Rebbe ibid]

Other opinions: Some Poskim of today negate relying on this ruling of the Shaareiy Teshuvah as we have very little concentration today, and hence it is always better to Daven with the Minyan. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 52 footnote 3]

[20] Igros Kodesh 18:81

[21] Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid; Rebbe Rayatz ibid

[22] Shulchan Hatahor 52:3

[23] Pashut as the establishing of Minyan is the greatest of the positive commands, and overrides even the negative command of freeing a slave, as recorded in Admur 90:17, and hence if one will cause the Minyan to break up by not Davening with them, and they will not wait for him, then one is to skip for that purpose;  See also Igros Kodesh Rayatz 14:398 “If there is a Minyan without him then he is to Daven on his own pace and not with the Minyan”

[24] Ketzos Hashulchan 14:1

[25] See Rebbe in Toras Menachem 2:134; Toras Menachem 18:282

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