The prayer of Ata Chonantanu said on Maariv Motzei Shabbos Shemoneh Esrei

Ata Chonantanu”: Saying Havdala in Shemoneh Esrei:[1]

Within the prayer of Shemoneh Esrei recited on Motzei Shabbos one is obligated to recite Havdala.[2] This prayer of Havdala is referred to as “Ata Chonantanu” in name of its beginning words. It is recited within the blessing of “Ata Chonein” as printed in Siddurim.[3]

If one forgot to say Ata Chonantanu:[4] If one forgot to say Ata Chonantanu then if he remembered prior to saying Hashem’s name in the end of the blessing of Ata Chonein, he is to say it then and continue with “Vichaneinu Meitcha” and finish the blessing.[5] If he remembered only after he already finished the blessing of Chonen Hadaas, or after having already said Hashem’s name in the end of the blessing[6], he is to continue with Shemoneh Esrei as normal.[7] He may not go back and repeat the blessing of Ata Chonein.[8] Likewise he is not to add Ata Chonantanu anywhere else in the prayer[9] [although some[10] write to say it in Elokaiy Netzor prior to the second Yehiyu Leratzon]. Nevertheless he is to beware to say Havdala or say “Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol” prior to doing any Melacha, as will be explained.[11] In a case that one forgot Ata Chonantanu, if he desires, he may repeat Shemoneh Esrei as a Tefilas Nedava following its relevant laws[12]. [Likewise one is to repeat it in a case that one did not say Ata Chonantanu and does not expect to have wine to say Havdala until Sunday night, as will be explained next.]

If one did Melacha prior to Havdala and did not say Ata Chonantanu in Davening:[13] If one (did Melacha of Issur[14] [prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil and [15]] ) prior to saying Havdala over wine, he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei with Ata Chonantanu, and then say Havdala over wine.[16] [Some Poskim[17] learn one is not required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei if he did a Melacha which does not take much effort to do, such as lighting a candle and the like. However from Admur[18] here it is implied all type of Melacha requires the repetition of Shemoneh Esrei. See Q&A regarding Rabbinical Melacha!]

If one ate prior to Havdala and did not say Ata Chonantanu in Davening:[19] If one ate [any amount of food or drink with exception to water[20]] prior to saying Havdala over wine, he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei with Ata Chonantanu, and then say Havdala over wine.[21]

Due to the above in a case that one does not have wine to say Havdala and he does not expect to have wine until after Sunday[22], he must immediately repeat Shemoneh Esrei if he forgot to say Ata Chonantanu and has already finished his prayer.[23] In the above scenario if one finished Shemoneh Esrei but did not yet take three steps back and then remembered that he forgot to say Ata Chonantanu and that he will not have wine, then if he has completed saying the section of Elokaiy Netzor he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei from the beginning. If he did not yet complete Elokaiy Netzor[24], then if he is after concluding the blessing of Shema Koleinu, he is to return to the beginning of the blessing of Ata Chonein. If he remembers prior to finishing the blessing of Shema Koleinu he is to add in Ata Chonantanu within the blessing of Shema Koleinu.[25] [If he remembered prior to concluding the blessing of Chonein Hadaas but after Hashem’s name he is to conclude “Lamdeini Chukecha” and restart Ata Chonantanu.  If he remembered after concluding Chonein Hadaas prior to beginning the blessing of Hashiveinu, he is to say it then until the words “Umidubakim Beyirasecha”.[26]]

Forgot Ata Chonantanu on Motzei Shabbos which is Tishe Beav: [27] If one forgot to say Ata Chonantanu on Motzei Shabbos which coincides with Tishe Beav, he does not need to repeat Shemoneh Esrei, as in any event he will not be eating until he says Havdala over wine on Sunday night. [He must however say Baruch Hamavdil prior to doing Melacha.] [In the event that one broke his fast on Motzei Shabbos prior to saying Havdala he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei. Some however rule this is not necessary.[28] If he ate on Sunday prior to saying Havdala it is unclear if he should recite Ata Chonantanu the next time he Davens Shemoneh Esrei.[29]]

If one said Havdala on wine prior to Davening Maariv does he still say Ata Chonantanu?[30] Even in the event that one said or heard Havdala over wine prior to Maariv he is still required to say Havdala in Shemoneh Esrei.[31]

If one forgot to Daven Maariv does he say Ata Chonantanu in Tashlumin the next day?[32] If on Sunday morning one realizes he forgot to Daven Maariv and is therefore after Shacharis going to Daven Tashlumin of Maariv, then in his second Shemoneh Esrei he is to recite Havdala of Ata Chonantanu as he usually does by Maariv of Motzei Shabbos.[33] [If he recited it in his first Shemoneh Esrei, he has fulfilled his obligation, so long as he did not do so with intention to Daven the Maariv Shemoneh Esrei with this first prayer.[34]]

If one did not Daven Mincha on Shabbos and is Davening Tashlumin on Motzei Shabbos in which Shemoneh Esrei does he recite Ata Chonantanu?[35] He is to recite it only in the first Shemoneh Esrei. If he recited it in both Shemoneh Esrei or omitted it in both Shemoneh Esrei he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. If he recited it only in the second Shemoneh Esrei, then if he omitted it from the first Shemoneh Esrei intentionally, he must repeat the Tashlumin for Mincha. If he simply forgot to say it, he has fulfilled his obligation.[36]

Are women who Daven Maariv on Motzei Shabbos obligated to say Ata Chonantanu?[37] Yes.

 

Summary:

If one forgot to say Ata Chonantanu within Shemoneh Esrei he may not do any Melacha until he recites Havdala or says Baruch Hamavdil. If he did Melacha prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei with Ata Chonantanu. Likewise if he ate or drank liquids other than water prior to Havdala he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei.

 

Q&A Related one who forgot Ata Chonantanu and did Melacha or ate

If one did Rabbinical Melacha prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil or Havdala, must he repeat Shemoneh Esrei?

Seemingly he is required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei.[38] Although some[39] learn he is not required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei for Rabbinical Melacha. Thus if one moved a Muktzah item he is not required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei. [In a case of doubt one is to simply Daven again in a Toras Nedava.]

 

If one ate or drank after Shabbos prior to Maariv and then Davened Shemoneh Esrei without Ata Chonantanu, must he repeat Shemoneh Esrei?[40]

Yes.

 

If one forgot to say Ata Chonantanu in Maariv and then said a Bracha on a food is he to eat the food, and must he repeat Shemoneh Esrei?

He must eat the food so it not be a blessing in vain. Based on this some Poskim[41] write in such a case he does not need to repeat Shemoneh Esrei as he was Halachicly required to eat.

 

If one forgot to say Ata Chonantanu in his second Shemoneh Esrei which he had to repeat due to eating or Melacha, what is the law?[42]

He must repeat Shemoneh Esrei a third time. If he remembers prior to concluding Shemoneh Esrei, it follows the same law as stated above.

 

If one forgot Ata Chonantanu in Maariv of Motzei Yom Tov what is the law?[43]

It follows the same ruling as one who forgot to say it on Motzei Shabbos. Thus if he ate or drank [liquids other than water] or did Melacha before saying Hamavdil, he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei.

 

If one is in doubt as to whether he said Atah Chonantanu, and then accidently did Melacha prior to saying Hamavdil, must he repeat Shemoneh Esrei?

Seemingly one is to repeat Shemoneh Esrei as a Tefilas Nedava.[44]


If one forgot Ata Chonantanu and did Melacha prior to Havdala, and then forgot to repeat Shemoneh Esrei at night, is he to repeat Tashlumin after Shacharis on Sunday?[45]

Yes. In such a case he must recite Ata Chonantanu in his Tashlumin.

 

What if in the above case he only remembered past midday of Sunday? Is he to say Ata Chonantanu in Mincha or a later Davening?

This matter requires further analysis.[46]

 

If one said Havdala over wine before repeating Shemoneh Esrei in a scenario that he was required to do so must he still repeat Shemoneh Esrei?

Some[47] write it is questionable whether he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei. Others[48] rule he must still repeat Shemoneh Esrei. Some[49] conclude based on this dispute that one should not repeat Shemoneh Esrei as Safek Brachos Lehakel. The Ketzos Hashulchan[50] rules one is to repeat Shemoneh Esrei as a Toras Nedava if he already said Havdala over wine.

 

If one must repeat Shemoneh Esrei of Maariv such as due to forgetting Yaleh Veyavo on Chol Hamoed, or Vesein Tal Umatar, and the like, must he also recite Ata Chonantanu in his second Shemoneh Esrei?[51]

This matter is disputed in Poskim and does not have a final ruling.

 

If one did not Daven on Motzei Shabbos due to being an Onein, but is Davening on Sunday, is he to say Ata Chonantanu in his Davening?[52]

No.

 

If one forgot to say Vetodieinu in Shemoneh Esrei of Yom Tov which is Motzei Shabbos may he add it in when he remembers?

Some[53] rule once he has begun saying “Vatiten Lanu Hashem” he is not to go back to say Todieinu and is rather to continue with Shemoneh Esrei as usual.[54] In such a case he must beware to say Baruch Hamavdil prior to doing any Melacha which is permitted on Yom Tov.

Others[55] however rule that one who does go back to say it has upon whom to rely so long as he has not yet finished the blessing of Mikadeish Yisrael Vehazmanim.

 


[1] Shulchan Aruch Chapter 294

[2] Originally when the Anshei Kneses Hagedola instituted the recital of Havdala together with the other prayers, blessings and Kiddushim, they did not obligate Havdala to be said over wine, but rather within the prayer of Shemoneh Esrei. The reason for this is because when the Jews returned from exile in Babylon they were destitute and could not all afford wine for Havdala. [ibid 294/1] After the Jewish people became more financially stable the Sages instituted for Havdala to be said over wine. Later they once again became destitute and the Sages returned Havdala to be said only in Shemoneh Esrei. Now, in order to prevent Havdala from being constantly moved from the prayer to wine and from wine to prayer based on the Jewish economic state, the Sages instituted that in addition to reciting Havdala within prayer, one is also obligated, if wine is available, to also say Havdala over wine. If however there is no wine available one fulfills his obligation of Havdala within Havdala said in prayer. [ibid 294/2]

[3] The Sages instituted for Havdala to be recited within Ata Chonantanu for two reasons:

  1. The ability to distinguish between Shabbos and weekday is a wisdom, and therefore it was established to be said in the blessing of wisdom “Ata Chonantanu”.
  2. It is forbidden for a person to request mundane matters from G-d on Shabbos. Similarly it is forbidden to request matters from G-d after Shabbos until he says Havdala. Therefore the Sages instituted Havdala in the blessing prior to the requests one asks in Shemoneh Esrei. [294/1]

Where within Ata Chonein is the prayer to be recited? Shaar Hakolel [9/13] learned in Admur in the Siddur that one is to begin saying Ata Chonantanu as soon as he reaches the 4th blessing of Ata Chonein, and the sentence of Ata Chonen is to be omitted. However the custom is to first recite the sentence of Ata Chonein and only then to add in the paragraph of Ata Chonantanu. [Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 4 in name of Radatz Chein; Sefer Haminhagim p. 67]

[4] 294/7

[5] 294/7

[6] One is not to conclude Lamdeini Chukecha in such a case. [Tehila Ledavid 294/7]

[7] He is not required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei or go back being that he will in any event say Havdala over wine and will hence fulfill his obligation then. [ibid]

[8] This applies even if one wants to be extra stringent as it is forbidden to say an unnecessary blessing [Bracha Sheiyno Tzericha]. [294/7] This is because he anyways fulfills his obligation of Havdala over Havdala said over the wine that night or the next day, and thus saying Ata Chonein is now deemed unnecessary.

[9] He may not add it in when he remembers as doing so is considered a Hefsek [interval] within the prayer. This applies even if he remembers right after concluding Chonein Hadaas, prior to beginning the blessing of Hashiveinu. [294/7] Likewise in such a case one is not to say Ata Chonantanu within Shema Koleinu, as the main Halacha follows those opinions which rule only requests may be recited within Shema Koleinu which is itself a request, and Ata Chonantanu is not a request. Nevertheless, this only applies if one expects to do Havdala over wine that night or on Sunday. If however one does not have wine or expect to receive wine until after Sunday, he is to recite it within Shema Koleinu, as will be explained later. [294/5]

Other Opinions: There are Poskim which rule one may say Ata Chonanatanu after Chonein Hadaas before beginning Hashiveinu. [see Kaf Hachaim 294/18; Siddur Yaavetz]

[10] Kaf Hachaim 294/17

[11] 294/3; As it is forbidden to do any Melacha prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil.

[12] Tzaruch Iyun as what Admur here is coming to include, as if he is coming to include the necessity to novelize a prayer within Shemoneh Esrei, reciting Ata Chonantanu is itself the novelty. Perhaps then it is coming to add that only one who has meticulous concentration in prayer is to do so [as explained in 107/4] [So writes explicitly Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 7 as the interpretation of Admur here; and so seems to learn Kaf Hachaim 294/17] Some Poskim however learn that saying Ata Chonantanu is not considered enough of a novelty, as it is the regular part of the night prayer of Motzei Shabbos, while the novelty must be recognizable. This however is not the opinion of Admur. [See Ketzos Hashulchan ibid]

[13] 294/3

[14] Parentheses are in original; So rules Rashba; brought in Elya Raba and Rav Akiva Eiger; See Kaf Hachaim 294/8 that Rambam argues that Melacha is not relevant to this law. He explains there that the reason is because since to be allowed to do Melacha one can simply say Baruch Hamavdil without a blessing, therefore it does not belittle the blessing of Havdala if he does Melacha prior to it. [ibid]

Opinion of Admur: See Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 8 regarding this law in Admur being placed in parentheses. The Ketzos Hashulchan ibid concludes one is to repeat Shemoneh Esrei as a Tefilas Nedava. Kitzur Halachos Shabbos 294/8 records this ruling without brackets.

Opinions which rule similar to Admur: So rules also Peri Megadim 294 M”Z 2; Derech Chaim; Kitzur SH”A 96/1; Tehila Ledavid 294/2

Other Opinions: M”B 294 in Biur Halacha “Veim Taam” rules there is no need to repeat Shemoneh Esrei if one did Melacha in the above scenario prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil.

[15] Pashut! So rules Minchas Shabbos 96 footnote 5; See also Piskeiy Teshuvos 294 footnote 38;

[16] In such a case that he omitted Ata Chonantanu in prayer [and then did Melacha] one does not fulfill his obligation by simply saying Havdala over wine as it is unbefitting of Havdala for him to have ate (or done Melacha) prior to it. [ibid]

[17] Derech Hachaim brought in Minchas Shabbos 96 footnote 6; see 299/18

[18] So is implied from Admur 294/3 which writes “Melacha Beiisur” implying any Issur. However see 299/18 regarding different Melachas that are permitted before Havdala according to some opinions. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[19] 294/3

[20] If one drank merely water he does not need to repeat Shemoneh Esrei. [Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 8]

[21] In such a case one does not fulfill his obligation by simply saying Havdala over wine as it is unbefitting of Havdala for him to have ate (or done Melacha) prior to it. [ibid]

[22] If however he expects to receive wine on Sunday, he must fast until then [besides for water] and hence there is no need for him to be required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei. In a scenario that one expected to have wine on Sunday, and hence did not repeat Shemoneh Esrei, and then on Sunday realized he would not receive wine until Sunday night, Tzaruch Iyun if he should repeat Shemoneh Esrei as Tashlumin after Shacharis, or say Ata Chonantanu in his regular Shacharis. [Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 9]

[23] 294/4; As one certainly does not plan to fast until he receives wine after Sunday, and hence since he will eat before saying Havdala over wine, he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei. [ibid]

[24] Meaning he has not yet said the 2nd Yehiyu Leratzon.

[25] 294/5; This is similar to one who forgot to say Vesein Tal Umatar in which case he is to add it in Shema Koleinu. [294/5] Now although there are opinions, and so is the main ruling, which rule Ata Chonantanu is not similar to Vesein Tal Umatar, as it is not a request and only requests may be said within Shema Koleinu being it itself is a request, nevertheless regarding this scenario it is better for the Davener to recite it within Shema Koleinu than to return to Ata Chonein and repeat all those blessings, which according to the second opinion would be blessings that could have been avoided. It is thus better to rely on the second opinion which allows reciting it within Shema Koleinu then to need to repeat blessings of Shemoneh Esrei. [ibid]

One is to say the paragraph of Ata Chonantanu within Shema Koleinu until the words “Umidubakim Beyirasecha”. One then continues with Ki Ata Shomeia Tefilas Kol Peh. [Ketzos Hashulchan 93/4]

[26] Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 11

[27] 294/6

[28] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 556/3 footnote 16

[29] See Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 9. SSH”K 62 footnote 95 rules if he ate on Sunday he is not to recite Ata Chonantanu or repeat Shemoneh Esrei. See Piskeiy Teshuvos 556/3

[30] 294/2

[31] As the main institution of the Sages was to say Havdala in Davening. [ibid]

[32] 294/2

[33] This applies even if one already said Havdala over wine as the main institution of the Sages was to say Havdala in prayer. [ibid]

Other Opinions: Others [Ridbaz] however argue that Ata Chonantanu is not to be recited in Tashlumin, and so concludes Kaf Hachaim [294/3; 108/50]; Mishneh Berurah 294/2

[34] Tehila Ledavid 294/1

[35] 108/16

[36] Vetzaruch Iyun if in such a case he should initially recite Ata Chonantanu in his second Shemoneh Esrei.

[37] 299/18; 296/18

[38] So is implied from Admur 294/3 which writes “Melacha Beiisur” implying any Issur. However see 299/18 regarding different Melachas that are permitted before Havdala according to some opinions. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[39] Derech Hachaim brought in Minchas Shabbos ibid

[40] Tehila Ledavid 294/4

[41] See Oar Letziyon 2/22-10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 294/3

[42] Piskeiy Teshuvos 294/4

[43] Piskeiy Teshuvos 294/4

[44] On the one hand Admur writes [in 108/18] that whenever there is doubt as to whether one is to pray again he should just pray a Tefilas Nedava. On the other hand the law of repeating Shemoneh Esrei when one did not say Ata Chonantanu and then did Melacha is brought by Admur in parentheses, and thus the Ketzos Hashulchan does not even rule this way in his summary, but rather brings it in the Badei Hashulchan and concludes that although the Biur Halacha rules that by Melacha one does not need to repeat Shemoneh Esrei, nevertheless one should Daven as a Nedava. However in a case that one is even in doubt if he perhaps did in fact say Ata Chonantanu, then there is room to learn that even to pray a Nedava is not required. As it is a double doubt. Perhaps however one can say that we follow one’s usual recital of Shemoneh Esrei which omits Ata Chonantanu, as is the law by a doubt of other additions, and hence we consider him to have certainly omitted it if he is in doubt, and it is hence not considered a doubt at all. See however Rama 422/1 that when in doubt if one recited Yaleh Veyavo in Shemoneh Esrei he does not need to repeat. The Levush [brought in M”A 422/4] explains this to be the case because one does not pass 30 days without saying Yaleh Veyavo and hence we cannot assume with certainty that he did not say it. The same would apply to Ata Chonantanu. And even more so, of which we do not pass 7 days without saying it. Now, although most Poskim argue on this conclusion of the Levush [see M”A and M”B ibid] perhaps it is enough of a doubt to not require one to repeat Shemoneh Esrei as a Nedava if he did Melacha. Practically since there still remains a doubt and one may always repeat a Nedava, one is to do so.

[45] Kaf Hachaim 108/50; 294/10

[46] See Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 9

[47] Peri Megadim in 294 M”Z 2

[48] Derech Chaim, brought in Biur Halacha 294 “Tzarich”

[49] SSH”K 59 footnote 6

[50] 93 footnote 8

[51] Piskeiy Teshuvos 294/6

[52] Kaf Hachaim 294/5

[53] Mateh Efrayim 599/7

[54] His reasoning is because doing so would require the person to repeat Hashem’s name in the blessing of Vatiten Lanu.

[55] Sheivet Halevy 9/23

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