Friday 20 March 2020

Shabbat Without Shul: A Guide

From RRW
Guest Blogger: Rabbi Yaakov Hoffman
Below is a halachic guide I prepared for my shul on how to daven on Shabbos without a minyan, and general halachos one should know that are affected by not being in a shul framework on Shabbos. Feel free to use/adapt for your own shuls. Also, I would be happy to receive any he'aros you may have. Thanks.

Shabbat Without Shul: A Guide
·         One should make an effort to daven Mincha on Friday before plag ha-mincha (this week ~5:50pm).
·         It is not necessary to recite the full Kabbalat Shabbat as recited in shul; reciting Lecha Dodi, Mizmor Shir leYom haShabbat, Hashem Malach Ge’ut Lavesh, and Bameh Madlikin is sufficient. One should recite Lecha Dodi and Mizmor Shir leYom haShabbat before sunset (this week ~7:07pm).
·         Although ordinarily one should daven Maariv after nightfall when praying without a minyan, on Friday evening one may daven after plag (preferably one should wait ~20 minutes after plag). The Shema must be repeated after nightfall (tzeit ha-kochavim, this Friday ~7:42pm).
·         One may make Kiddush and begin the meal immediately after davening Maariv. If one has not yet begun the meal by tzeit ha-kochavim, one must repeat the Shema before eating.
·         Those who arise early are strongly encouraged to daven ke-vatikin—timing one’s Shacharit to begin the Amidah at sunrise (this week ~6:56am).
·         If one is pressed for time (e.g., in order to daven at sunrise, or because one needs to help out at home), one can skip the extra psalms added during Psukei de-Zimra on Shabbat, with the exception of Mizmor Shir leYom haShabbat and Hashem Malach Ge’ut Lavesh.
·         Men should take care to daven Shacharit before the latest time for the Shema (this week ~10am).
·         After the Amidah of Shacharit, one recites Ashrei and then the Amidah of Musaf, followed by Ein k’Elokeinu, Aleinu, and Shir shel Yom.
·         It is extremely advisable to read or study the weekly parashah at some point over Shabbat (and to be extra careful about shnayim mikra during the preceding week).
·         On Shabbat Mevarchim, it is a good idea to remind oneself and one’s household about the upcoming Rosh Chodesh (Rosh Chodesh Nisan is Thursday March 26). One does not recite the formal prayer for the upcoming month that is recited in shul.
·         One should wash for the Shabbat morning meal before midday (this week ~1pm).
·         One should daven Mincha before eating se‘udah shlishit.
·         Se‘udah shlishit should begin before sunset, and may extend as long as one likes. After benching, or after 10 minutes post-sunset (whichever is later), one may not eat or drink anything except water until after Havdalah.
·         One should not daven Maariv on Saturday night until after Shabbat is over (this week ~7:50pm); preferably, one should not do any melacha before davening Maariv (with atah chonantanu) or making Havdalah.
·         Baruch Hashem L’Olam is omitted in Maariv when not davening with a minyan. The rest of Maariv, including additions for motza’ei Shabbat, is recited as usual. Veyiten lecha may be recited after Havdalah. Vihi no‘am and ve’attah kadosh are omitted on the Saturday night preceding Pesach (and Shavuot, but hopefully we will be back in shul well before then!), but veyiten lecha is still recited.

Yaakov Hoffman
Rabbi, Washington Heights Congregation

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