SECTION 53 Laws Relating to Persons Fit to Lead the Communal Prayers. (1-36)

סימן נג דִּין הָרָאוּי לֵירֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה וּבוֹ ל"ו סְעִיפִים:

1 Until [the blessing beginning] Yishtabach, it is not at all necessary that a sheliach tzibbur1 lead the communal prayers.2 When [the congregation] reaches Yishtabach, however,3 the sheliach tzibbur should stand before the Ark and recite [the blessing] Yishtabach. He should not wait to descend before the Ark until the Kaddish that follows Yishtabach, for [that] Kaddish should be recited as close to Yishtabach as possible. It is forbidden to make any interruption at all between them.4 It is therefore customary for the sheliach tzibbur to stand [already] when reciting Yishtabach, so that he will not make an interruption by rising from his seat between Yishtabach and the Kaddish that follows it. For according to law [that Kaddish] must be recited while standing, since it is considered a davar shebikedushah.5 This law also applies to Barchu.

To whom does the above apply? To the sheliach tzibbur who actually recites Kaddish and Barchu. With regard to the congregants who [merely] respond to him, by contrast, some authorities maintain that they are not required to stand, as is explained in sec. 56[:5]. Nevertheless, it is customary to stand while reciting Yishtabach, even [when praying] alone.

א עַד "יִשְׁתַּבַּח" אֵין צָרִיךְ לִשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר1 שֶׁיֵּרֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה כְּלָל,2 אֲבָל כְּשֶׁמַּגִּיעִים לְ"יִשְׁתַּבַּח"3 יֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר לַעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה וְלוֹמַר "יִשְׁתַּבַּח",א וְלֹא יַמְתִּין מִלֵּרֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה עַד הַקַּדִּישׁ שֶׁלְּאַחַר "יִשְׁתַּבַּח",ב לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְהַסְמִיךְ הַקַּדִּישׁ לְ"יִשְׁתַּבַּח" בְּכָל מַה שֶּׁאֶפְשָׁר וְאָסוּר לְהַפְסִיק בֵּינֵיהֶם כְּלָל.ג,4 וְלָכֵן נָהֲגוּ שֶׁהַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר עוֹמֵד גַּם כֵן כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר "יִשְׁתַּבַּח", שֶׁלֹּא לְהַפְסִיק מִישִׁיבָה לַעֲמִידָה בֵּין "יִשְׁתַּבַּח" לַקַּדִּישׁ שֶׁלְּאַחֲרָיו,ד שֶׁהוּא צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אוֹתוֹ בַּעֲמִידָה מִן הַדִּין, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא דָּבָר שֶׁבִּקְדֻשָׁה,ה,5 וְהוּא הַדִּין לְ"בָרְכוּ".

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁאוֹמֵר גּוּף הַקַּדִּישׁ וּ"בָרְכוּ", אֲבָל הַצִּבּוּר שֶׁעוֹנִין אַחֲרָיו יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאֵינָם צְרִיכִים לַעֲמֹד כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן (נ"ה) [נ"ו].ו וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן נּוֹהֲגִין לַעֲמֹד בִּשְׁעַת אֲמִירַת "יִשְׁתַּבַּח",ז אֲפִלּוּ כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר אוֹתוֹ בְּיָחִיד:ח

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2 Although the sheliach tzibbur is required to begin leading the communal prayers only from Yishtabach onward, he must first read for himself [at least]6 a part of the Pesukei DeZimrah and [recite the blessing] Baruch SheAmar before [doing so]. If not, he may not recite the blessing Yishtabach, for it is the concluding blessing of Pesukei DeZimrah, as explained in sec. 51[:1].

One therefore ought to rebuke those who, when traveling and short of time to recite their prayers at length, make the common mistake of beginning with Yishtabach — for they are pronouncing a blessing in vain. Instead, they should recite Baruch SheAmar and [at least] part of Pesukei DeZimrah, as explained in sec. 52[:1], or begin from [the blessing] Yotzer Or.7

ב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר לוֹמַר לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה אֶלָּא מִ"יִשְׁתַּבַּח" וְאֵילָךְ, מִכָּל מָקוֹם צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּקְרָא לְעַצְמוֹ תְּחִלָּה6 קְצָת פְּסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה וּ"בָרוּךְ שֶׁאָמַר" לִפְנֵיהֶם, וְאִם לָאו אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר "יִשְׁתַּבַּח"ט שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה לִפְסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"א.י וְלָכֵן צָרִיךְ לִמְחוֹת בָּרַבִּים שֶׁטּוֹעִים כְּשֶׁהֵם בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְאֵין עֵת לְהַאֲרִיךְ שֶׁמַּתְחִילִין מִ"יִשְׁתַּבַּח" וּמְבָרְכִין בְּרָכָה לְבַטָּלָה,יא אֶלָּא יֹאמְרוּ "בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָמַר" וּקְצָת פְּסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה עַל דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"ב,יב אוֹ יַתְחִילוּ מִ"יוֹצֵר אוֹר":יג,7

3 If a person did not have a tallis available until he reached Yishtabach, he should not recite the blessing for wrapping himself in tzitzis between Pesukei DeZimrah and Yishtabach. Needless to say, [he should not make such an interruption] in the midst of Pesukei DeZimrah,8 because it is forbidden to make an interruption from Baruch SheAmar until the end of Yishtabach even for the sake of a mitzvah, as stated in sec. 51[:4]. Instead, he should recite the blessing between Yishtabach and Yotzer [Or], for then it is permitted to make an interruption for the sake of a mitzvah, as explained in sec. 54[:3].9

To whom does the above apply? To an individual worshiper. If, however, it is the sheliach tzibbur to whom a tallis was not brought until Yishtabach, he should wrap himself in it — with a blessing — before beginning Yishtabach, so that he will be able to recite the Kaddish directly after Yishtabach without making an interruption. [A different ruling applies] if the tallis is brought to him only after he has recited Yishtabach, as explained in sec. 54[:3].

Similarly, if a minyan has not yet assembled in the synagogue, the sheliach tzibbur should wait10 before reciting Yishtabach, remaining silent and not speaking at all until the minyan arrives. [Then] he should say Yishtabach and Kaddish. He may wait and pause for even half an hour,11 which is the time it takes to complete the entire Pesukei DeZimrah from Baruch SheAmar until the end of Yishtabach. Nevertheless, he is not required to return to the beginning [of Baruch SheAmar], since he paused willingly and not because of forces beyond his control, as stated in sec. 65[:1].12 After the fact, [he is also not required to return to the beginning of Baruch SheAmar], even if he paused [for half an hour or more] because of factors beyond his control, e.g., the place [where he was praying] was not clean or the like, in which instance, with regard to the Reading of Shema, some authorities require that one return to the beginning, as stated there. Nevertheless, with regard to Pesukei DeZimrah which is [merely] a Rabbinic institution, one may rely on the more lenient opinions cited there.

ג מִי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לוֹ טַלִּית עַד שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לְ"יִשְׁתַּבַּח" – לֹא יְבָרֵךְ עַל עֲטִיפַת צִיצִיתיד בֵּין פְּסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה לְ"יִשְׁתַּבַּח",טו וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר בְּאֶמְצַע פְּסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה,טז,8 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאָסוּר לְהַפְסִיק מִ"בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָמַר" עַד סוֹף "יִשְׁתַּבַּח" אֲפִלּוּ לְצֹרֶךְ מִצְוָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"א,יז אֶלָּא יְבָרֵךְ בֵּין "יִשְׁתַּבַּח" לְ"יוֹצֵר", שֶׁאָז מֻתָּר לְהַפְסִיק לְצֹרֶךְ מִצְוָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"ד.יח,9

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּיָחִיד, אֲבָל שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁלֹּא הֵבִיאוּ לוֹ טַלִּית עַד "יִשְׁתַּבַּח" – יִתְעַטֵּףיט וִיבָרֵךְכ קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּתְחִיל "יִשְׁתַּבַּח", כְּדֵי שֶׁיֹּאמַר הַקַּדִּישׁ מִיָּד אַחַר "יִשְׁתַּבַּח" וְלֹא יַפְסִיק, אֶלָּא אִם כֵן הֵבִיאוּ לוֹ אַחַר "יִשְׁתַּבַּח" כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"ד.כא

וְכֵן אִם אֵין מִנְיַן בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת – יַמְתִּין הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִּבּוּר10 עִם "יִשְׁתַּבַּח"כב וְיִשְׁתֹּק וְלֹא יְדַבֵּר כְּלוּם עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא מִנְיַן, וְיֹאמַר "יִשְׁתַּבַּח" וְקַדִּישׁ, וְיָכוֹל לְהַמְתִּין וְלִשְׁהוֹת אֲפִלּוּ חֲצִי שָׁעָהכג,11 שֶׁזֶּהוּ שִׁעוּר כְּדֵי לִגְמֹר אֶת כָּל פְּסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה מִ"בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָמַר" עַד סוֹף "יִשְׁתַּבַּח",כד וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן אֵין צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר לָרֹאשׁ הוֹאִיל וְשָׁהָה בִּרְצוֹנוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מֵחֲמַת אֹנֶס כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ס"ה.כה,12 וּבְדִיעֲבַד אֲפִלּוּ שָׁהָה מֵחֲמַת אֹנֶס,כו כְּגוֹן שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה הַמָּקוֹם נָקִי וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה,כז בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁבִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה יֵשׁ שֶׁמַּצְרִיכִים לַחֲזֹר לָרֹאשׁכח כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר שָׁם, מִכָּל מָקוֹם בִּפְסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָה שֶׁהֵם מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִיםכט – יֵשׁ לִסְמֹךְ עַל דִּבְרֵי הַמְּקִלִּין שָׁם:ל

4 A sheliach tzibbur must be worthy [of the position]. [In this vein,] on the verse,13 “She raised up her voice against Me — therefore I hated her,” our Sages comment,14 “This alludes to a sheliach tzibbur who is not worthy and yet leads the congregation in prayer.”

What is meant by “being worthy?” He should be untainted by sin; his life story should be honorable, i.e., disparaging reports should not have circulated about him even in his youth; and he should be humble and well-liked by the congregation so that they are agreeable to his representing them in prayer. He should have a pleasant tone and a sweet voice that appeals to the heart, and he should be accustomed to reading the Torah, the Prophets, and the Holy Writings, so that he will be familiar with the verses cited in the prayers.

ד שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הָגוּן,לא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:לב,13 "נָתְנָה עָלַי בְּקוֹלָהּ עַל כֵּן שְׂנֵאתִיהָ", וְאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים:לג,14 זֶה שְׁלִיחַ צִּבּוּר שֶׁאֵינוֹ הָגוּן וְיוֹרֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה.

וְאֵיזֶהוּ הָגוּןלד? שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רֵיקָן מֵעֲבֵרוֹת,לה וְשֶׁיִּהְיֶה פִּרְקוֹ נָאֶה,לו דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁלֹּא יָצָא עָלָיו שֵׁם רַע אֲפִלּוּ בְּיַלְדוּתוֹ, וְשֶׁיִּהְיֶה עָנָו וּמְרֻצֶּה לָעָם כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּסְכִּימוּ לִתְפִלָּתוֹ, וְיֵשׁ לוֹ נְעִימָה וְקוֹל עָרֵב שֶׁמּוֹשֵׁךְ הַלֵּב,לז וְרָגִיל לִקְרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה נְבִיאִים וּכְתוּבִים, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַפְּסוּקִים שֶׁל תְּפִלָּה סְדוּרִים בְּפִיו:לח

5 If a person with all of these qualities cannot be found, they should choose the foremost person in the community with regard to wisdom and good deeds. If, in a given community, the choice is between an unlettered elder who possesses a pleasant voice and is desired by the congregation, and a thirteen-year-old youth who understands what he is saying but does not have a pleasant voice, the latter is to be given precedence over the unlearned elder, for he knows [the meaning of] the prayers he recites.

ה אִם אֵין מוֹצְאִין מִי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בּוֹ כָּל הַמִּדּוֹת הַלָּלוּ – יִבְחֲרוּ הַטּוֹב שֶׁבַּצִּבּוּר בְּחָכְמָה וּמַעֲשִׂים טוֹבִים.לט וְאִם הָיָה כָּאן עַם הָאָרֶץ זָקֵן וְקוֹלוֹ נָעִים וְהָעָם חֲפֵצִים בּוֹ וּבֶן י"ג שָׁנָה הַמֵּבִין מַה שֶּׁהוּא אוֹמֵר וְאֵין קוֹלוֹ נָעִים – הוּא קוֹדֵם לְעַם הָאָרֶץ הַזָּקֵן, כִּי יוֹדֵעַ מַה מִּתְפַּלֵּל:מ

6 A person who transgressed inadvertently — even by committing unwitting manslaughter — and repented, is permitted to serve as a sheliach tzibbur, for the appellation “who does not have an honorable life story” is applied only to a person whose actions are habitually dishonorable. In the case of a person, however, where an [undesirable] deed inadvertently came his way and he regrets it, he is a completely right­eous man with regard to the entire Torah. If, by contrast, he willfully transgressed (many times), even though he later repented completely, he should not be appointed as sheliach tzibbur for, after all, disparaging reports had circulated about him before he repented and it cannot [be said] that he “has an honorable life story.” Conversely, if a person was compelled to violate a transgression — even if he apostatized under duress — and repented, he may serve as a permanent sheliach tzibbur.

All the above relates to the initial appointment of a person as a sheliach tzibbur. [If, however, one had already been appointed,] he should not be discharged because disparaging reports circulated about him in his adolescence or even if they recently circulated and [the matter] became known. If disparaging reports are circulated about him concerning the present time and the rumor does not cease (and he does not have enemies who would spread such a rumor),15 even one person may protest and have him removed.16

If on many occasions [an animal designated kosher] by the sheliach tzibbur was discovered to be treifah, he should be removed from his position. He should not be reinstated [as a sheliach tzibbur] even if he repents in a manner that qualifies him to be reinstated as a ritual slaughterer and kashrus inspector.17 Since a disparaging report about him circulated once and he was dismissed, as an initial option he should not be reappointed.

ו מִי שֶׁעָבַר עֲבֵרָה בְּשׁוֹגֵג,מא אֲפִלּוּ הָרַג נֶפֶשׁ בִּשְׁגָגָה וְחָזַר בִּתְשׁוּבָה – מֻתָּר לִהְיוֹת שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא נִקְרָא "אֵין פִּרְקוֹ נָאֶה"מב אֶלָּא מִי שֶׁמּוּעָד לַעֲשׂוֹת דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינָם מְהֻגָּנִים, אֲבָל מִי שֶׁבָּאָה לְיָדוֹ שִׁגְגַת מַעֲשֶׂה וּמִתְחָרֵט – הֲרֵי זֶה צַדִּיק גָּמוּר לְכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ. אֲבָל אִם עָשָׂה בְּמֵזִידמג (פְּעָמִים רַבּוֹת),מד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאַחַר כָּךְ עָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה גְּמוּרָהמה – אֵין מְמַנִּין אוֹתוֹ שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר, שֶׁהֲרֵי מִכָּל מָקוֹם יָצָא עָלָיו שֵׁם רַע קֹדֶם הַתְּשׁוּבָה וְלֹא הָיָה פִּרְקוֹ נָאֶה. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם עָבַר עֲבֵרָה בְּאֹנֶס אֲפִלּוּ הֵמִיר בְּאֹנֶס וְשָׁב – יָכוֹל לִהְיוֹת שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר קָבוּעַ.מו

וְכָל זֶה לְמַנּוֹתוֹ שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר לְכַתְּחִלָּה, אֲבָל אֵין מַעֲבִירִין אוֹתוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֵׁם רַע שֶׁיָּצָא עָלָיו בְּיַלְדוּתוֹ,מז אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ יָצָא עָלָיו מִקָּרוֹב וְיָדוּעַ. וְאִם יוֹצֵא עָלָיו שֵׁם רַע עַתָּה, וְהוּא קוֹל שֶׁאֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵק (וְאֵין לוֹ אוֹיְבִים הַמּוֹצִיאִים קוֹל)מח,15 – אֲפִלּוּ יָחִיד יָכוֹל לִמְחוֹת לְהַעֲבִירוֹ.מט,16

וּשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁיָּצָא פְּעָמִים רַבּוֹת טְרֵפָה מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ – מְסַלְּקִין אוֹתוֹ מִשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר,נ וְאֵין מַחֲזִירִין אוֹתוֹ אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה תְּשׁוּבָה הַמַּכְשַׁרְתּוֹנא לִהְיוֹת שׁוֹחֵט וּבוֹדֵק כְּבַתְּחִלָּה,נב,17 כֵּיוָן שֶׁכְּבָר יָצָא עָלָיו שֵׁם רַע פַּעַם אַחַת וְסִלְּקוּהוּ – שׁוּב אֵין מְמַנִּין אוֹתוֹ לְכַתְּחִלָּה:

7 It is fitting that a sheliach tzibbur should be the first [worshiper] to enter the synagogue and the last to leave. It is desirable to seek the son of a righteous man [to serve as] a sheliach tzibbur, for “the prayers of a righteous man who is the son of a righteous man incomparably [surpass the prayers of a righteous man who is the son of a wicked man].”18

There are, however, those who maintain that the prayers of a righteous man who is the son of a wicked man on behalf of the community will be heeded more than those of the son of a righteous man. For since the former does not have ancestral merit to rely on, he will be humble when praying. Instead of relying on the deeds of his forebears for [the acceptance of] his prayers, [he will appeal to] the kindness of the Holy One, blessed be He.19 (With regard to practice, everything depends on the degree of humility the one possesses and the degree of righteousness of the other’s forebears.)

ז רָאוּי לִשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת רִאשׁוֹן וְיֵצֵא אַחֲרוֹן.נג וְטוֹב לַחֲזֹר אַחַר שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר בֶּן צַדִּיק,נד כִּי אֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה תְּפִלַּת צַדִּיק בֶּן צַדִּיק כו'.נה,18 וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםנו שֶׁצַּדִּיק בֶּן רָשָׁע תְּפִלָּתוֹ עַל הַצִּבּוּר יוֹתֵר נִשְׁמַעַת מִתְּפִלַּת בֶּן צַדִּיק, לְפִי שֶׁמִּתּוֹךְ שֶׁאֵין לוֹ זְכוּת אָבוֹת הוּא שְׁפַל רוּחַ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ, שֶׁאֵין בּוֹטֵחַ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ עַל מַעֲשֵׂה אֲבוֹתָיו כְּמוֹ בֶּן צַדִּיק כִּי אִם עַל חַסְדּוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּאנז,19 (וּלְעִנְיַן מַעֲשֵׂה הַכֹּל לְפִי עִנְיַן שִׁפְלוּת רוּחַ שֶׁל זֶה וְצִדְקַת אֲבוֹתָיו שֶׁל זֶה):

8 Physical blemishes disqualify only kohanim [from blessing the people],20 but not a sheliach tzibbur. Nevertheless, [a congregation] should take care [not to appoint a sheliach tzibbur] with obvious physical blemishes,21 in the spirit of the verse,22 “Present it, please, to your governor: would he be pleased with you?”

ח אֵין מוּמִין פּוֹסְלִין אֶלָּא בְּכֹהֲנִים20 אֲבָל לֹא בִּשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר.נח וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן יֵשׁ לִזָּהֵרנט בְּמוּמִין הַגְּלוּיִים,ס,21 מִשּׁוּם22 "הַקְרִיבֵהוּ נָא לְפֶחָתֶךָ הֲיִרְצְךָ וְגו'":סא

9 A person whose beard is not fully grown should not be appointed as a sheliach tzibbur,23 out of respect for the congregation.24 Even if [they are] willing to forego the honor due them, this is forbidden.

When does the above apply? To a permanent sheliach tzibbur. On occasion, however, as soon as one has shown signs of physical maturity25 he may lead congregational prayer, as long as he is not appointed by the community or by the [regular] sheliach tzibbur in order to relieve [the latter’s burden] by leading the prayers [instead of] him at [designated] times — for this is also considered as a permanent appointment with regard to those times.

If, however, the community or the sheliach tzibbur appoints [such a youth] to be prepared [to lead the services] at times when the sheliach tzibbur is not present in the synagogue, this is not considered a permanent appointment, for it is possible that the occasion will never arise [for him to be called upon]. The Sages forbade [an appointment of such a youth] only [when he serves] at predetermined times, for in relation to those times, his appointment is of a permanent nature.

The above applies throughout the year. On a [communal] fast day,26 the initial and preferred option is for the sheliach tzibbur to actually be an elderly man, as explained in sec. 579,27 or the individual in the community most distinguished [for his spiritual refinement]. Similarly, on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, it is desirable that a distinguished person serve as the sheliach tzibbur if possible.28

ט אֵין מְמַנִּין אֶלָּא מִי שֶׁנִּתְמַלֵּא זְקָנוֹ,סב,23 מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹד הַצִּבּוּר.סג,24 וַאֲפִלּוּ הַצִּבּוּר מוֹחֲלִין עַל כְּבוֹדָם – אָסוּר.סד בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּשְּׁלִיחַ צִּבּוּר קָבוּעַ, אֲבָל בְּאַקְרַאי יָכוֹל לֵירֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָהסה מִשֶּׁהֵבִיא ב' שְׂעָרוֹת,סו,25 וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִתְמַנֶּה מִפִּי הַצִּבּוּר אוֹ מִפִּי שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר הַמְמַנֶּה אוֹתוֹ לְהָקֵל מֵעָלָיו לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בַּעֲדוֹ לְעִתִּים,סז שֶׁזֶּהוּ גַּם כֵן קְבִיעוּת לְאוֹתָם הָעִתִּים. אֲבָל אִם מִנּוּהוּ הַצִּבּוּר אוֹ הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הוּא מוּכָן לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְעָמִים כְּשֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת – אֵין זֶה נִקְרָא קְבִיעוּת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי כָּךְ. וְלֹא אָסְרוּ אֶלָּא לְעִתִּים יְדוּעִים, שֶׁלְּאוֹתוֹ עֵת הוּא קָבוּעַ בְּוַדַּאי.סח

וְכָל זֶה בְּכָל הַשָּׁנָה, אֲבָל בַּתַּעֲנִית26 – צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת זָקֵן מַמָּשׁ שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר לְכַתְּחִלָּהסט כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תקע"ט,ע,27 אוֹ הַמֻּפְלָג שֶׁבַּצִּבּוּר.עא וְהוּא הַדִּין בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְיוֹם כִּפּוּר – טוֹב שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אָדָם מֻפְלָג שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר אִם אֶפְשָׁר:עב,28

10 If there is no one [in a particular congregation] who knows how to serve as a sheliach tzibbur except [a youth who] is [only] thirteen years29 old, it is preferable that he serve as the sheliach tzibbur even though he does not have a beard than that [the congregation] be prevented from hearing Kedushah and Kaddish.

י אִם אֵין שָׁם מִי שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ לִהְיוֹת שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר כִּי אִם בֶּן י"ג שָׁנָה וְיוֹם אֶחָד29 – מוּטָב שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הוּא שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ זָקָן מִשֶּׁיִתְבַּטְּלוּ מִלִּשְׁמֹעַ קְדֻשָּׁה וְקַדִּישׁ:עג

11 Even though a person does not actually have a beard, if it is apparent that he has reached the age at which it is appropriate for his beard to have grown fully, it is as if his beard is fully grown.30 Therefore a man of 20, even though he does not have a beard, may be appointed. Similarly, if a youth of 18 or more has even a small beard, it is considered as if his beard has grown fully.

יא מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ בַּעַל זָקָן, כָּל שֶׁנִּכָּר בּוֹ שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לִכְלַל שָׁנִים שֶׁרָאוּי לְהִתְמַלְּאוּת זְקָנוֹ – הֲרֵי זֶה כְּאִלּוּ נִתְמַלֵּא זְקָנוֹ.עד,30 לְפִיכָךְ בֶּן כ' שָׁנָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ זָקָן – מְמַנִּין אוֹתוֹ. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה לוֹ זָקָן אֲפִלּוּ מְעַט – הֲרֵי זֶה כְּנִתְמַלֵּא זְקָנוֹעה אִם הוּא מִבֶּן י"ח שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה:עו

12 Some authorities maintain that a eunuch31 may be appointed [as a sheliach tzibbur] if he is [at least] 20 years old, for then he is considered an adult, provided the physical signs of his [maturity] are recognizable. If they are not recognizable, he is not considered as an adult until the majority of his lifetime passes, as will be explained in Even HaEzer, sec. 172.32 Other authorities maintain that even though [he reaches the appropriate age], it does not befit a congregation to appoint a eunuch [as a sheliach tzibbur].

יב סָרִיס, יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים31 שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְמַנּוֹתוֹ אִם הוּא בֶּן עֶשְׂרִים,עז שֶׁאָז נַעֲשָׂה גָּדוֹל. וְהוּא שֶׁנִּרְאוּ בּוֹ סִימָנֵי סָרִיס,עח וְאִם לֹא נִרְאָה בּוֹ – אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא גָּדוֹל עַד שֶׁיַּעַבְרוּ רֹב שְׁנוֹתָיו, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּאה"ע סִימָן קע"ב.עט,32 וְיֵשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵרפ שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי כֵן אֵין זֶה כְּבוֹד הַצִּבּוּר לְמַנּוֹת סָרִיס:פא

13 It is possible to find a redeeming quality in [the conduct of] those communities that follow the custom of allowing a minor to lead the congregational prayers for the Evening Service on Motzaei Shabbos.33 For [such minors] do not fulfill any obligations on behalf of the congregation, since they do not repeat the Shemoneh Esreh; they only recite Barchu and Kaddish.

[Nevertheless,] in places where this custom is not practiced, a minor should not lead the congregation, not even in the Evening Service. (The rationale is [that he is not fit to say] Barchu in that [service]. Similarly, he should not be poreis al Shema34 for someone who did not hear Barchu in the Morning Service. The Barchu recited in the Morning and Evening Service does not resemble the Barchu recited [before the blessings for] the communal Torah Reading which may be recited by a minor, for this obligation is primarily incumbent only on the person receiving the aliyah35 to read from the Torah.36 [The Barchu recited] in the morning and evening, by contrast, is an obligation for the entire congregation to hear.)37 A minor who himself is not obligated [to recite this prayer] cannot fulfill the obligation on behalf of others.

Even a youth who will become thirteen on Shabbos should not [lead] the Evening Service of Shabbos in places where it is customary to recite the Shabbos prayers on Friday while it is still day,38 as an addition to Shabbos.39 For he will not complete his thirteenth year until Friday night and the [optional preliminary] addition to Shabbos has no effect on [our calculation of] the boy’s age. If, however, [the congregation] recites the Evening Service at night, he may lead the communal prayers.

Our Sages’ statement40 [that a minor comes of age at] “thirteen years and one day” does not require an additional day after the completion of his thirteenth year. Rather, it implies that thirteen complete years from day to day are required and not that one day of the thirteenth year is considered as a year. Indeed, immediately upon the arrival of the beginning of his date of birth [when] he will have completed thirteen years of life, the part of that date that has already arrived is considered as a full day. Thus [the boy] is considered to be thirteen years and one day old. It is not necessary for him to be thirteen years old from minute to minute.41 Sec. 55[:6] discusses whether an examination is necessary [to ascertain] whether a minor has manifested signs of physical maturity.42

יג יֵשׁ לְלַמֵּד זְכוּת עַל מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין שֶׁהַקְּטַנִּים יוֹרְדִים לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל עַרְבִית בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת,פב,33 לְפִי שֶׁאֵין מוֹצִיאִין אֶת הָרַבִּים יְדֵי חוֹבָתָן,פג שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָן מַחֲזִירִין אֶת הַתְּפִלָּה רַק שֶׁאוֹמְרִים "בָּרְכוּ" וְקַדִּישׁ.פד וּבִמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁלֹּא נָהֲגוּ כֵן – אֵין לַקָּטָן לַעֲבֹר לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה אֲפִלּוּ בִּתְפִלַּת עַרְבִיתפה (מִשּׁוּם "בָּרְכוּ" שֶׁבָּהּ.פו וְהוּא הַדִּין שֶׁלֹּא יִפְרֹס עַל שְׁמַעפז,34 לְמִי שֶׁלֹּא שָׁמַע "בָּרְכוּ" בְּשַׁחֲרִית.פח וְאֵין "בָּרְכוּ" שֶׁל תְּפִלַּת שַׁחֲרִית וְעַרְבִית דּוֹמֶה לְ"בָרְכוּ" שֶׁל קְרִיאַת הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁקָּטָן יָכוֹל לְאָמְרָהּ,פט לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ חוֹבָה כָּל כָּךְ אֶלָּא עַל הָעוֹלֶה35 לִקְרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה,צ,36 אֲבָל אֵלּוּ הֵן חוֹבָה עַל כָּל צִּבּוּר לְשָׁמְעָן שַׁחֲרִית וְעַרְבִית),צא,37 וְקָטָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב – אֵינוֹ מוֹצִיאָם יְדֵי חוֹבָתָן.צב

וַאֲפִלּוּ מִי שֶׁמַּגִּיעַ לִכְלַל י"ג שָׁנָה בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת – אֵין לוֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל עַרְבִית שֶׁל שַׁבָּתצג בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין לְהִתְפַּלֵּל שֶׁל שַׁבָּת בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם38 מִשּׁוּם תּוֹסֶפֶת שַׁבָּת,צד,39 שֶׁהֲרֵי עֲדַיִן לֹא נִשְׁלְמוּ לוֹ י"ג שָׁנָה עַד לֵיל שַׁבָּת, שֶׁתּוֹסֶפֶת שַׁבָּת אֵינָהּ מוֹעִיל לְעִנְיַן שְׁנוֹת יְמֵי הַנַּעַר.צה אֲבָל אִם מִתְפַּלֵּל בַּלַּיְלָה עַרְבִית – מֻתָּר לֵירֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה.צו

וּמַה שֶּׁאָמְרוּ:צז,40 י"ג שָׁנָה וְיוֹם אֶחָד, לֹא שֶׁצָּרִיךְ יוֹם אֶחָד יוֹתֵר עַל י"ג שָׁנָה,צח אֶלָּא לוֹמַר שֶׁצָּרִיךְ י"ג שָׁנָה שְׁלֵמוֹת מִיּוֹם אֶל יוֹם וְלֹא שֶׁיּוֹם אֶחָד בִּשְׁנַת י"ג נֶחְשָׁב שָׁנָה. אֲבָל מִיָּד שֶׁהִגִּיעַ תְּחִלַּת כְּנִיסַת הַיּוֹם שֶׁנּוֹלַד בּוֹ וְכָלוּ בּוֹ י"ג שָׁנָה שְׁלֵמוֹת – הֲרֵי מִקְצָת כְּנִיסַת הַיּוֹם זֶה נֶחְשָׁב כְּיוֹם שָׁלֵם וַהֲרֵי הוּא בֶּן י"ג וְיוֹם אֶחָד,צט וְאֵין צָרִיךְ י"ג שָׁנָה מֵעֵת לְעֵת.41 וְאִם צָרִיךְ לִבְדֹּק אִם הֵבִיא ב' שְׂעָרוֹת – יִתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"ה:ק,42

14 [The following principles apply when] a sheliach tzibbur prolongs his prayers so that [the congregation] hear his sweet voice. If he does so because he is happy at heart for giving thanks to the Holy One, blessed be He, in pleasant [song], may blessings light upon him, provided he prays earnestly and stands [before Him] in dread and awe. If, however, his intention is that his voice be heard and he is happy with its sound, this is dishonorable.43 Of him Scripture says,13 “She raised up her voice against Me, therefore I hated her.” In any case, any [sheliach tzibbur] who prolongs his prayers [unduly] is not acting in a desirable manner, because this is an imposition on the congregation.

יד שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁמַּאֲרִיךְ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׁמְעוּ קוֹלוֹ הֶעָרֵב,קא אִם הוּא מֵחֲמַת שֶׁשָּׂמֵחַ בְּלִבּוֹ עַל שֶׁנּוֹתֵן הוֹדָאָה לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בִּנְעִימָה – תָּבוֹא עָלָיו בְּרָכָה. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל בְּכֹבֶד רֹאשׁקב וְעוֹמֵד בְּאֵימָה וְיִרְאָה,קג אֲבָל אִם מְכַוֵּן לְהַשְׁמִיעַ קוֹלוֹ וְשָׂמֵחַ בְּקוֹלוֹ – הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה,43 וְעָלָיו נֶאֱמַרקד,13 "נָתְנָה עָלַי בְּקוֹלָהּ עַל כֵּן שְׂנֵאתִיהָ". וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, כָּל שֶׁמַּאֲרִיךְ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ – לֹא טוֹב הוּא עוֹשֶׂה, מִפְּנֵי טֹרַח הַצִּבּוּר:קה

15 A person who has a pleasant voice should sing joyous songs to the Holy One, blessed be He, and not other songs.

If one [must] spit, he should wipe his mouth and afterwards pray.44

טו מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ קוֹל נָעִים – יְרַנֵּן לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, וְלֹא שְׁאָר רְנָנוֹת.קו

וְאִם רָק – יְקַנֵּחַ וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִתְפַּלֵּל:קז,44

16 People who do not articulate correctly and who mispronounce letters, such as those who read an alef as an ayin and an ayin as an alef,45 may not be appointed [to serve as sheliach tzibbur].46 This also applies to a person who pronounces a ches as a hei. If, however, all the people [in any particular region] speak in this manner, it is permitted for [such a person] to serve there as a sheliach tzibbur. They are not required to bring a sheliach tzibbur from elsewhere.

טז אֵין מְמַנִּין לַעֲגֵי שָׂפָה46 שֶׁאֵינָן יוֹדְעִין לְחַתֵּךְ הָאוֹתִיּוֹת,קח כְּגוֹן אֵלּוּ שֶׁקּוֹרִין לְאַלְפִי"ן עַיְּנִי"ן וּלְעַיְּינִי"ן אַלְפִי"ן.קט,45 וְהוּא הַדִּין לְמִי שֶׁקּוֹרֵא לְחֵתִי"ן הֵהִי"ן.קי וְאִם כֻּלָּם מְדַבְּרִים כָּךְ – מֻתָּר לִהְיוֹת שָׁם שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר,קיא וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לְהָבִיא לָהֶם שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר:

17 A person whose clothes are torn and whose arms are uncovered should not lead the prayers,2 out of respect for the congregation. It is fitting that a sheliach tzibbur wear long clothes (unless he wears socks47) so that his legs not be seen.

יז פּוֹחֵחַ וְהוּא מִי שֶׁבִּגְדוֹ קָרוּעַ וּזְרוֹעוֹתָיו מְגֻלִּים – לֹא יֵרֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָהקיב,2 מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹד הַצִּבּוּר.קיג וְרָאוּי לִשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ בְּגָדִים אֲרֻכִּים, שֶׁלֹּא יֵרָאוּ רַגְלָיוקיד (אִם הוֹלֵךְ בְּלֹא אַנְפִּילָאוֹת):קטו,47

18 A blind man may lead the congregation in prayer, for he is obligated to observe all the mitzvos and may fulfill the obligations of others on their behalf. The laws governing his receiving an aliyah to read from the Torah are explained in sec. 141.48

יח סוּמָא יוֹרֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה,קטז מִפְּנֵי שֶׁחַיָּב בְּכָל הַמִצְווֹתקיז וְיָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיא אֶת הָרַבִּים יְדֵי חוֹבָתָן.קיח וְאִם יָכוֹל לַעֲלוֹת וְלִקְרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה – יִתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קמ"א:קיט,48

19 A permanently appointed sheliach tzibbur should step forward to lead the communal prayers on his own initiative. He should not wait until he is told to do so, because this would make it appear that he does not rely on the word of the congregation that appointed him to this position. A person who is not an appointed permanent sheliach tzibbur should decline somewhat before [consenting to] lead the congregation in prayer.49 He should not, however, refuse excessively. Rather, the first time [he is asked] he should refuse and decline [the honor] entirely, as if to say, “I am unworthy of this.” When he is asked a second time, he should prepare himself as if he desires to rise [and accept], and the third time, he should rise [and accept].

If the person who asks him to lead the prayers is a man of stature, he should not decline at all, for “one should not refuse a man of stature,”50 except with regard to a matter that would imply arrogance or the assumption of authority, as will be explained in sec. 170.51

יט שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר קָבוּעַ יוֹרֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה מֵעַצְמוֹ וְלֹא יַמְתִּין עַד שֶׁיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ,קכ לְפִי שֶׁנִּרְאֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ סוֹמֵךְ עַל דִּבּוּר הַצִּבּוּר שֶׁמִּנּוּהוּ לְכָךְ.קכא אֲבָל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר קָבוּעַ – צָרִיךְ לְסָרֵב מְעַט קֹדֶם שֶׁיּוֹרֵד לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה.קכב,49 וְלֹא יְסָרֵב יוֹתֵר מִדַּאי, אֶלָּא פַּעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה מְסָרֵב וּמְמָאֵן לְגַמְרֵי, כְּלוֹמַר אֵינִי כְּדַאי לְכָךְ,קכג וּכְשֶׁיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ פַּעַם שֵׁנִית – מֵכִין עַצְמוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁרוֹצֶה לַעֲמֹד, וּבְפַעַם שְׁלִישִׁי יַעֲמֹד. וְאִם הָאוֹמֵר לוֹ שֶׁיֵּרֵד הוּא אָדָם גָּדוֹל – אֵינוֹ מְסָרֵב לוֹ כְּלָל,קכד שֶׁאֵין מְסָרְבִין לְגָדוֹלקכה,50 אֶלָּא בְּדָבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ גַּסּוּת וּשְׂרָרָהקכו כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ק"ע:קכז,51

20 If the sheliach tzibbur errs and another person must be appointed in his stead,52 the [latter] person should not refuse at all, for it is shameful that the [communal] prayers be interrupted to that extent.

כ אִם טָעָה הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּרקכח וּצְרִיכִין לְהַעֲמִיד אַחֵר תַּחְתָּיוקכט,52 – אוֹתוֹ שֶׁמַּעֲמִידִין תַּחְתָּיו לֹא יְסָרֵב כְּלָל, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁגְּנַאי הוּא שֶׁתְּהֵא הַתְּפִלָּה מֻפְסֶקֶת כָּל כָּךְ:קל

21 If a person says, “I will not lead the communal prayers because [I am wearing] colored garments” or “because of the sandals on my feet,” he should not lead the congregation at that service at all, whether [wearing] colored garments or white ones, whether wearing sandals or barefoot. [The rationale is that] it is the manner of heretics to be particular about such matters and we suspect that heretical thoughts might have taken hold of him [at that time].

[This restriction applies] even though he explains his words and appears to show that he is acting in reverence for the Omnipresent and acting in a humble manner by wearing white garments. Nevertheless, since the congregation is asking him to pray on their behalf [when dressed] in this manner, it would not be appropriate for him to refuse on these grounds unless heretical thoughts had taken hold of him.

כא הָאוֹמֵר אֵינִי עוֹבֵר לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבְּגָדַי צְבוּעִים אוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַסַּנְדָּל שֶׁבְּרַגְלַיקלא – לֹא יֵרֵד בְּאוֹתוֹ הַתְּפִלָּה כְּלָל,קלב לֹא בִּצְבוּעִים וְלֹא בִּלְבָנִים, וְלֹא בְּסַנְדָּל וְלֹא יָחֵף,קלג מִפְּנֵי שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ הָאֶפִּיקוֹרְסִין לְהַקְפִּיד בְּכָךְ וְחוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא אֶפִּיקוֹרְסוּת נִזְרְקָה בּוֹ.קלד וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנּוֹתֵן טַעַם לִדְבָרָיו וּמַרְאֶה פָּנִים שֶׁלִּכְבוֹד הַמָּקוֹם עוֹשֶׂה כֵן וְדֶרֶךְ עֲנָוָה הוּא אוֹחֵז לִלְבֹּשׁ לְבָנִים,קלה מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַצִּבּוּר מְבַקְשִׁים מִמֶּנּוּ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לָהֶם כָּךְ – אֵין רָאוּי לוֹ לִהְיוֹת סָרְבָן מִפְּנֵי דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ, אִם לֹא שֶׁאֶפִּיקוֹרְסוּת נִזְרְקָה בּוֹ:

22 Some authorities bar a convert from serving as a sheliach tzibbur, [claiming] that he cannot say “the G‑d of our ancestors.”53 Their claim has been refuted, for converts can also say “the G‑d of our ancestors,” as implied by the phrase [addressed to Abraham],54 “I have made you the father of a multitude of nations” — that is to say, “From now on, you are the father of all gentiles who will convert.”

כב יֵשׁ מוֹנְעִים גֵּר מִלִּהְיוֹת שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר,קלו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר "אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ".53 וְנִדְחוּ דִּבְרֵיהֶםקלז שֶׁאַף הַגֵּרִים יְכוֹלִים לוֹמַר "אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ", שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:קלח,54 "כִּי אַב הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם נְתַתִּיךָ", כְּלוֹמַר מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ אַתָּה אָב לְכָל הַגּוֹיִם שֶׁיִּתְגַּיְּרוּ:

23 Even one individual can obstruct [an appointment] by saying, “I do not want so-and-so to be the sheliach tzibbur,” unless he agreed to his appointment at the outset. The majority of the congregation may retract [their consent] even after they [initially] agreed.55

Similarly, all [communal] appointments — even that of a person who teaches Torah publicly — may be obstructed by one individual, provided that he desires to appoint a different person as a sheliach tzibbur or as a rav and there is another candidate who can be hired at the same wage as the one desired by the majority of the community.56

If a person was removed from his position and remained [dismissed] for a time with the consent of the congregation and then they sought to reappoint him, it is as if he was being appointed initially and even one [member of the community] may obstruct [the appointment]. This ruling also applies to a person who was appointed at the outset for a certain term and that term was completed.

In all situations, one individual can obstruct [an appointment] only when he has a valid reason and explains [it] to the communal leaders.57 If they see that his argument is legitimate and that it is appropriate for him to obstruct [the appointment] for this reason, they should give weight to his words and withhold the appointment.

If an individual dislikes [a candidate for the position of] sheliach tzibbur, he may object to his appointment [to this position]. If, however, the appointment was already agreed upon and [only] afterwards this individual became his enemy, he may not object. Nonetheless, the sheliach tzibbur must state verbally that he will remove anger from his heart and that he will [include him] when fulfilling the obligations [of the congregants] with his prayers.

Now, all of the above applied in the earlier eras when everyone’s intentions were directed for the sake of Heaven. In the present era, if we would be concerned about the objections of one person, it would never be possible to arrive at a consensus concerning any appointment. For everyone would point out the blemishes of the various candidates,58 one person objecting to this one’s candidate, and another objecting to another one’s candidate. It has therefore become customary to follow the wishes of the majority of those who pay the wages of the sheliach tzibbur, even if they include relatives who would be disqualified from testifying [together or for one another]. Some communities appoint 11 or 13 people to [make these decisions]. [In either case] the entire purpose is to avert strife, and no attention is paid to [the objections of] the minorities.

כג אֲפִלּוּ יָחִיד יָכוֹל לְעַכֵּב וְלוֹמַר אֵינִי רוֹצֶה שֶׁפְּלוֹנִי יִהְיֶה שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר,קלט אִם לֹא שֶׁהִסְכִּים עָלָיו מִתְּחִלָּה. וְרַבִּים יְכוֹלִים לַחֲזֹר בָּהֶם אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר שֶׁהִסְכִּימוּ.קמ,55 וְגַם בְּכָל הַמִּנּוּיִים יָכוֹל יָחִיד לְעַכֵּב,קמא וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּמַרְבִּיץ תּוֹרָה,קמב וְהוּא שֶׁרוֹצֶה לְקַבֵּל שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר אוֹ רַב אַחֵרקמג וְיֵשׁ אַחֵר לִשְׂכֹּר בְּדָמָיו שֶׁל זֶהקמד שֶׁרֹב הַצִּבּוּר חֲפֵצִים בּוֹ.56 וְכָל מִי שֶׁהֶעֱבִירוּהוּ וְעָמַד כָּךְ יָמִים בְּהַסְכָּמַת הַקָּהָל וְאַחַר כָּךְ רוֹצִים לַחֲזֹר וּלְמַנּוֹתוֹ – הֲרֵי זוֹ כִּתְחִלַּת קַבָּלָה,קמה וַאֲפִלּוּ יָחִיד יָכוֹל לְעַכֵּב. וְהוּא הַדִּין אִם מִנּוּהוּ תְּחִלָּה לִזְמַן וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִשְׁלַם הַזְּמַן.קמו

וְאֵין הַיָּחִיד יָכוֹל לְעַכֵּב בְּכָל מָקוֹם, אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ טַעַם הָגוּן וְיַצִּיעַ טַעְמוֹ לִפְנֵי טוֹבֵי הָעִיר,קמז,57 וְאִם יִרְאוּ שֶׁדְּבָרָיו נְכוֹנִים שֶׁרָאוּי לוֹ לְעַכֵּב מִטַּעַם זֶה – יָחוּשׁוּ לִדְבָרָיו וְלֹא יְמַנּוּהוּ. וְאִם הוּא שׂוֹנֵא לְהַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר – יָכוֹל לִמְחוֹת שֶׁלֹּא יְמַנּוּהוּ לִשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר.קמח אֲבָל אִם כְּבָר הִסְכִּימוּ עָלָיו וְאַחַר כָּךְ נַעֲשָׂה שׂוֹנְאוֹ – אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִמְחוֹת, אֶלָּא הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר מְחֻיָּב לוֹמַר בְּפִיו שֶׁיָּסִיר הַקִּנְאָה מִלִּבּוֹ וְיוֹצִיאֶנּוּ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ.

וְכָל זֶה בַּיָּמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים שֶׁהָיוּ הַכֹּל מִתְכַּוְּנִים לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם,קמט אֲבָל עַכְשָׁו אִם הָיוּ חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְדִבְרֵי יָחִיד – לְעוֹלָם לֹא הָיוּ יְכוֹלִין לְהַשְׁווֹת לְמַנּוֹת שׁוּם מִנּוּי, כִּי כָּל אֶחָד הָיָה מֵטִיל מוּם בַּקֳּדָשִׁים58 וְזֶה מוֹחֶה בְּשֶׁל זֶה וְזֶה מוֹחֶה בְּשֶׁל זֶה, לְפִיכָךְ נּוֹהֲגִין לֵילֵךְ אַחַר רֹב דֵּעוֹת שֶׁל פּוֹרְעֵי שְׂכַר הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר אֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ פְּסוּלֵי קֻרְבָה בֵּינֵיהֶם.קנ וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת מְמַנִּין י"א אוֹ י"ג אֲנָשִׁים עַל זֶה, וְהַכֹּל שֶׁלֹּא יַרְבּוּ מַחֲלֹקֶת, וְאֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין עַל הַמִּעוּטִים:

24 The sheliach tzibbur must be beloved by the congregation. If not, when he reads59 the Tocheichah60 there may be dangerous consequences for a congregant whom he dislikes. If he hates him, that congregant should not accept the aliyah.61

כד שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת אָהוּב לַקָּהָל,קנא שֶׁאִם לֹא כֵן כְּשֶׁקּוֹרֵא59 הַתּוֹכֵחָה60 – סַכָּנָה הִיא לְמִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ אוֹהֲבוֹ. וְאִם הוּא שׂוֹנְאוֹ – לֹא יַעֲלֶה:קנב,61

25 [The congregation should] see to it that the sheliach tzibbur [whom they appoint] should not be foolish, so that he can tend to the needs of the community fittingly.

A sheliach tzibbur should not flatter the community with regard to spiritual matters: he should rebuke them.

כה יִרְאוּ שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר טִפֵּשׁ, שֶׁיּוּכַל לְהִתְעַסֵּק בְּצָרְכֵי צִּבּוּר כָּרָאוּי.קנג וְאֵין הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲנִיף לַצִּבּוּר בְּמִילֵּי דִּשְׁמַיָּא, וְצָרִיךְ לְהוֹכִיחָן:קנד

26 When a person is in mourning over his father and desires [to lead the congregation in] prayer as is the practice of mourners,62 and another person seeks to [lead the] prayers for [the elevation of the soul of] a different [deceased] individual, the person whom the congregation desires to [lead the] prayers should do so. For a son is entitled to recite only Kaddish for [the elevation of the soul of] his [deceased] father without the consent of the congregation; he may not become the emissary of the congregation to [lead the] prayers against their will.

For the same reason, though it is customary for a mohel63 to supersede a mourner [with regard to leading the congregation] in prayer, if the congregation desires that the mourner [lead the] prayers, he is given that right. [A person commemorating] a yahrzeit, i.e., the anniversary of his father’s or mother’s passing, should be given precedence over a mohel if the congregation does not object.

כו אִם אֶחָד אָבֵל עַל אָבִיוקנה וְרוֹצֶה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל כְּדֶרֶךְ הָאֲבֵלִיםקנו,62 וְאֶחָד רוֹצֶה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בִּשְׁבִיל אַחֵר – מִי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה הַקָּהָל שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל הוּא יִתְפַּלֵּל, שֶׁקַּדִּישׁ בִּלְבַד הוּא יָכוֹל לוֹמַר בִּשְׁבִיל אָבִיו שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת הַקָּהָל, אֲבָל לֹא יוּכַל לִהְיוֹת שְׁלִיחַ הַקָּהָל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל עַל כָּרְחָם.קנז וְלָכֵן, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין שֶׁהַמּוֹהֵל63 דּוֹחֶה הָאָבֵל מִלְּהִתְפַּלֵּל,קנח מִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם הַקָּהָל רוֹצִים שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל הָאָבֵל – זָכָה הָאָבֵל.קנט וְיוֹם שֶׁמֵּת בּוֹ אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ שֶׁקּוֹרִין יָארְצַיי"ט קוֹדֶם לַמּוֹהֵל, אִם אֵין הַקָּהָל מַקְפִּידִים בְּכָךְ:

27 A sheliach tzibbur should not be appointed on the basis of a directive from a ruling [non-Jew] authority, even if the majority of the congregants desire him. Heaven forbid that [instructions governing] the service of our Creator be received from gentiles, “for [their rock] does not resemble our Rock.”64

כז אֵין לְמַנּוֹת שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר עַל פִּי הַשַּׂר, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרֹב הַצִּבּוּר חֲפֵצִים בּוֹ,קס כִּי חָלִילָה לְקַבֵּל עֲבוֹדַת בּוֹרְאֵנוּ עַל יְדֵי הַנָּכְרִים,קסא "כִּי לֹא כְצוּרֵנוּ וְגו'":קסב,64

28 It is preferable that a sheliach tzibbur be awarded payment65 than fill the position gratuitously. In a place where he is paid a defined wage, there will be no usurpation or protest: no one who is unfit will have permission to stride forward and [lead the] prayers. If, by contrast, [the task is performed] gratuitously, license is granted to everyone, and when there are no restraints, a person who is unfit may [assume the position]. Moreover, a sheliach tzibbur is [more] vigilant with his prayers and his liturgies when he is paid.

כח שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר יוֹתֵר רָאוּי לִהְיוֹת בְּשָׂכָר65 מִבִּנְדָבָה,קסג לְפִי שֶׁבְּמָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא לוֹקֵחַ שָׂכָר בָּרוּר מִן הַקָּהָל – אֵין פֶּרֶץ וְאֵין צְוָחָה, שֶׁאֵין אַחֵר שֶׁאֵינוֹ הָגוּן רַשַּׁאי לִפְשֹׁט רַגְלוֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל, וְאִם הָיָה בִּנְדָבָה הָרְשׁוּת נְתוּנָה לַכֹּל וּבִפְרֹץ הַדָּבָר יַעֲלֶה מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ הָגוּן,קסד וְגַם הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר נִזְהָר בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ וְתִקּוּנָיו כְּשֶׁהוּא שָׂכִיר:

29 No one should [lead the] prayers without the consent of the congregation. If someone [leads the] prayers without permission [and takes the position] through force and pride, one should not respond Amen to his blessings. This is [implied by] the verse,66 “And a robber who blesses — angers G‑d.”

One should not quarrel for [the privilege of performing] any mitzvah, such as rolling the Torah scroll closed.67 [As we see,] “the modest [kohanim] would refrain from [taking their rightful share of] the lechem hapanim,68 while the gluttonous would seize it”69 — and partaking of the lechem hapanim is a positive mitzvah of the Torah.70

כט אֵין לְאָדָם לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּלֹא רָצוֹן הַקָּהָל.קסה וְכָל מִי שֶׁמִּתְפַּלֵּל שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת מֵחֲמַת אַלָּמוּת וְגֵאוּת – אֵין עוֹנִין אָמֵן אַחַר בִּרְכוֹתָיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:קסו,66 "וּבֹצֵעַ בֵּרֵךְ נִאֵץ ה'". וְאֵין לְהִתְקוֹטֵט בַּעֲבוּר שׁוּם מִצְוָה, כְּגוֹן גְּלִילַת סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה67 וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ, שֶׁהֲרֵי הַצְּנוּעִין מוֹשְׁכִין יְדֵיהֶם מִלֶּחֶם הַפָּנִים68 וְהַגַּרְגְּרִים חוֹטְפִיןקסז,69 וַאֲכִילַת לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים הוּא מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה:קסח,70

30 Some authorities hold that the wages of the sheliach tzibbur should be paid from the communal funds that are collected from each person according to his financial position. Though the sheliach tzibbur fulfills obligations on behalf of the poor just as for the rich, the financial capacity of the poor is not the same as that of the rich. Similarly, [it is argued,] any communal need that costs money should be paid for according to financial capacity.71

Others hold that half [of the wage] should be collected according to financial capacity and half as a head tax, for there is reason to argue that the poor man needs the sheliach tzibbur to the same degree as the rich man does. Since, however, the rich sometimes add to the wages of a sheliach tzibbur with a superior voice and the poor do not desire this, this compromise was agreed upon. This is the custom of communities in many countries. In some places the rich and the poor pay equally, but there is a fee paid [to the sheliach tzibbur] for each wedding, and that is determined according to a person’s financial capacity.

In a place where there is no established custom, the allotment should be apportioned according to each individual’s financial capacity, for the rich generally add to the wage [of the sheliach tzibbur] according to the pleasantness of his voice and the poor do not have the wherewithal to match them.

ל שְׂכַר שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר, יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁפּוֹרְעִים מִקֻּפַּת הַקָּהָל שֶׁגּוֹבִין לְפִי מָמוֹן כָּל אִישׁ כְּעֶרְכּוֹ.קסט וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר מוֹצִיא אֶת הַדַּל כְּעָשִׁיר, מִכָּל מָקוֹם אֵין יַד הֶעָנִי מַשֶּׂגֶת כְּעָשִׁיר. וְכֵן כָּל מַה שֶּׁהִיא תַּקָּנַת הַצִּבּוּר וְנַעֲשָׂה עַל יְדֵי מָמוֹן – נוֹתְנִים לְפִי מָמוֹן.קע,71 וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםקעא שֶׁגּוֹבִין חֲצִי לְפִי מָמוֹן וַחֲצִי לְפִי נְפָשׁוֹת, כִּי יֵשׁ סְבָרָא לוֹמַר שֶׁהֶעָנִי צָרִיךְ לְהַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר כְּמוֹ הֶעָשִׁיר,קעב וְיֵשׁ לִפְעָמִים שֶׁהָעֲשִׁירִים מוֹסִיפִים בְּשָׂכָר לְהַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁקּוֹלוֹ עָרֵב יוֹתֵר וְאֵין הָעֲנִיִּם חֲפֵצִים בְּכָךְ, עַל כֵן עָשׂוּ פְּשָׁרָה זֹאת. וְכֵן הוּא מִנְהַג קְהִלּוֹת בִּמְדִינוֹת הַרְבֵּה.קעג וּבִקְצָת מְקוֹמוֹת דַּל וְעָשִׁיר נוֹתְנִים בְּשָׁוֶה, אַךְ יֵשׁ לוֹ קִצְבָּה מִכָּל נִשּׂוּאִין וְזֶה לְפִי מָמוֹן.קעד וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין מִנְהָג – יֵשׁ לִגְבּוֹת לְפִי מָמוֹן,קעה שֶׁבְּרֹב הַפְּעָמִים הָעֲשִׁירִים מוֹסִיפִים בְּשָׂכָר לְפִי נְעִימַת הַקּוֹל וְאֵין יַד הָעֲנִיִּם מַשֶּׂגֶת לָתֵת עִמָּהֶם:

31 [The following principles apply if] a congregation needs to hire both a rav and a sheliach tzibbur and they cannot afford both [salaries]. If the rav is outstanding and he is expert in delivering [halachic] rulings, he receives precedence over the sheliach tzibbur, for Torah study enjoys primacy over all else. If not, the sheliach tzibbur receives precedence, so that he will fulfill the obligation [of public prayer] on behalf of the community.

A sheliach tzibbur may not be removed from office unless a disqualifying factor [corroborated by the testimony of] witnesses is discovered concerning him. Mere rumor — e.g., that he was discovered with a non-Jew woman or that he gave [out information, causing] money belonging to a Jew to [be handed to] a non-Jew — is not sufficient [to disentitle him]. Nevertheless, the rabbinical court should be convened for such matters. If witnesses come [and testify] that he is guilty for these or similar matters, he should be removed from his position and should not be reinstated until he repents fully without guile. Even if he takes an oath that he will no longer follow these ways, this is not of consequence, for ever since the Giving of the Torah he is [already] bound by such an oath.72

לא צִבּוּר שֶׁצְּרִיכִים לִשְׂכֹּר רַב וּשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר וְאֵין בְּיָדָם כְּדֵי סִפּוּק שְׁנֵיהֶם,קעו אִם הוּא רַב מֻבְהָק וּבָקִי בְּהוֹרָאָה – הוּא קוֹדֵם לִשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר, שֶׁתַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה קוֹדֵם לַכֹּל.קעז וְאִם לָאו – שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר קוֹדֵם, כְּדֵי לְהוֹצִיא הָרַבִּים יְדֵי חוֹבָתָן.

וְאֵין מְסַלְּקִין שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר מֵאֻמָנוּתוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵן נִמְצָא בּוֹ פְּסוּלקעח בְּעֵדִים, אֲבָל לֹא מִשּׁוּם רִנּוּן בְּעָלְמָאקעט כְּגוֹן שֶׁיָּצָא עָלָיו שֵׁם שֶׁנִּתְפַּס עִם הַנָּכְרִית, אוֹ שֶׁמָּסַר מָמוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיַד נָכְרִי. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם יֵשׁ לְהוֹשִׁיב בֵּית דִּין עַל כָּכָה,קפ וְאִם יָבוֹאוּ עָלָיו עֵדִים בָּזֶה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה – מַעֲבִירִין אוֹתוֹ וְאֵין חוֹזְרִין וּמְקַבְּלִין אוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיָּשׁוּב בִּתְשׁוּבָה שְׁלֵמָה בְּלִי עָרְמָה.קפא וַאֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יֵלֵךְ עוֹד בִּדְרָכִים אֵלּוּ – אֵין זֶה כְּלוּם שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּבָר מֻשְׁבָּע וְעוֹמֵד הוּא מֵהַר סִינַי:קפב,72

32 If a sheliach tzibbur also serves as a ritual slaughterer and kashrus inspector, he should not [lead the] prayers in his soiled and malodorous clothing. [Indeed,] it is preferable that he wear other clothes throughout the entire day when he goes about among others so that he will not be among those [of whom it is said], “Those who hate Me love death.”73 If such a person is not willing to change his clothes at the time of prayer [and yet desires to lead the] prayers, he should be removed from his office.

If a sheliach tzibbur speaks crudely, or in the course of prayer sings melodies which the gentiles use in their pagan worship, he is to be rebuked [and instructed] not to do so. If he does not heed [this rebuke], he should be dismissed.

לב שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁהוּא שׁוֹחֵט וּבוֹדֵק – לֹא יִתְפַּלֵּל בִּבְגָדִים הַצּוֹאִין וּמַסְרִיחִין.קפג וְטוֹב שֶׁיַּחֲלִף בְּגָדָיו כָּל הַיּוֹם כְּשֶׁמְּהַלֵּךְ בֵּין הַבְּרִיּוֹת, שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה בִּכְלַל מְשַׂנְאַי אָהֲבוּ מָוֶת.קפד,73 וְאִם אֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לְהַחֲלִיף בְּגָדָיו בִּשְׁעַת הַתְּפִלָּה וּלְהִתְפַּלֵּל – מַעֲבִירִין אוֹתוֹ. וּשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר הַמְנַבֵּל פִּיו, אוֹ שֶׁמְּרַנֵּן בַּתְּפִלָּה בְּשִׁירֵי הַנָּכְרִיםקפה שֶׁמְּנַגְּנִים בָּהֶם לַעֲבוֹדַת אֱלִילִיםקפו – מוֹחִין בְּיָדוֹ שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן. וְאִם אֵינוֹ שׁוֹמֵעַ – מַעֲבִירִים אוֹתוֹ:

33 [The following rules apply when] a sheliach tzibbur grows old and seeks to appoint his son to help him at times. Though his son’s voice is not as pleasant as his own, if the son fulfills his [father’s] functions in other respects and his voice is not strange, the congregation cannot object [to the appointment]. [The rationale is that] it is assumed that anyone appointed as a sheliach tzibbur was appointed with this implied proviso, that if at times he would be unable to [lead the] prayers, he would appoint another person to assist him. If so, his son receives precedence over all others with regard to giving this assistance.

Moreover, even after the passing of the sheliach tzibbur, his son is given precedence over all others [with regard to filling his position]. For [this principle] applies with regard to all [communal] appointments: A son who is fit [to fill the position] is given primacy even over others who are of greater stature than he74 — except for appointments involving the crown of Torah, e.g., the appointment of a sage to disseminate Torah study or to preside in a rabbinical court, for the Torah is not an inheritance.

לג שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁהִזְקִין וְרוֹצֶה לְמַנּוֹת בְּנוֹ לְסַיְּעוֹ לִפְרָקִים, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין קוֹל בְּנוֹ עָרֵבקפז כְּקוֹלוֹ, אִם מְמַלֵּא מְקוֹמוֹ בִּשְׁאָר דְּבָרִים וְאֵין קוֹלוֹ מְשֻׁנֶּה – אֵין הַצִּבּוּר יְכוֹלִים לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדוֹ,קפח לְפִי שֶׁכָּל הַמִּתְמַנֶּה לִשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר מִן הַסְּתָם עַל דַּעַת כֵן נִתְמַנָּה שֶׁאִם לִפְעָמִים לֹא יוּכַל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל שֶׁיְּמַנֶּה אַחֵר לְסַיְּעוֹ, וְאִם כֵן בְּנוֹ קוֹדֵם בְּסִיּוּעַ לְכָל אָדָם.קפט וַאֲפִלּוּ אַחַר מוֹתוֹ בְּנוֹ קוֹדֵם לְכָל אָדָם, כִּי כֵן הוּא בְּכָל הַמִּנּוּיִים שֶׁהַבֵּן שֶׁרָאוּי לְכָךְ קוֹדֵם אֲפִלּוּ לַאֲחֵרִים שֶׁגְּדוֹלִים מִמֶּנּוּ,קצ,74 חוּץ מִמִּנּוּיִם שֶׁל כֶּתֶר תּוֹרָה,קצא כְּגוֹן חָכָם הַמְּמֻנֶּה לְהַרְבִּיץ תּוֹרָה אוֹ לַדִּין, שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה אֵינָהּ יְרֻשָּׁה:קצב

34 When does the above apply? In a place where there is no existing custom.75 If, however, the custom is that the son is not given precedence over others, that custom should be followed. Even if the [local] custom is to appoint a sheliach tzibbur for a specific term and when that term is concluded, he is dismissed and another person appointed, that custom should be followed. No disgrace is involved, for this is the established custom in that place.

This principle applies also with regard to other appointments required by the community, e.g., [the directorship of] a charitable fund and other, similar communal needs, whether [the appointees] receive a wage or not. If the custom was to appoint people for a limited time, then when that term ends, those [in office] should take their leave and others should replace them. Even when a set term was not explicitly defined when they were appointed, the fact that [they were appointed] without any conditions [indicates] that it was as if they were explicitly [told that the appointment was for a limited term], for this is the established custom.

לד בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין שָׁם מִנְהָג,קצג,75 אֲבָל אִם הַמִּנְהָג הוּא שֶׁאֵין בְּנוֹ קוֹדֵם לְאַחֵר – יַעֲשׂוּ כְּמִנְהָגָם. וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם נָהֲגוּ לְמַנּוֹת הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר עַצְמוֹ עַל זְמַן יָדוּעַ וּבִכְלוֹת הַזְּמַן מַעֲבִירִין אוֹתוֹ וּמְמַנִּין אַחֵר תַּחְתָּיו – יַעֲשׂוּ כְּמִנְהָגָם,קצד וְאֵין בָּזֶה מִשּׁוּם בִּזָּיוֹן לוֹ כֵּיוָן שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ כָּךְ.

וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר מִנּוּיִים הַצְרִיכִים לַצִּבּוּר, כְּגוֹן קֻפָּה שֶׁל צְדָקָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ מִשְּׁאָר צָרְכֵי צִבּוּר, בֵּין שֶׁנּוֹטְלִין עֲלֵיהֶם שָׂכָר בֵּין שֶׁאֵין נוֹטְלִין, אִם נָהֲגוּ לְמַנּוֹת אֲנָשִׁים לִזְמַן וּבְהַגִּיעַ הַזְּמַן יָצְאוּ אֵלּוּ וְנִכְנְסוּ אֲחֵרִים תַּחְתֵּיהֶם, אֲפִלּוּ לֹא קָבְעוּ לָהֶם זְמַן בְּפֵרוּשׁ כְּשֶׁמִּנּוּ אוֹתָם – סְתָמָן כְּפֵרוּשָׁן, מֵאַחַר שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ כָּךְ:

35 It is improper to dismiss a sheliach tzibbur (in the midst of his term) in favor of another whose voice is more pleasant. If the majority [of the community] desire the second person, the two should share [the position] together.

לה אֵין נָכוֹן לְהַעֲבִיר שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר (תּוֹךְ זְמַנּוֹ) בִּשְׁבִיל אַחֵר שֶׁקּוֹלוֹ עָרֵב יוֹתֵר.קצה וְאִם הָרֹב חֲפֵצִים בָּאַחֵר – יְשַׁמְּשׁוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם כְּאֶחָד:

36 A certain authority maintains that it is appropriate that the sheliach tzibbur pray from a Siddur designated for the community, for it was certainly written for the sake of Heaven and not for [the scribe’s] conceit. As to printed [Siddurim], it is immaterial whether [the copy used] belongs to the congregation or not.

לו יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵרקצו שֶׁרָאוּי לִשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל מִתּוֹךְ הַסִּדּוּר הַמְיֻחָד לַצִּבּוּר, שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי נִכְתַּב לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם וְלֹא לְשֵׁם הִתְפָּאֲרוּת. אֲבָל בְּהַנִּדְפָּסִין אֵין חִלּוּק בֵּין שֶׁל צִּבּוּר לְאַחֵר:קצז