SECTION 106 Those who are Exempt from the Recitation of Shemoneh Esreh. (1-4)

סימן קו מִי הֵם הַפְּטוּרִים מִתְּפִלָּה וּבוֹ ד' סְעִיפִים:

1 All those who are exempt from reciting the Shema1 are exempt from reciting Shemoneh Esreh. Whoever is obligated to recite the Shema is obligated to recite Shemoneh Esreh, except for people who accompany a funeral but are not needed to carry the bier.2 Though they are obligated to recite the Shema,3 they are exempt from the obligation to recite Shemoneh Esreh, because it is of Rabbinic origin.4 Moreover, it must be recited while one is standing still, and [those accompanying a funeral] cannot delay so long.5 With regard to the Shema, by contrast, the obligation to concentrate and stand still applies mainly to the first verse alone,6 and [for that brief time] it is easy to stand still and concentrate.

א כָּל הַפְּטוּרִים מִקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַעא,1 – פְּטוּרִים מִתְּפִלָּה.ב וְכָל שֶׁחַיָּב בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע – חַיָּב בִּתְפִלָּה,ג חוּץ מֵהַמְלַוִּין אֶת הַמֵּת שֶׁאֵין לַמִּטָּה צֹרֶךְ בָּהֶן,ד,2 שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחַיָּבִים בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַעה,3 – פְּטוּרִים מִתְּפִלָּה, הוֹאִיל וְהִיא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,ו,4 וְעוֹד שֶׁהִיא בַּעֲמִידָה וְאֵין יְכוֹלִין לִשְׁהוֹת כָּל כָּךְ,5 אֲבָל קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע עִקַּר כַּוָּנָתָהּ וַעֲמִידָתָהּ אֵינָהּ אֶלָּא בְּפָסוּק רִאשׁוֹןז,6 וּבְקַל יוּכַל לַעֲמֹד וּלְכַוֵּן:

2 Although women and bondmen are exempt from reciting the Shema,7 they are obligated to pray,8 because praying is a positive commandment that is not dependent on time. For the times for prayer are of Rabbinic origin,9 but the mitzvah of prayer is essentially of Scriptural origin,10 as it is written,11 “And to serve Him with all your heart.” [The Sages12 clarified the meaning of this verse, asking,] “What service is performed with the heart?” [and replying,] “This is prayer.” It is only that the Torah did not prescribe a specific text for prayer, and every individual could pray with any wording he desired and at any time he desired. Having prayed once either by day or by night, he had fulfilled his obligation according to Scriptural Law.

Based upon this view, most women do not customarily recite Shemoneh Esreh regularly, morning and evening, because they make some request [of G‑d] immediately in the morning, directly after they wash their hands.13 They fulfill their Scriptural obligation with this,14 and perhaps even the Sages did not obligate them further.15

There are, however, authorities who maintain that [even] the essential mitzvah of prayer originated with the Sages, i.e., the Men of the Great Assembly, who ordained that one should pray by reciting eighteen blessings in a certain sequence,16 in the morning and the afternoon as an obligation, and in the evening, voluntarily. Even though it is a positive commandment of Rabbinic origin dependent on time17 — and women are exempt from all positive commandments dependent on time, even those of Rabbinic origin such as the recitation of Hallel and the Sanctification of the Moon, [this is an exception. The Sages] obligated women, nonetheless, to recite Shemoneh Esreh in the morning and the afternoon,18 because prayer is a request for [G‑d’s] mercies. The halachah follows this view.19

The Evening Service, which [was originally] voluntary,20 [is different]. Though the entire Jewish people have accepted it as an obligation,21 women have not undertaken it, and most do not recite the Evening Service on Saturday night.22

ב נָשִׁים וַעֲבָדִיםח אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפְּטוּרִים מִקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַעט,7 – חַיָּבִים בִּתְפִלָּה,8 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁלֹּא הַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא,י שֶׁזְּמַנֵּי הַתְּפִלָּה הֵם מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,9 וְעִקַּר מִצְוַת הַתְּפִלָּה הִיא מִן הַתּוֹרָה,יא,10 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:11 "וּלְעָבְדוֹ בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם",יב אֵיזוֹ עֲבוֹדָה שֶׁבַּלֵּב – זוֹ תְּפִלָּה,יג,12 אֶלָּא שֶׁאֵין לָהּ נֻסָּח יָדוּעַ מִן הַתּוֹרָה וְיָכוֹל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּכָל נֻסָּח שֶׁיִּרְצֶה וּבְכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה,יד וּמִשֶּׁהִתְפַּלֵּל פַּעַם אַחַת בַּיּוֹם אוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה – יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ מִן הַתּוֹרָה.טו

וְעַל פִּי סְבָרָא זוֹ נָהֲגוּ רֹב הַנָּשִׁים שֶׁאֵינָן מִתְפַּלְלִין י"ח בִּתְמִידוּת שַׁחַר וָעֶרֶב, לְפִי שֶׁאוֹמְרוֹת מִיָּד בַּבֹּקֶר סָמוּךְ לַנְּטִילָה13 אֵיזֶה בַּקָּשָׁה וּמִן הַתּוֹרָה יוֹצְאוֹת בָּזֶה,14 וְאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁאַף חֲכָמִים לֹא חִיְּבוּם יוֹתֵר.טז,15

אֲבָל יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםיז שֶׁעִקַּר מִצְוַת תְּפִלָּה הִיא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, שֶׁהֵם אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָהיח שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ י"ח בְּרָכוֹת עַל הַסֵּדֶר,יט,16 לְהִתְפַּלֵּל אוֹתָן שַׁחֲרִית וּמִנְחָה חוֹבָה וְעַרְבִית רְשׁוּת, וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא,17 וְהַנָּשִׁים פְּטוּרוֹת מִכָּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא אֲפִלּוּ הִיא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים כְּגוֹן הַלֵּלכ וְקִדּוּשׁ הַלְּבָנָהכא – אַף עַל פִּי כֵן חִיְּבוּ אוֹתָן בִּתְפִלַּת שַׁחֲרִית וּמִנְחָה,18 הוֹאִיל וּתְפִלָּה הִיא בַּקָּשַׁת רַחֲמִים.כב וְכֵן עִקָּר.כג,19

אֲבָל תְּפִלַּת עַרְבִית שֶׁהוּא רְשׁוּת,כד,20 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעַכְשָׁו כְּבָר קִבְּלוּהוּ עֲלֵיהֶם כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל לְחוֹבָה,כה,21 מִכָּל מָקוֹם הַנָּשִׁים לֹא קִבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶם וְרֻבָּן אֵינָן מִתְפַּלְּלוֹת עַרְבִית במ"ש:כו,22

3 Once children have reached an educable age,23 one is obligated to train them to recite Shemoneh Esreh in the evening and the morning.24 Nevertheless, it is permissible to serve them food before the Morning Service25 and it is forbidden to make them suffer [by waiting], as will be explained in sec. 269[:3] and 343[:7] with regard to feeding them before Kiddush.

ג קְטַנִּים שֶׁהִגִּיעוּ לְחִנּוּךְ23 – חַיָּבִיםכז לְחַנְּכָם לְהִתְפַּלֵּל י"ח עֶרֶב וָבֹקֶר.כח,24 וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, רַשַּׁאי לִתֵּן לָהֶם לֶאֱכֹל קֹדֶם תְּפִלַּת שַׁחֲרִיתכט,25 וְאָסוּר לְעַנּוֹתָם,ל כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן רס"טלא ושמ"גלב לְעִנְיַן לְהַאֲכִילָם קֹדֶם קִדּוּשׁ:

4 A person whose Torah study is his [sole] occupation, such as R. Shimon ben Yochai and his colleagues, should interrupt [his studies] to recite the Shema and to recite the blessings that precede and follow it,26 but should not recite Shemoneh Esreh at all. [The rationale is that] since he does not neglect his studies for any other purpose even for a moment, he should not neglect them for prayer either. [True,] he must cease and interrupt his studies to perform any of the mitzvos, even those of Rabbinic authority. Nevertheless, since Shemoneh Esreh is merely a request for mercy for the [material] concerns of this world, he should not forego eternal life27 and occupy himself with transient life.28 [Torah scholars of the present era,29] by contrast, do interrupt [their studies] both for the Shema and for Shemoneh Esreh26 since [they] often cease [studying] for other reasons.

Nevertheless, if one teaches others, and if they do not study at that time they will neglect their studies and will not be able to gather together to study after Shemoneh Esreh, he should not interrupt his teaching even if the time for prayer30 will pass. Even so, he should stop and recite the first verse of the Shema in order to accept the Yoke of Heaven at the prescribed time for the recitation of the Shema.31 In addition, he should seek out [and teach] a law that refers to the Exodus from Egypt, so that he will mention the Exodus at the time for the recitation of the Shema.32 After his studies, it is desirable that he should complete the recitation of the entire Shema. Even though the time for its recitation has passed, he has nothing to lose; he is like a person who reads from the Torah.33

If the time limit is not pressing and one would still have the time to recite the Shema and Shemoneh Esreh [after studying], he need not interrupt himself at all, even if he is studying alone. [Moreover, this applies] even if one began studying when it was forbidden to do so, i.e., after the time for the recitation of the Shema and Shemoneh Esreh34 had arrived. For [from this time onward] it is forbidden to begin studying until one prays first, unless he is accustomed to going to the synagogue [and praying there with the congregation at a set time], as stated in sec. 89[:7]. Nevertheless, if he began studying, he need not interrupt himself and is permitted to study as long as he has time to recite the Shema and Shemoneh Esreh afterwards.

ד מִי שֶׁתּוֹרָתוֹ אֻמָּנוּתוֹ כְּגוֹן רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחַאי וַחֲבֵרָיו – מַפְסִיק לִקְרִיאַת שְׁמַעלג וּמְבָרֵךְ לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ,לד,26 אֲבָל אֵינוֹ מִתְפַּלֵּל כָּל עִקָּר,לה כֵּיוָן שֶׁמִּבַּלְעֲדֵי כֵן אֵינוֹ מְבַטֵּל מִלִּמּוּדוֹ אֲפִלּוּ רֶגַעלו – גַּם בִּשְׁבִיל הַתְּפִלָּה לֹא יְבַטֵּל. וְאַף שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְבַטֵּל וּלְהַפְסִיק לִמּוּדוֹ לַעֲשִׂיַּת כָּל הַמִּצְווֹת אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁל דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,לז מִכָּל מָקוֹם תְּפִלָּה הוֹאִיל וְאֵינָהּ אֶלָּא בַּקָּשַׁת רַחֲמִים עַל עִנְיָנֵי עוֹלָם הַזֶּה – אֵין לוֹ לְהָנִיחַ חַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם27 וְלַעֲסֹק בְּחַיֵּי שָׁעָה.לח,28 אֲבָל אָנוּ29 מַפְסִיקִין בֵּין לִקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בֵּין לִתְפִלָּה,לט,26 כֵּיוָן שֶׁמִּבַּלְעֲדֵי כֵן אָנוּ מְבַטְּלִין הַרְבֵּה.מ

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם מְלַמֵּד לַאֲחֵרִיםמא וְאִם לֹא יִלְמְדוּ עַכְשָׁו יִתְבַּטְּלוּ וְלֹא יוּכְלוּ לְהִתְקַבֵּץ לִלְמֹד אַחַר הַתְּפִלָּהמב – לֹא יִפְסֹק מִלִּמּוּדוֹ עִמָּהֶם אֲפִלּוּ אִם יַעֲבֹר זְמַן הַתְּפִלָּה.מג,30 וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, פּוֹסֵק וְקוֹרֵא פָּסוּק רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע, כְּדֵי לְקַבֵּל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם בִּזְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע.31 וְיַחֲזֹר אַחַר הֲלָכָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם, כְּדֵי לְהַזְכִּיר יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם בִּזְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע.מד,32 וְאַחַר לִמּוּדוֹ טוֹב שֶׁיִּגְמֹר כָּל קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע.מה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעָבַר זְמַנָּהּמו – לֹא הִפְסִיד, כְּאָדָם שֶׁקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה.מז,33

וְאִם אֵין הַשָּׁעָה עוֹבֶרֶת וְיֵשׁ לוֹ שְׁהוּת עֲדַיִן לִקְרוֹת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּלְהִתְפַּלֵּל – אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵק כְּלָל.מח אֲפִלּוּ לוֹמֵד יְחִידִי,מט וַאֲפִלּוּ הִתְחִיל לִלְמֹד בְּאִסּוּר לְאַחַר שֶׁכְּבָר הִגִּיעַ זְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּתְפִלָּה,34 שֶׁאָסוּר לוֹ לְהַתְחִיל לִלְמֹד עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּלֵּל תְּחִלָּה אִם אֵינוֹ רָגִיל לֵילֵךְ לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן פ"ט,נ אַף עַל פִּי כֵן אִם הִתְחִיל אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק, וְרַשַּׁאי לִלְמֹד כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיֵּשׁ שְׁהוּת עֲדַיִן לִקְרוֹת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּלְהִתְפַּלֵּל אַחַר כָּךְ:נא