From the Rav’s Desk: Chazan of Shabbos Mincha said Ata Chonein

  1. Question: [Sunday 23rd Menachem Av 5781]

The Chazan by our minyan for Shabbos Mincha accidentally began saying Ata Chonein Leadam Daas by Chazaras Hashatz and was immediately stopped by the congregation. A big debate in shul ensued regarding what he is to do, with some saying that he should continue with the regular Shabbos Nussach of Atah Echad, and others saying that he needs to finish the blessing first. What is the proper conduct in this situation?



In such a case, the Chazan should simply stop and re-continue from the blessing of Atah Echad, and not complete the blessing of Chonein Hadas. [This is unlike the ruling by an individual who made such a mistake by his private Shemoneh Esrei, in which we instruct him to first finish the blessing of Chonein Hadas, and only then begin Atah Echad.]

Explanation: Although we rule that if during Shabbos Shemoneh Esrei of Maariv, Shacharis and Mincha [excluding Musaf] one accidentally began saying Ata Chonein that he must first finish the weekday blessing and only then is to begin with the middle Shabbos blessing, nonetheless this only applies to a person during his silent Shemoneh Esrei. However, by the Chazan’s repetition, it is debated as to whether this applies as well, with some Poskim ruling that it does, as there is no reason to differentiate, while others rule that it does not apply by the repetition, and rather that the Chazan is to stop the middle of the blessing and immediately begin the blessing of Shabbos. The reason for this is because a Chazan is considered the emissary of the congregation, and his personal mistake cannot be considered a mistake of the congregation, as the congregation did not send him to make him a mistake, and therefore it is considered as if the mistake was not done by the congregation, in which case he is to continue with the Shabbos prayer as usual. This is in addition to the fact that it would be considered Tircha Detzibura to make the Chazan finish the weekday blessing first.

Sources: Kaf Hachaim 268:8; Ketzos Hashulchan 78:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 238:4; See regarding the general ruling of one who said Ata Chonein that he must first finish the blessing: Admur 268:2; Michaber 268:2; Rav Nachum Brachos 21a; Ketzos Hashulchan 78:1  The following Poskim rule that this applies also to a Chazan: Implication of Perisha 117, brought in Elya Raba and P”M 117; Ashel Avraham Butchach; The following Poskim rule that this does not apply to a Chazan and so is the final ruling: Chikrei Lev 53 in name of Shalemi Chagiga; Shalmei Tzibur; Zechor Leavraham; Yifei Laleiv 268:1; Shoel Umeishiv Shetisa O.C. 5:22; Orchos Chaim 268:1; Chesed Lealafim 268:3; Kaf Hachaim 268:8; Poskim in Ketzos Hashulchan 78:2 footnote 5; Halichos Shlomo 14 footnote 18; Piskeiy Teshuvos 238:4; See Birur Halacha [Zilber] 268 Mahadura Telisa; Revivos Efraim 1:260

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