From the Rav’s Desk: Which Kaddish to wait for if reach Shemoneh Esrei too late to begin before Chazaras Hashatz

  1. Question: [Sunday, 23rd Adar, 5781]

Rabbi, I am aware of the Halacha that states that one who reaches Shemoneh Esreiy only after the congregation has begun Shemoneh Esreiy must wait until after the Kaddish after Shemoneh Esreiy to begin his prayers in order so he does not miss the opportunity to answer Amen to the Kaddish. My question is regarding which Kaddish this refers to as in Chabad we say many Kaddeishim, and the last Kaddish is only said after Tehillim after Davening which can be a very long wait. Please clarify this issue for me.


You are to wait until the Kaddish of after Uva Letziyon and may then begin your Shemoneh Esrei. You do not have to wait until after the other later Kadeishim are recited even though this will mean that you will miss being able to answer them. Nonetheless, if you desire to wait, you may do so and so is perhaps the initial proper thing to do if you are not in a hurry.

Explanation: Although the ruling is that you must wait to begin Shemoneh Esrei until after Kaddish, in order to be able to verbally answer, nonetheless the Poskim suggest that this only refers to the obligatory Kadeishim, which are the Kadeishim until after Uva Letziyon, however the voluntary Kadeishim from Shir Shel Yom and onwards are only said due to custom and therefore one does not have to delay beginning his Shemoneh Esrei in order to answer them. However, from the wording of the Poskim that it is only “possible” that one does not have to wait for the customary Kadeishim it is implied that while one reserves the right to be lenient especially in a time of need such as if he is pressed for time, nonetheless one may be stringent and is perhaps even encouraged to do so initially. Vetzaruch Iyun, as this is dependent on further research into the general rules of the Poskim when the term “Efshar” is used in arbitration.

Sources: See Admur 109:1 towards end regarding that “it is possible that the Kaddeishim from Aleinu [in Nussach Ashkenack, which follows the Kaddish after Uva Letziyon] and onwards which is only a custom that one does not have to wait for them”; 55:1 that the last obligatory Kadish is after Uva Letziyon; M”A 109:3; Elya Raba 109; Soles Berurah 109; Chesed Lealafim 109; Kaf Hachaim 109:11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 109:1

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