- Question: [Sunday, 5th Adar 5783]
I read in a talk of the Rebbe Rayatz and one should separate his feet when he recites the Yehiyu Leratzon at the end of Shemoneh Esrei. What exactly does this refer to, and towards which Yehiyu Leratzon does it apply, and should one actually do so?
Following the directive of the Rebbe Rayatz, in a person’s silent Shemoneh Esrei, one is to begin separating his feet from each other when he reaches the second Yehiyu Leratzon. This represents that one has completed his Shemoneh Esrei, and has entered the state of Akiras Raglayim, which permits him to answer for any Davar Shebekidusha. By the Chazan’s repetition, there is only one Yehiyu Leratzon recited and hence the separating of the feet should be done by the Chazan when he begins saying his silent Yehiyu Leratzon immediately after Sim Shalom. [To note, however, of the following: 1) I am not aware of any source for the above statement of the Rebbe Rayatz in any of the Poskim, or Achronim, and on the contrary from the simple ruling in the Shulchan Aruch and Poskim it is evident that the state of Akiras Raglav is fulfilled only after reciting the second Yehiyu Leratzon at the end of Elokaiy Netzor, even without doing any movement, and not beforehand. 2) The above directive of the Rebbe Rayatz was not recorded in Sefer Haminhagim, and to the best of my knowledge was not reprinted in any official Chabad publication of laws and customs. 3) It is unclear as to the intent of the Rebbe Rayatz, as if his intent is to move one foot backwards already at the beginning of the Yihyu Leratzon, hence separating one from the other, then in essence one has already begun his three steps back prior to finishing the Yihyu Leratzon, which is not the widespread custom. If, however, the intent is that one is to separate the feet from each other so they are not side to side, then this would contradict the ruling and custom that even after one takes three steps back, the feet are to be side-by-side touching each other as they were during Shemoneh Esrei. Hence, in conclusion, it is unclear to me as to what the intent of the Rebbe Rayatz was that one should perform, its advantage, and as to why it was not recorded in the classic books of Chabad Minhagim.]
Explanation: Yihyu Leratzon is to be recited immediately after completing Shemoneh Esrei without any interval due to an institution of the sages. Now, being that we would like to say supplications after Shemoneh Esrei and have the verse of Yihyu Leratzon also count on these supplications, we therefore say Yihyu Leratzon again after finishing the paragraph of Elokaiy Netzor. However, by the repetition since the paragraph of Elokaiy Netzor is not recited, the verse is therefore only recited once. Now, the concept of Akiras Raglayim represents the completion of Shemoneh Esrei and has the following Halachic ramifications pertinent to it: 1) Once Akiras Raglayim has taken place one may answer for any Davar Shebekedusha without restriction. 2) Once Akiras Raglayim has taken place one who forgot to mention an invalidating paragraph of Shemoneh Esrei [i.e. Yaleh Veyavo on Rosh Chodesh] must now return to the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei. Now, the Poskim rule that there is no actual need to move the feet for it to be considered Akiras Raglayim, and rather as soon as one has completed all of the supplications and recited the second Yihyu Leratzon, then it is considered as if he was Akiras Raglav. Accordingly, is not understood as to what the advantage of the directive is of the Rebbe Raytaz, aside for the other questions we brought up above. Vehashem Yair Eiyneiynu!
Sources: See Sicha of Rebbe Rayatz 5704 p. 147 [Lashon Hakodesh] “One separates the feet one from the other when one begins saying Yehiyu Leratzon both in the silent Amida and in the repetition, and this is considered Akiras Raglav.”; See regarding the two Yihyu Leratzons and whether or not one may speak prior to its recital: Admur 122:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 122:1 See regarding that the recital of the second Yihyu Leratzon is considered Akiras Raglayaim even without moving the feet: Admur 117:5; 294:5; M”A 422:2; M”B 422:9; Shaar Hatziyon 422:8; See regarding making a movement by Yihyu Lertazon so it be Akiras Raglav: Or Letziyon 2:87-34; See regarding having the two feet remain together even after taking three steps back: Admur 123:5; M”A 123:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 123:2 footnote 28