Nefilas Apayim in an area without a Sefer Torah-Part 2
The custom is not to perform Nefilas Apayim unless there is a Sefer Torah present in the area, with exception to some Sephardic communities and Jerusalem Jewry who are accustomed to perform Nefilas Apayim even if a Sefer Torah is not present.
Area with Torah books:
The above ruling applies even in an area in which other Torah books are found, nevertheless if a Torah scroll is not present, Nefilas Kapayim is not performed. Some Poskim, however, rule that one may perform Nefilas Apayim in an area that contains other Torah books [i.e. Sefarim] even if it does not contain a Sefer Torah, and only if the area does not contain any Torah books, then one may not perform Nefilas Apayim. According to this approach, one may perform Nefilas Apayim in a public or even private Beis Midrash, even if it does not contain a Torah scroll. The simple implication of Admur is unlike this opinion.
May one perform Nefilas Apayim if the room only contains an invalid Sefer Torah?
May one perform Nefilas Apayim if the Sefer Torah is not currently found in the Aron?
May children in school perform Nefilas Apayim when they Daven in their classroom even though there is no Sefer Torah there?
Some Poskim rule that it is permitted for children to be educated in performing Nefilas Apayim even if there is no Sefer Torah present.
B. Status of areas in a Shul that do not contain a Sefer Torah [i.e. Cheder Sheiyni, Ezras Nashim, Courtyard]:
The status of the courtyard of a Shul, and the rooms that lead to the main sanctuary: The custom is to perform Nefilas Apayim in the courtyard of a Shul just as is done in the Shul itself, if the courtyard leads to the main sanctuary, and the doors between the courtyard and the main sanctuary are open [and one is standing opposite the opening and can see the Aron]. [This applies even if there is no Minyan taking place.] However, when the doors between the courtyard and the main sanctuary are closed [even if they are not locked], then it is not performed [unless one is doing so at the same time as the Minyan in Shul]. The entrance area of a Shul [i.e. Azarah] which leads to the main sanctuary has the same status as the courtyard of the shul, [and hence one is to only perform Nefilas Apayim in the entrance area if the doors to the main sanctuary are open and one can see the Aron]. [The side rooms of a Shul that are open to the entrance area, Azarah, but not to the main sanctuary, are not to have Nefilas Apayim performed there even when the door between it and the Azarah are open, and the door between the Azarah and main sanctuary are also open. If, however, there is a window between the side room and the main sanctuary, through which the Aron may be seen, then one may perform Nefilas Apayim there.]
The status of the Ezras Nashim: The Ezras Nashim where the women pray [and contains windows from which they can see the main sanctuary] has the same status as the main sanctuary of the shul which houses the Torah scroll, and hence it is customary to perform Nefilas Apayim when praying there even if it’s door which leads to the main sanctuary is closed.
If there is merely a sheet which separates between the main sanctuary and corridor, may one perform Nefilas Apayim in the corridor?
Yes, as a mere sheet is not considered an interval.
C. One who is praying at home at the same time as the congregation in Shul:
An individual [and certainly a Minyan] who is praying in a house [which does not contain a Sefer Torah] at the same time that the congregation is praying in shul, may perform Nefilas Apayim at the same time that the congregation performs it [so long as there isn’t any feces or idolatry which intervenes between them]. [However, he may not perform Nefilas Apayim before or after the congregation performs it, and thus it must be performed simultaneously with the Minyan in Shul. Hence, this is only practical in a case that one is praying in a house from which one can hear where the congregation is up to in their prayer, or communicate with someone who is in the Minyan. Alternatively, this is practical in a case that one is Davening in the courtyard of the Shul or other area that is outside the main sanctuary, he may perform Nefilas Apayim together with a Minyan even if he cannot see the main sanctuary and there is no door that leads to it from his area.]
The custom is not to perform Nefilas Apayim unless there is a Sefer Torah present in the area, with exception to some Sephardic communities and Jerusalem Jewry who are accustomed to perform Nefilas Apayim even if a Sefer Torah is not present. Some, however, are accustomed to perform Nefilas Apayim in an area that contains other Torah books, although this is not the ruling according to Admur. It is permitted to perform Nefilas Apayim from an area of the Shul that is outside the main sanctuary [i.e. Cheder Sheiyni, Ezras Nashim, Courtyard] if the Aron can be seen from that area, such as through a window or open door. Likewise, it is permitted to perform Nefilas Apayim in any area at the same time that a Minyan is performing Nefilas Apayim in Shul, so long as idolatry or feces does not intervene between the two areas.
 See Admur 131:3; Kaf Hachaim 131:40-50; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:10-12; Halacha Berurah [Yosef] 131:
 Darkei Moshe 23; Elya Raba 131:5; Shalmei Tzibur p. 150; Beis Yehuda Minhagei Algeria 64; Zechor Leavraham 6; Kitzur SHU”A 22:4; Derech Hachaim Dinei Tachanun 5; 1st opinion in M”B 131:11; See Kaf Hachaim 131:45 that after recording the different opinions on this matter concludes that one who follows the Rokeiach should not perform Nefilas Apayim even in area that contains Sefarim
 Shiyurei Kneses Hagedola 131:6 that so applies even according to Rokeiach ibid; Olas Tamid 131:10; Beir Heiytiv 131:6; Magen Giborim 131:7; 2nd opinion in M”B 131:11; Igros Moshe 5:20-5; Orchos Rabbeinu 1:67; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:11
 Poskim ibid
 Divrei Yatziv 1:74; Igros Moshe 4:21
 Rav SZ”A in Ishei Yisrael 25 footnote 39; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:11
 Igros Moshe 5:20-5 [however, see there that it is questionable whether children need to be educated in saying Tachanun at all, and that in Europe, this was not done]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:11
 Admur ibid; Rama ibid “the courtyard which is open to the shul”; Maharil ibid; M”A 131:7 “however if the Shul is closed, then no.”; Taz 131:6; Darkei Moshe 131; Shiyurei Kneses Hagedola 131:5; Elya Raba 131:6; Shalmei Tzibur p. 150; Kaf Hachaim 131:48
 Taz 131:6; Levushei Serud ibid and P”M 131 M”Z 6 that this comes to exclude if one is standing by the side of the courtyard which is not opposite the door; M”B 131:13
 M”B 131:13 based on Poskim ibid
 The reason: As when the doors are open and one can see the ark, it is considered as if one is in front of the Torah scroll. [M”A ibid]
 P”M 131 M”Z 6
 Daas Torah 131; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:12
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if the door is closed but not locked, then Nefilas Apayiom may be performed. [Az Nidbaru 5:22]
 P”M 131 M”Z 6
 Admur ibid; M”A ibid; Kneses Hagedola ibid; Elya Raba ibid; Shalemi Tzibur ibid; Beir Heiytiv 131:7; M”B 131:13; Kaf Hachaim 131:48
 Admur ibid; Elya Raba 131:6; Olas Tamid 131:11; Shaar Hatziyon 131:10
 Shaar Hatziyon 131:12
The reason: As it is considered its own room. [Shaar Hatziyon ibid]
 Daas Torah 131:; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:12
 Admur ibid; M”A 131:7; Maharil ibid; Hagahos Maimanis Shacharis Shel Chol Os Yud Beis; Beir Heiytiv 131:7
 Levushei Serud 131:7; M”B 131:13; See Daas Torah 131 and Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:12 that it is questionable whether one must see the actual Aron even when one sits to recite Nefilas Apayim
 Daas Torah 131; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:12
 Admur ibid; Rama ibid; Iggur 168 in name of Maharil; M”A 131:8; Taz 131:7; Kneses Hagedola 131:7; Olas Tamid 131:12; Elya Raba 131:7; Shalmei Tzibur p. 150; M”B 131:15; Kaf Hachaim 131:49
Other opinions: Some Poskim write that the accustomed practice is not to perform Nefilas Apayim at home even at the same time as the congregation in shul. [Levush 131, brought in Taz ibid]
 Taz ibid; Beir Heiytiv 131:8
 Implication of Admur and M”A ibid who reference to 55:22; Elya Raba 131:7; P”M 131 A”A 8, M”Z 7; Levushei Serud 131:8; M”B 131:13; Kaf Hachaim 131:49
 The reason: As when one prays at the same time as the congregation it is considered as if he is standing with them in prayer, as even a divider of metal cannot separate between the Jewish people and their father in heaven, so long as there are 10 people in one area, as explained in chapter 55 Halacha 22. [Admur ibid]
 Implication of Admur ibid; M”A ibid; Levush 131, brought in Taz ibid; Beir Heiytiv 131:8; Machatzis Hashekel 131:8; M”B 131:15
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one may perform Nefilas Apayim in his home if he is praying at the same time as the congregation, even if he cannot hear them and does not know the exact area that they are up to in the prayer. [Implication of Taz ibid who negates the ruling of the Levush] See M”B 131:14-15
 Levush, brought in Taz ibid; Kneses Hagedola 131:7; Kaf Hachaim 131:49; See, however, M”B 131:14 that it applies even if he is far from the Shul
 See P”M 131 M”Z 6