Torah Tidbits

20 August 2014 / 24 Av 5774
Issue 1039
Shabbat Parshat Tzav-Hagadol-Shmini
March 21, 2013

Guest Article


We stop asking for TAL U’MATAR after Mincha on Erev Pesach.
We continue to say MASHIV HARU’ACH UMORID HAGASHEM (henceforth called G) in Maariv and Shacharit of the first day of Pesach. Then we say T’FILAT TAL and from Musaf of the first day of Pesach, we will be saying MORID HATAL. And at Maariv following Yom Tov, we will begin saying V’TEIN BRACHA in the weekday (and Chol HaMoed) Amida.
Note that many congregations in Israel say “TAL” when they finish putting away the Torahs right before closing the Aron. Others follow the common practice of Chutz LaAretz and say TAL as part of the beginning of the Chazan’s repetition of Musaf. When TAL is said before the silent Amida of Musaf, then it - meaning the prayer for TAL, constitutes the announcement to the congregation to stop saying G and to commence saying Morid HaTal.
However, when TAL is said after the silent Amida, an announcement - in the form of a gabbai “klopping” on the shulchan and stating aloud “Morid HaTal” is required. Tech- nically, if no one announces Morid HaTal, then we should continue saying G one more Amida (Musaf) and begin Morid HaTal at Mincha (which, of course, is after T’filat Tal). This will not usually happen in large congregations with knowledgable members, but it can happen in a small minyan with a gabbai that falls asleep at the switch. Anyone can call out Morid HaTal (and usually, several people do) and that “authorizes” the change for the kahal.
(Something that really shouldn’t be done - anytime - is to say things out loud in the middle of one’s silent Amida. Many people think they are being helpful by saying Morid HaTal or Yaaleh V’Yavo or Al HaNisim or whatever aloud, but it should not be done. Nonetheless, if a gabbai failed to announce Morid HaTal and the person next to you wrongly said the words Morid HaTal aloud within his Amida, that too would constitute an announcement for you. Go figure.)
In those congregations (Nusach Ashkenaz in Chutz LaAretz) where nothing is said in the place of G from Pesach to Shmini Atzeret, only T’filat Tal is considered the announcement for dropping G, and therefore, when Tal is said as part of the repetition, G is said in the silent Musaf and dropped from Mincha onward.
If one mistakenly says G once we stop saying it, the Amida is considered invalid and must be repeated. Catching oneself within the second bracha of the Amida, requires backtracking to the beginning of that bracha and saying from there - ATA GIBOR…
Forgetting MORID HATAL (but not saying G either) does not require repeating or even returning to say it.
Asking for TAL UMATAR once we stop, also invalidates the Amida and requires repeating it. Catching the error while still in the Amida requires going back to BAREICH ALEINU and repeating from that bracha.

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