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Q & A: Chazzan And Congregation (Part II)


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“Nevertheless, in matters of sanctity we are not that strict because our sages merely said that one is not to recite a matter of sanctity in the presence of less than 10.”

The Shulchan Aruch Harav concludes by quoting the Arizal who discusses the custom of all congregants saying the complete text of Kedushah with the chazzan word for word quietly, with the exception of “Nakdishach” and “Kadosh, kadosh” which are recited aloud.

The Mishnah Berurah (ad loc. sk1) explains that all congregants should be quiet because the chazzan is their shliach. If the congregation recites along with the chazzan, how can he be referred to as its messenger? Similarly, the Mishnah Berurah writes that during Kaddish, a person one should be careful not to recite “Yitgadel” with the chazzan even if there is a minyan aside from him. Rather, he should listen to the chazzan and then respond after him at the appropriate times.

The Ba’er Heitev (ad loc. sk3) states that a person should be very careful to concentrate with full intention to sanctify Hashem in order that Kedushah should rest upon him from above. He should have intention to fulfill the command of “V’nikdashti betoch benei Yisroel – I should be sanctified among the children of Israel” (Leviticus 22:32). The Ba’er Heitev comments that the Arizal was continually warning about the severity of Kedushah and the care one must take in its regard.

(To be continued)

Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


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