Shabbat Davenings

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Friday afternoon

  1. At Mincha on Friday there’s no Tachanun even if one prays Mincha Gedolah (six and a half hours). [1]
  2. If one has a meal after midday on Friday should say Shir HaMaalot and not Al Neharot Bavel. [2] (but see Having a meal on Erev Shabbat; this may not be allowed)

Kabbalat Shabbat

Shir Hashirim

  1. Many sepharadim have the minhag to read the megilla of Shir Hashirim every Friday night.[3]

Bameh Madlikin

  1. The minhag is to say Bemeh Madlikin before Arvit on Friday night.[4]
  2. Bemeh Madlikin isn't said if Yom Tov falls on Friday or Shabbat or on Shabbat Chol HaMoed.[5]Sephardim don't say Bemeh Madlikin on Shabbat Chanuka, and if Yom Kippur falls out on Shabbat. [6]

Mizmor Shir Lyom Hashabbat

  1. The minhag is to say Mizmor Shir Lyom Hashabbat and Hashem Melech at the end of Kabbalat Shabbat.[7]
  2. If a congregation said kaddish after Mizmor Shir Lyom Hashabbat before Hashem Melech they don't need to say it again after finishing Hashem Melech.[8]

Lecha Dodi

  1. If the entrance isn't to the west one should still turn to the west when one is saying Boyi Kallah, however, if the congregation turns to the door it can make sense since they're doing so for the sake of Shabbat. [9]

Friday Night

  1. In the Bracha of Hashkivenu (השכיבנו) on Friday night the Sephardic minhag is that one doesn’t conclude the usual way rather starting from ובצל כנפיך תסתירנו one should add ופרוס סכת שלום עלינו ועל ירושלים עירך ברוך אתה ה' הפורס סכת שלום עלינו ועל כל עמו ישראל ועל ירושלים. [10]
  2. The minhag is to say VeShamru on Shabbat and VaYidaber Moshe on Yom Tov after the Brachot Kriyat Shema before Shmoneh Esrei. [11]


The principal sanctification of Shabbat is consummated with the recitation of the "Vayechulu" passage. Based on mystical considerations, the Vayechulu passage is to be recited no less than three times[12] on Friday night. It is recited twice within the course of the Maariv prayer and the again at home as part of the Kiddush.[13] We are taught that one who says Vayechulu on Friday night is considered to be a partner with God in creation.[14] So too, it is in merit of the recitation of Vayechulu that one is provided with the two escorting angels[15] and additionally all of one's sins are forgiven.[16]

So important is this passage, that according to most authorizes, once one has recited Vayechulu one has discharged one's true obligation of reciting Kiddush. The common custom of reciting the Kiddush at home over a cup of wine is essentially a rabbinical enactment and not necessarily a pre-requisite for fulfilling the Torah's mitzva of Kiddush.[17] Some authorities however do not consider Kiddush properly discharged until it is recited over a cup of wine.[18] The recitation of Kiddush at home, in addition to repetition of Vayechulu, also recalls the exodus from Egypt. There are several authorities who argue that one has not truly fulfilled the mitzva of Kiddush unless one has made reference to the Exodus in the Kiddush.[19]

It is interesting to note that it may just be that the only reason Vayechulu is repeated after Maariv all year long is simply to ensure that it be recited on a Yom Tov which would coincide with a Shabbat, in which case the Vayechulu would not have been recited as part of the Maariv Amida.[20] Similarly, the recitation of Vayechulu at Kiddush is actually not truly required. Rather, it is recited for the benefit of those present who may not yet have heard or recited Vayechulu as is often the case by women and children who don't normally say the Maariv prayer.[21]

The Vayechulu that is recited following the Maariv Amida is to be recited standing, out loud, and in unison with the rest of the congregation.[22] The purpose of this recitation of Vayechulu is to serve as a form of testimony, proclaiming our belief that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. As such, some authorities require it to be recited with at least another person,[23] while others call for it to be recited as part of a minyan.[24] If need be, Vayechulu may be recited while sitting.[25]

Another reason that Vayechulu is recited three times on Friday night is because the word "asher" appears three times. The word "asher" also appears 3 times in reference to the Para Aduma, red heifer. The rabbis derive form here that just as the Para Aduma brings forgiveness and purity, so too does the thrice recitation of Vayechulu.[26]

It is recommended that one not overly prolong one's Amida in order to be able to recite Vayechulu with the congregation.[27] Other authorities are not too particular about reciting it along with someone else. According to this approach, if one missed the opportunity of saying Vayechulu along with the congregation then it is best recited alone afterwards.[28] Some authorities rule however that those praying alone should never recite Vayechulu after the Amida.[29]

It is noted that reciting Vayechulu three times on Friday night contains within it deep kabbalistic secrets.[30] If one is in the midst of reciting the silent Amida when the congregation about to recite Vayechulu together, one should aim to recite the Vayechulu of one's Amida along with the congregation, if possible.[31] Talking during the public recitation of Vayechulu is strictly forbidden.[32]

Me'ayn Sheva

  1. The blessing of Magen Avot/me'ayn sheva, recited after the amidah on Friday night, is only said in an established shul. An ad hoc minyan in a home does not recite Magen Avot since it was only established to wait for latecomers and in an ad hoc minyan this isn't a concern.[33] If a minyan is made in a home every Friday night there is a dispute in the poskim if this is enough to require me'ayn sheva. Some contend that the minyan must also have a Torah scroll present in order to recite Magen Avot. [34] Sephardim hold that even if the minyan regularly prays in a certain room, even if it is the lobby of the shul, it isn't considered an established shul in order to recite meeyn sheva. If they establish that permanently it will be used as a shul then they can recite meeyn sheva.[35]
  2. The general minhag is to skip meeyn sheva on Pesach night that falls out on Shabbat since Hashem protects us that night there's no need to recite this bracha which was instituted to delay for those davening later and would be in danger if left alone. Some Moroccans have the practice to recite it even on Pesach night.[36]
  3. The minhag of the old city of Yerushalayim is to say Magen Avot/me'ayn sheva even at a non-established shul.[37]
  4. If a person made a mistake in Shemona Esrei and needs to repeat Shemona Esrei he can listen to meeyn sheva and that count as his Shemona Esrei.[38] One should try not to rely upon this leniency.[39]


  1. The minhag is to have davening later on Shabbat but to be careful not to miss the time for kriyat shema.[40]
  2. The minhag is to extend davening on Shabbat with zemirot in davening and one shouldn't protest even because of bitul torah but they shouldn't extend so late because it is forbidden to fast past midday.[41]
  3. Nishmat is a special tefillah added to pesukei dzimrah on Shabbat.[42]
  4. In Nishmat, one shouldn't bow when one recites the words "ולך אנחנו מודים" since one shouldn't add to the established institutions of bowing of chazal.[43]
  5. Some stand for the words of Nishmat Kol Chay since one is accepting part of their additional neshama for Shabbat then.[44]
  6. If someone forgot to say Nishmat in pesukei dzimrah he doesn't need to make it up after davening.[45]
  7. There are seven aliyot on Shabbat. According to Sephardim it is permitted to add hosafot[46], however, Ashkenazim try not to add hosafot.[47]
  8. If there is a double parsha the gabbay should try to arrange that three and a half of the main seven aliyot are from each parsha.[48]


  1. If Rosh Chodesh is coming up in the next week, before Mussaf the congregation says the bracha for the new moon and announces the rosh chodesh. [49]
  2. Ashkenazim have the minhag to stand for the announcement and bracha of Rosh Chodesh on Shabbat the week before Rosh Chodesh. [50] However, the Syrian minhag is not to stand for this. [51]
  3. See Mussaf


  1. Before taking out the sefer torah, the congregation says the pasuk "VaAni Tefilati". [52]
  2. After Shmoneh Esrei the minhag is to say "Tzidkatcha Tzedek". If it is a day that had it been a weekday they wouldn't have said Tachanun, they don't say Tzidkatcha at mincha.[53]
  3. In the shemoneh esrei of Shabbat, the practice is to say וינוחו בה on friday fight, וינוחו בו on Shabbat morning, and וינוחו בם in Mincha on Shabbat afternoon.[54] Some poskim write that if you are going to recite וינוחו בם in Mincha you should say שבתות קדשך so that the plural form is consistent.[55] Others write that you should simply use וינוחו בו during Mincha as well.[56]

Saying the weekday Shmoneh Esrei by mistake

  1. If one made a mistake and began a weekday bracha on Shabbat, one should finish that bracha and then continue from the middle bracha of the Shabbat Shemona Esrei. [57]
  2. If one made a mistake and said Atta as the first word of Atta Chonen and then remembers that it is Shabbat, if it is for Mariv on Friday night or Mincha on Shabbat day then one should continue with Kidashta for Mariv and Echad for Mincha since those brachot begin with Atta. If it is Shacharit and one already said Atta, if one said Atta because one forgot that it was Shabbat one should finish Atta Chonen and continue with Yismach, however, if one remembered that it was Shabbat and by habit said Atta, one should continue with Yismach Moshe. [58]
  3. If one made a mistake and began a weekday Shemona Esrei bracha during Mussaf, one should stop even in middle of the bracha and continue with Tikanta Shabbat.[59]
  4. If one made a mistake and said the entire weekday Shemona Esrei, one hasn't fulfilled his obligation to pray Shemona Esrei of Shabbat, so he has to start from the beginning. [60]
  5. If someone isn't sure if he said a weekday or Shabbat Tefillah after he finished according to Ashkenazim he should repeat Shemona Esrei since he likely didn't say the Shabbat Tefillah since he is accustomed to the weekday Tefillah.[61] According to Sephardim he shouldn't repeat it since he might have said it considering the fact that he was aware that it was Shabbat.[62]

Switching the Shabbat Tefillot

  1. If someone switched up the tefillot of Arvit, Shacharit, or Mincha with one another he fulfilled his obligation after the fact. For example, if at Shabbat Mincha he said Yismach Moshe and realized after Shemona Esrei he fulfilled his obligation.[63]
  2. If during the time of Mussaf someone said another tefillah of Shabbat by accident one didn't fulfill one's obligation since Mussaf requires mentioning the Korban Mussaf which the other tefillot don't do.[64] Ideally he should try to hear the Shaliach Tzibur and fulfill his obligation with him.[65]
  3. Additionally, if at the time of another tefillah someone accidentally said Mussaf he didn't fulfill his obligation since he mentioned the Mussaf korban it would a lie to consider it another tefillah. However, if at Shacharit he mistakenly said the Mussaf tefillah he did fulfill Mussaf so he should only say Shacharit afterwards and not Mussaf again.[66] Ideally he should try to hear the Shaliach Tzibur and fulfill his obligation with him.[67]

Personal Requests

  1. One should refrain from making any personal requests in davening on Shabbat because that is a violation of having Oneg Shabbat and removing all of one's anxieties on Shabbat.[68]
  2. If the request is part of the established texts such as the HaRachaman's in benching it is permitted to recite them on Shabbat. [69]
  3. Some say it is permitted to ask for spiritual needs on Shabbat. [70]
  4. Some suggest that this doesn't apply to Yom Tov. [71]

If one forgot to say Mincha on Friday afternoon

  1. If one forgot to say Mincha on Friday one should say Arvit on Friday night, two Shmoneh Esreis of Shabbat, the first one for Arvit and the second as a makeup for Mincha (Tashlumin). [72]

Mariv on Saturday Night

See the Atta_Chonantanu page.

Singing Zemirot

see Shabbat Zemirot

Learning on Shabbat

  1. People who work during the week should make an extra effort to learn Torah on Shabbat and Yom Tov. [73]


Special thanks to Rabbi Ari Enkin for his contribution to the Vayichulu section from his books Amot Shel Halacha.


  1. S”A 267:1, Mishna Brurah 267:1
  2. Mishna Brurah 267:1
  3. Rabbi Eli Mansour see there for potential reasons and importance of reciting shir hashirim on Friday night.
  4. Shulchan Aruch O.C .270:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:9
  5. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:9
  6. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (comments to Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:11)
  7. Rivevot Efraim 1:188 writes that saying Mizmor Shir Lyom Hashabbat and Hashem Melech isn't found in the sources that describe kabbalat shabbat including Rav Moshe Kardevero, Yosef Ometz, and the Aruch Hashulchan. However, it is in the Siddur Yavetz. Sh"t Rambam (Blau n. 168) records a minhag to recite Mizmor Shir Lyom Hashabbat Friday night and it sounds like it is said before Maariv.
  8. Rivevot Efraim 1:188 explains that once you said kaddish once there is no more establishment to add another one.
  9. Igrot Moshe 3:45
  10. S”A 267:3
  11. Mishna Brurah 267:9
  12. Kaf Hachaim 268:33
  13. Shabbat 119b, Rambam Shabbat 29:7, Shulchan Aruch OC 268:1
  14. Shabbat 119b, See Likutei Maharan II:8
  15. Shabbat 119b
  16. Shabbat 119b. The Abudraham suggests that the word ‘asher’ which appears three times in the Vayechulu also appears three times in the portion of the red heifer thereby connecting the two, with the red heifer being the ultimate source of purity and forgiveness from sin.
  17. Rambam Shabbat 29:6, Magen Avraham 271:1, but see Rabbi Akiva Eiger ad loc.
  18. Rashi;Berachot 25b, Rabbi Akiva Eiger, ad loc.
  19. Pesachim 117b
  20. O.C. 268:7, Tosfot;Pesachim 106a
  21. Ibid. Ta'amei Haminhagim 289
  22. O.C. 268:7
  23. Mishna Brurah 268:19
  24. Taz;O.C.268:5
  25. Kaf Hachaim 268:36
  26. Kaf Hachaim 268:34
  27. Beiur Halacha
  28. Chazon Ish O.C. 39:10, Kaf Hachaim 268:36
  29. Taz 268:5
  30. Kaf Hachaim 268:33,35
  31. Halichot Shlomo I 14:5, Tzitz Eliezer 14:24
  32. O.C. 268:12, Mishna Brurah 56:1
  33. Shabbat 24b, Shulchan Aruch O.C. 268:10, Radvaz 4:18
  34. Shulchan Aruch OC 268:10 writes that since me'ayn sheva was only established because of latecomers, if it isn't an established minyan it isn't said. Taz 268:8 writes that a place which was established to daven there sometimes is considered established for the purposes of me'ayn sheva. Mishna Brurah 268:24 based on the Eliya Rabba writes that it is only considered an established minyan if it is established for a few days and has a sefer torah. Rivivot Ephraim 1:190 . See also Eretz Hemda.
  35. Rav Yitzchak Yosef (Motzei Shabbat Yitro 5781 min 30)
  36. Imrei Yosher Sharvit 5:18 p. 177
  37. Ben Ish Chai (Shana Sheni, Vayera 10) writes that me'ayn sheva can be said even at a temporary shul based on kabbalistic reasons. He writes that this was the minhag of Yerushalayim from the time of the Rashash and he personally extended this minhag to Baghdad. Kaf Hachaim 268:3 quotes this. However, Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 3 p. 41) argues that since it is a question of a bracha levatala it should only be said in the old city of Yerushalayim which because of its holiness is completely like a shul.
  38. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 268:13, Machzor Vitri (Arvit Shabbat n. 4, v. 1 p. 172) quoting Teshuvat Rashi, Rav Moshe Goan, and Rav Neturay Goan. Tur 268:13 questions Rav Neturay Goan. Footnote to Machzor Vitri fnt. 10 cites Mangid Shabbat 10, Shibolei Haleket 66, and Avudraham who agree.
  39. Mishna Brurah 268:28
  40. Rama OC 281:1, Mishna Brurah 281:1
  41. Rama OC 281:1
  42. Kaf Hachaim 281:8 writes about how nishmat is a very special tefillah. There is a segulah if a person is in danger to take upon himself to say Nishmat before ten people if he is saved from that danger. The gematria of the first letters of the first three words adds up to 78 which is 3 times 26. The gematria of the second and third word add up to 68 which is chayim and a combination of 3 of Hashem's names. It is kabbalistically in place of wearing tefillin on Shabbat and therefore it is important that it is said before shema.
  43. Shulchan Aruch 281:1
  44. Kaf Hachaim 51:23
  45. Mishna Brurah 281:3
  46. Shulchan Aruch 282:1. See Kaf Hachaim 282:10-11 who writes that because of the Tashbetz it is better not to add hosafot but those who do have what to rely upon. Also, adding hosafot after chamishi which just repeat pesukim is preferable and the minhag of Egypt.
  47. Mishna Brurah 282:4
  48. Mishna Brurah 282:5
  49. see next note
  50. Magen Avraham 417:1, Igrot Moshe 1:142
  51. Rabbi Mansour on
  52. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:14
  53. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:15
  54. Sheyarei Knesset Hagedola 268:2, Magen Avraham 268:3, Kitzur S"A 76:3. Aruch Hashulchan 268:14 explains that in the Torah there is a feminine way of referring to evening (ליל) therefore we say "בה" then. Day (יום) is only masculine in the Torah therefore we say "בו". Mincha time which is close to the evening yet is still day we say "בם" which includes both. see also The World of Prayer: Commentary and Translation of the Siddur, Volume 1 pg. 17
  55. Nefesh Harav pg. 165. Chacham Ovadia Yosef (Yechave Daat 5:30) writes that ideally one should use וינוחו בו but if you are going to use וינוחו בם, you must say שבתות קדשך
  56. Sh"t Yechave Daat 5:30, Yalkut Yosef Shabbat vol. 1 pg. 211
  57. Gemara Brachot 21a, Shulchan Aruch 268:2, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:16
  58. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:17
  59. Shulchan Aruch 268:2, Kaf HaChaim 268:9, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:19. See also Mussaf.
  60. Shulchan Aruch 268:4-5
  61. Mishna Brurah 268:9
  62. Kaf Hachaim 268:19
  63. Shulchan Aruch 268:6 based on Shibolei Haleket no. 128
  64. Shulchan Aruch 268:6 based on Shibolei Haleket no. 128. Even though the Shulchan Aruch only quotes this as a minority opinion, Mishna Brurah 268:15 quotes the Achronim who say that it is unanimously accepted. Kaf Hachaim 268:29-30 agrees unlike the Chida.
  65. Kaf Hachaim 268:29
  66. Mishna Brurah 268:17, Yalkut Yosef 268:9
  67. Kaf Hachaim 268:30, Yalkut Yosef 268:9
  68. The Yerushalmi Shabbat 15:3 78b writes that it is forbidden to ask for requests on Shabbat. The Korban Haedah explains that it is because as part of Oneg Shabbat a person should consider that all of his needs are taken care of and making requests shows that isn't the case and it indeed furthers his anxiety. Midrash Vayikra Rabba 34:16 indicates the prohibition of not asking for needs on Shabbat is based on the halacha of Memso Chefsacha, not speaking about one's business on Shabbat. The Yerushalmi is cited by the Ran Shabbat 42b s.v. vedaber and Rosh Brachot 7:22. Shulchan Aruch 188:4 cites a ramification of the Yerushalmi as halacha.
  69. Yerushalmi Shabbat 15:3 clarifies that reciting the text of Rachem in Birkat Hamazon as one does during the week is permitted since that is the established text of the bracha. This is codified by the Rosh Brachot 7:22 and Shulchan Aruch 188:4. The Mishna Brurah 188:9 extends this to reciting the Harachaman's after Birkat Hamazon.
  70. Ohel Moed Shabbat 1:4 writes that even though it is forbidden to make requests on Shabbat that is only for matters of business or the like but not for spiritual needs such as Teshuva.
  71. Magen Avraham 128:70
  72. S”A 108:9
  73. Kitzur S”A 77:24