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  • Halacha
  • Way of Prayer

Skipping prayers or prayers in English


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

26 Tishrei 5763
My Hebrew reading skills are limited and I find that the Minyan davens too fast for me to keep up. Am I allowed to skip any prayers in order to say the Shemona Esrei on time and if not, may I keep up in English?
It is preferable to daven aways in Hebrew (Mishna Brura 62,3) because a translation cannot be entirely and consistently accurate. It is wrong to make a habit of davening in a language other than Hebrew for other reasons as well (Mishna Brura 101,14). I suggest that you begin your davening before the minyan does- ten minutes, fifteen minutes or whatever time is necessary- so that you and the minyan reach shmoneh esrei at the same time exactly. Let me add that it is not too late to improve your Hebrew especially since you are not starting from scratch. The Rambam gave this same advice to a Jew of his day who asked him to translate his Hebrew works into Arabic. B'hatzlacha!
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