Hi. Regarding the amidah: 1. Do we have to take three steps back when answering "yehe sheme raba mebaraj...", or right after the whole kaddish has finished? I have the first custom, but I see that many people stay in their places when answering in the kaddish. 2. When and how do we say "Hashem sefatay tiftach ufi yaguid tehilatecha"? 3. When finishing the amida, do we say the prayer for the reconstruction of the bet hamikdash ("yehi ratson milefaneja Hashem Elokenu VElohe abotenu shetibne...") before taking three steps forward? Or do we take the three steps (after saying "Ose shalom...) and then recite the last lines? Thank you very very much!
Shalom, Your questions are important questions, especially since often interesting customs "stuck" to the prayer. 1. People who answer to Kaddish do not need to take three steps back. However, when the Cantor says Kaddish Shalem, he walks three steps back before saying "O'se shalom". (Shulchan Aruch, 56, 5) 2. We say "Hashem sefatay tiftach" before each Amida prayer - before the prayer of each one and the Cantor also before he repeats the prayer loudly (Shulchan Aruch 11, 1 and 123, 6). This verse is considered as the beginning of the Amidah prayer and is said after the three steps forward. 3. The "Darkey Moshe (Rama) wrote in Orach chayim 123 that there is a custom to say "Yehi ratzon" after "O'se shalom". This is said before we step forward. When we finish praying, we separate from the Shekhinah - the Divine Presence and walk backward. We don't return right away to show our reluctance to part from the Shekhinah, so say the "Yehi ratzon" before we step forward. Rabbi Yisrael Wende