Shevat 5772 – Making Up For Missed Tefilos – What to Do??

Making Up For Missed Tefilos - What to Do?? Shevat 5772
Making Up For Missed Tefilos – What to Do??
by Rabbi Aaron Tendler


L’chvod Harav

I heard there is something regarding that if one misses saying shacharis in the morning he has to say mincha twice. Why is is that one can reciprocate saying one tefilla for another – If a person misses shaking lulav one day, he can not shake it twice the next to make up for it! The question is: Where is this “halacha” found? I know there are halochos of tefilla that no longer apply – Is this maybe one of them? Is it ever permissible to do that? Also, because it is not a woman’s obligation to daven anyway, if a woman forgets to daven, would she need to daven the next tefilla twice?

Name and Seminary withheld by request

Thank you for an excellent and interesting question. The source of the Halacha regarding compensating for missed Tefillos is the Gemara in Berachos 26a, and the details are discussed in the Shulchan Oruch, Orach Chayim 108, and the Kitzur Shulchan Oruch Siman 21. I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you mention that there are Halachos of Tefillah that no longer apply, as far as I know they all apply today. This Halacha most definitely does apply.

The Gemara there actually asks your question- if you cannot do a Mitzvah once you’ve missed the proper time for it, how can you compensate for a missed Davening? The Gemara replies that this is true if you deliberately missed, if it is unintentional, you may make it up. Tosafos there explain that Davening is not like other Mitzvos. According to the Torah, a person may and should Daven as often as they want- “Halevai (if only!) a person would Daven all day long!” Tefillah is perhaps the most profound connection one can establish with Hashem, and it certainly would seem to be praiseworthy if a person could truly connect with Hashem the entire day!! However, Chazal discouraged voluntary Tefillah, and once Anshei Knesses HaGedolah instituted the order and the frequency of the Davening, they said the opposite, “Halevai people should properly Daven the Tefillos they are required to Daven!” If a person insists on Davening more than required by Chazal, they said the person must add something new to the supplementary Tefillah, it shouldn’t just be a repetition of a previous Tefillah they had said.

From the above it is clear that, when Chaza”l said a person may compensate for a missed Tefillah if they unintentionally missed one by saying two of the next Tefillah, they weren’t requiring it, but allowing it. Whereas usually they frown upon additional Tefillos, in this case they allow and encourage it. In this situation there is no requirement to add something new to the compensating Tefillah, since it itself serves a “new purpose”, i.e. compensation for the missed Tefillah.

Regarding a woman who normally recites Shemoneh Esrei, but unintentionally forgot to do so, since she is compensating for a “missed” Tefillah, she should say two Shemoneh Esrei’s during the next Tefillah. However, it must be the next Tefillah, not the next one she Davens. Therefore, if a woman would want to compensate for a Missed Mincha, she would have to Daven Maariv twice, even if she usually doesn’t Daven Maariv.

If a woman does not usually say Shemoneh Esrei, there is no point in her saying two the next Tefillah in a situation where she planned on Davening but “missed”. The same would apply to if she forgot to say Yaaleh V’Yavo. There is no need to Daven again, if she does not regularly Daven that Tefillah.

I hope you found this helpful!

Take care,

Rabbi Aaron Tendler