| Rabbi Ephraim Friedman
A special full-length Halacha Encounters
Havdallah in Tefillah
At the conclusion of Shabbos, in addition to reciting havdalah over a cup of wine, one is required to recite havadallah during tefillas ma'ariv in shmoneh esrei. The proper place for havdalah in shmoneh esrei is in the first brocha of the middle section,"ata chonein". If one forgot to recite havdalah at the appropriate place, once he has recited Hashem's name in the closing phrase of this brocha he would not go back but would simply continue davening without including havdalah. The Aruch HaShulchan (294:10) suggests that in the event that one omitted havdalah from its place in shmone esrei, he should recite it at the conclusion of shmone esrei after reciting the verse "yihiyu l'ratzone..." (Refer to Ishei Yisroel 36 note 272 for further discussion of this point.) In any case, it is clear that omitting havdalah from shmone esrei will not invalidate the tefillah.
There is, however one very interesting exception to this rule. Although omitting havdalah will generally not affect the validity of shmone esrei, if one subsequently made a second error and ate or drank before reciting havdalah over wine, he will at that point be obligated to repeat shmone esrei and include havdalah before reciting havdalah over wine. This halacha originates in Mesechos Brochos (33a) where the gemorah says that one who commits a double error, must return to the beginning of shmone esrei. The Rosh, Rashba and other Rishonim interpret the gemorah in the above manner, and the Shulchan Aruch (294:1) records it as an undisputed p'sak halacha. Talmidei Rabeinu Yonah (Brochos 23b) describes this as a k'nas (penalty) which Chazal imposed on one who erred twice.
Let us examine some pertinent details.
As we explained, the requirement of repeating shmone esrei results from having done two things wrong. Generally eating or drinking is forbidden before reciting havdalah. Drinking water, however, is permissible before havdala. Consequently, if one omitted havdalah in shmone esrei and drank water before reciting havdala on wine, he will not be required to repeat shmone esrei. (Ktzos Hashulcan 93 note 8).
Does the halacha of repeating shmone esrei apply to women as well?
Many - or perhaps most - women do not daven ma'ariv even on Motzei Shabbos. (Mishna Brurah 106:4 and 299:37) They typically rely on reciting Boruch Hamavdil bein Kodesh l'chol and hearing havdalah recited over wine. If a woman were to mistakenly eat before hearing havdalah, she would be guilty of only one error. Even if this woman is amongst those women who do daven ma'ariv and she omitted havdalah from ma'ariv that same night, it would still seem logical that she need not daven over. For although if a woman who davens ma'ariv were to omit from shmone esrei an aspect which clearly interferes with the validity of her tefillah (e.g.tal u'matar during the winter or ya'aleh v'yovo on a Chol Hamoed night), she would be advised to repeat shmone esrei, our situation is not identical. Omitting havdalah from shmone esrei does not interfere with the validity of the tefillah, as explained above. Rather, one who committed that error in combination with the additional error of eating before havdalah is penalized and must repeat shmone esrei in order to fill in the missing havdalah. Women, however, should not be subject to such a penalty, since they really don't have to recite that form of havdalah in the first place. Nonetheless, this issue is not entirely one-sided. The Toras Shabbos (294:2) paskens that a woman who davens ma'ariv will be subject to the same halacha as a man, and if she forgets havdalah in davening and also eats before havdalah over wine, she must repeat shmone esrei. HaGaon Rav Chaim Kanievesky, shlita (Ishei Yisroel, Tshuva 313) is also inclined to pasken this way.
Perhaps their understanding of the halacha is that Chazal viewed the omission of havdalah from shmone esrei for one who ate before havdalah equal to the omission of any other essential component. Consequently, a woman who davens ma'ariv would be in the same position as a man and would be required to daven over.
When Yom Tov falls out on Motzei Shabbos there is also a mitzva to recite two forms of havdalah: one as a part of ma'ariv shmoneh esrei and another over a cup of wine in conjunction with the Yom Tov Kiddush. Here, too, one who omits havdalah at davening will be required to repeat shmone esrei if he errs a second time and eats or drinks before havdalah over wine.
Imagine the following scene. The first seder of Pesach falls out on Motzei Shabbos (as it will this year, 5765.) You overlook the paragraph for havdalah in your machzor and complete shmone esrei without saying it. At home, you sit down at the seder in a festive Yom Tov mood, having long forgotten about the Shabbos which just ended. After announcing the first of the simanei haseder,"Kaddaish" you proceed to sing Kiddush with the Yom Tov melody. Following Kiddush you say bircas shechechiyanu, carefully lean on the left side, and begin drinking the kiddush wine which is also the first of the four cups of the seder. Suddenly, someone at the table jumps up and says: "We forgot to say havdalah." At that point you have made two errors, omitting havdalah from shmone esrei and drinking wine before reciting havdalah. You must now repeat shmone esrei and include havdalah, before proceeding with the seder. (Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchosa 62 note 37).
If one forgot to daven mincha on Shabbos afternoon and is davening shmone esrei twice at ma'ariv to compensate (as discussed in Shulcan Aruch (O.C.108;10)he should include havdalah in the first shmone esrei only.
If one forgot to daven ma'ariv on Motzei Shabbos and is davening shmone esrei twice the next morning, he does not need to recite havdalah in either shmone esrei. In a similar vein, women who do not daven ma'ariv do not recite havdalah during shacharis Sunday morning.
However, one who did not recite havdalah over wine at night in addition to not davening ma'ariv, should include havdalah in the second shmone esrei which he says at shacharis, and should also recite havdalah over wine after davening. (This follows the P'sak of the Be'ur Halacha 294:1 who deals with this issue in detail.)
One who recited havdalah over wine on Motzei Shabbos before davening ma'ariv, should still include havdalah in shmone esrei at ma'ariv.
Rabbi Friedman is the Moreh Hora'ah for Beis Medrash Mikor HaChaim and leads the Kollel's Yoreh Deah and Shabbos night chaburos.