Aseret Yimei Teshuva

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This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

The period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is a unique time to improve one's character, deeds, and perform Teshuva.[1]

Practices of Aseret Yemei Teshuva

  1. During aseret yimei teshuva, one should increase his involvement in charity, in good deeds and in learning torah.[2]
  2. Even one who isn't strict regarding bread baked by a non-Jew (Pat Akum) during the rest of the year should be strict about Pat Akum even bread baked by a baker during Aseret Yemei Teshuva.[3]
  3. Some add that taking upon other extra stringencies is also appropriate during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah.[4] However, many say that one should only be stringent in things which are not actually prohibited, but not to follow a more stringent opinion for just these ten days, which would indicate that he believes something that is normally done all year is actually prohibited.[5]
  4. If a Jew turns on or raises the fire so that the bread bakes, that bread may be eaten during Aseret Yemei Teshuva.[6]

Changes in Shemona Esreh

Hamelech Hakadosh

  1. During the Aseret Yemei Teshuva, the conclusion of the Bracha HaEl HaKadosh is switched to HaMelech HaKadosh.[7] If one forgot to say HaMelech HaKadosh and remembered within Toch Kedi Dibbur (2-3 seconds), then one should say HaMelech HaKadosh right then.[8] If one remembered only afterwards one must start from the beginning of Shmoneh Esrei[9] even if one didn't yet begin the next bracha.[10] Once he began the first word of the next beracha automatically he needs to repeat Shemona Esrei.[11]
  2. If one is unsure if he said Hakel Hakadosh or Hamelech Hakadosh, one should return to the beginning of the Shmoneh Esrei, because we assume that he was used to saying Hakel Hakadosh like he does normally. This is true even if he knows that he added the other additions like zochreinu lechaim and mi kamocha.[12]
  3. If one recites melech hakadosh instead of hamelech hakadosh, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation.[13]
  4. On Friday night, the words HaKel HaKadosh are changed to HaMelech HaKadosh in the Bracha Mein Sheva that the Sheliach Tzibbur says.[14]If he forgets and remembers before the end of the Bracha he goes back to HaEl HaKadosh, if he remembers after concluding the Bracha, he doesn't repeat it.[15]

Hamelech Hamishpat

  1. The conclusion of the Bracha Melech Ohev Tzedaka UMishpat is changed to HaMelech HaMishpat.[16]
  2. According to Ashkenazim, if one accidentally recited the regular ending, one doesn’t go back to the beginning of Shemona Esreh.[17]
  3. According to Sephardim, if one forgot and remembered within Toch Kedi Dibbur (2-3 seconds) then one should say HaMelech Hamishpat right then. If one remembered afterwards, some say that one should return to the Beracha of Hashiva, but, if one already finished Shmoneh Esrei one must start from the beginning of Shmoneh Esrei.[18] If one is unsure, it’s the same as if one forgot.[19] However, some Sephardic poskim argue that the Minhag is like the Rama that if one remembered after Toch Kedi Dibbur one need not repeat anything.[20]

Other additions

  1. Four other additions to Shmoneh Esrei are the lines of Zochrenu LeChaim, Mi Kamocha, U'chetov lichaim, and UveSefer Chaim.[21]
  2. If one forgot to say these additions and didn't say Hashem's name of the conclusion of the bracha one should go back to that addition even though there are Shemot of Hashem between that addition and the conclusion of the bracha.[22]
  3. If one forgot to say these additions one doesn't need to repeat one's Shemona Esrei.[23]
  4. One may not skip UveSefer Chaim in order to catch Kedusha with the congregation since according to some opinions it is integral to the Shemona Esrei and also one is involved in a mitzvah and shouldn't rush for another mitzvah.[24]

Changes in Kaddish

  1. The Ashkenazic minhag during the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (Aseret Yemei Teshuva) is to say "LeElah UleElah MeKol Birchata" in Kaddish instead of "LeElah Min Kol Birchata."[25] Sephardim do not for the most part, as there is Kabbalistic significance to the number of letters in the Kaddish.[26]

Other Changes in Tefillah

Hashem Hu HaElokim

  1. Sephardim recite "Hashem Hu HaElokim" twice right before "Hashem Melech" before Pesukei DeZimra during Aseret Yimei Teshuva.[27]

Shir Hamaalot

  1. Many have the custom to recite Shir Hamaalot Mimaamakim (Tehillim 130) during Shacharit after Yishtabach before the Kaddish,[28] but some Ashkenazim don't have this practice.[29]

Avinu Malkenu

  1. After the Chazarat Hashatz during Shacharit and Mincha, we add the prayer of Avinu Malkenu.[30]
  2. Even a person who prays privately should add this.[31]
  3. On Shabbat, Ashkenazim do not recite Avinu Malkenu at all,[32] but there are different Minhagim among Sepharadim. Most Sepharadim recite them on Shabbat and omit the lines that are explicitly about sinning.[33]

Other Practices


  1. It is permissible to get married during Elul[34] or during the Aseret Yimei Teshuva.[35]

Shabbat Shuva

  1. The Shabbat during Aseret Yimei Teshuva is referred to as Shabbat Shuva, based on the opening words of the Haftara (Hoshea 14:2), Shuva Yisrael... One should not call up a child under Bar Mitzva to read the Maftir and Haftara for this week.[36]
  2. The minhag is for the Rabbi of the community to give a Drasha on Shabbat Shuva about Hilchot Yom Kippur and Sukkot as well as inspiration for Teshuva.[37]
  3. It is forbidden to fast on Shabbat Shuva.[38]



  1. Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg.209 writes from Rav Chaim Vital in Shaar Hakavanot 90C that each day of the week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur can atone for that day of the week for the entire year. For example, a Sunday can make up for all the sins he did on the Sundays throughout the year. Mishna Brura 603:2, Kaf Hachaim 662:14 agree.
    • The Gemara Rosh Hashana 18a writes that when the pasuk says דרשו ה' בהמצאו קראוהו בהיותו קרוב it refers to aseret yimei teshuva
  2. Rambam Hilchot Teshuva 3:4, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 204
  3. Shulchan Aruch 603:1, Mishna Brurah 603:1, Raavyah Rosh Hashana Siman 529: pg. 208, Or Zarua 2:257. See Pat Akum page for details regarding these halachot.
  4. Rabbeinu Manoach Hilchot Chametz UMatzah 1:5, Chayei Adam 143:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 130:2
  5. Beis Yosef 603 quoting the Tashbetz 117, Aruch Hashulchan 603:2 writes that therefore someone who is not usually makpid on Yashan or on "Glatt Kosher" should not take that up only for Aseres Yemei Teshuvah. See, however, B'Yitzchak Yikar (Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl) to Orach Chaim 603, who appears to disagree
  6. Mishna Brurah 603:1
  7. Rambam Hilchot Tefilla 10:13, S”A 582:1 based on Gemara Berachot 12b, Kitzur S”A 129:3, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 190
  8. S”A 582:2, Kitzur S”A 129:3, Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 62, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 190
  9. Rambam Hilchot Tefilla 10:13, Tur and S”A 582:1, Or Zarua 1:29, Orchot Chaim Tefilla 104, Rashba and Ritva on Berachot 12b, Kitzur S”A 129:3, Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 62, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 190, Sh"t Rav Pealim OC 2:7. Haghot Maimoni on Rambam Tefilla 10:13 writes that this is the ruling of Rashi, the Smag, and the Maharam but adds that the Raavya Berachot Siman 40 disagrees and says that one is yotze bidieved.
  10. Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 191-192 unlike the Kaf Hachaim 582:9 who posits that as long as one didn't start the next bracha it isn't an issue of fixing the last bracha just like there's not a problem of waiting between a bracha and eating after the fact. However, Chazon Ovadia argues that it isn't comparable.
  11. Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 190-192, Mishna Brura 487:1 in the Biur Halacha, Mateh Ephraim 582:9, Shaarei Teshuva 582, and Kaf Hachaim 582:10 all concur that once one started the next bracha it is too late to correct the previous one and therefore one must restart Shemona Esrei. This is in disagreement with the Pri Megadim.
  12. Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 63, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim page 192. Chazon Ovadia quotes some acharonim (Nitei Gavriel ROsh Hashana pg. 59 quoting the Taharat Hashulchan) who disagree and say that if you did mention zochreinu lichayim and mi kamocha then we can assume that you also said hamalech hakadosh.
  13. Sh"t Yabia Omer 2:29:1, Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 63
  14. S”A 582:3
  15. Mishna Brurah 582:11 writes that if he remembers before the end of the Bracha he goes back, however, after he finishes the Bracha, there’s a dispute in the achronim. However, the Kitzur S”A 129:4 writes that unless he remembers within Toch Kedi Dibbur he doesn’t go back.
  16. Gemara Berachot 12b, Shulchan Aruch 582:2, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 190
  17. Rama 118:1, Mishna Brurah 582:9, Darchei Moshe 582:3 based on Rabbeinu Yona that since we mention "Melech" even in our regular text, one would not need to go back. Chacham Ovadia Yosef recommends for Ashkenazim that even though the Rama says that you do not need to go back, that one should in fact go back and stipulate: if I'm obligated to repeat Shmoneh Esrei then I'm praying for my obligation, and if the halacha is that I don't have to repeat, my prayer should be considered a voluntary prayer. This is the ruling of the Taz 118:2, Mor Uketzia 118
  18. Shulchan Aruch 582:2, Sh"t Yabia Omer 2:8-10. Halichot Olam v. 2 p. 251, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 193), Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 64. Rav Ovadia writes that this is the halacha and we don't say Safek Brachot LeHakel. However he adds that it is more correct to stipulate: if I'm obligated to repeat Shmoneh Esrei then I'm praying for my obligation, and if the halacha is that I don't have to repeat, my prayer should be considered a voluntary prayer.
    • Rambam Hilchot Tefilla 10:13 rules that one must repeat the amida if he forgot to change to HaMelech HaMishpat. Or Zarua Hilchot Keriat Shema Siman 29 writes that this was also the ruling of the Rif. Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 194 cites a long list of Rishonim who held this way including Rosh (Brachot 1:16), Rif (Brachot 6b), Rambam (Hilchot Tefilla 10:13), Ramban (Milchamot Brachot 6b s.v. vod), Rashba (Brachot 12b s.v. amar), Ritva, and Maharam MiRutenberg (Tosfot Berachot 12b s.v. vhilchata). Meiri (Berachot 12b s.v. kol quotes the Rambam and Baal HaMaor but doesn't even mention the Rabbenu Yona. The Bet Yosef Orach Chaim 582:1 citing Rabbenu Manoach explains that the reason for this opinion is that Melech Ohev isn't interchangeable with HaMelech HaMishpat. The meaning of Melech Ohev is that Hashem the king uses justice and charity, however, HaMelech HaMishpat means that Hashem is the king who is the judge of the world.
    • Talmidei Rabbenu Yona (Berchot 7a s.v. u'mihu) holds that since we mention the word melech in our regular text, one does not need to go back. Darkei Moshe 582:3 cites this. This is also the opinion of Rav Yechiel the son of the Rosh (cited by Tur 118). Additionally, the Baal HaMaor (Brachot 6b s.v. may) argues that hamelech hakodesh and hamelech hamishpat are both are necessary initially.
  19. Tosfot (Brachot 12b s.v. vhilchata) writes that if someone isn't sure if he said the correct text we have to assume he made a mistake because one isn't accustomed to saying it yet. This is based on the Yerushalmi that it takes 30 days to be accustomed to a certain text. Rosh (Brachot 1:16) agrees. Shulchan Aruch 582:2 and Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 193) codify this halacha.
  20. Ben Ish Chai (I Nitsavim 19), Kaf Hachaim 582:8, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu in Maamar Mordechai (Aseret Yami Teshuva 19). Rav Mordechai Lebhar (Magen Avot, Orach Chaim 118:1, 582:1) writes how this is the Moroccan Minhag, as well, and he deals with the Safek Berachot LeHakel issue raised by Rav Ovadia from a number of angles.
  21. Rambam (Tefillah 2:19), Shulchan Aruch OC 582:5, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 205)
  22. Mishna Brurah 582:16
  23. Tosfot (Brachot 12b s.v. vehilchata) quotes the Ri who says that if one forgot these additions one should repeat Shemona Esrei since one changed from the text of the bracha. However, the Maharam argues since these are Geonic additions and not from the gemara. Rosh (Brachot 1:16) and Trumat Hadeshen 144 agree. Shulchan Aruch OC 582:5 codifies the opinion of the Maharam.
  24. Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 205), Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Shalmei Moed pg. 55, Yabia Omer 6:99 citing Rav Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg (Moriah Elul 5759 22:10-12 p. 100)
  25. Kitzur S”A 129:1 writes to say LeElah LeElah MeKol Birchata. Mishna Brurah 56:2, 582:16 agrees but adds a vav as follows LeElah ULeElah.
  26. Kaf Hachaim 582:39. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu’s footnote on Kitzur S”A 129:1 writes that the Sephardic minhag is not to change this for Aseret Yemei Teshuva. Rav Mordechai Lebhar (Magen Avot, Orach Chaim 582:1 notes how some did add it.
  27. Kaf Hachaim 582:13, Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 69, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 189
  28. Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg. 69, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 189
  29. Magen Avraham 54:2 questions this practice to say Shir Hamaalot between Yishtabach and Kaddish as it's clearly an interruption. Mishna Brurah 54:4 agrees. The Maharshal is quoted (Dagul Mervava Orach Chaim 54:3) as arguing that the issue of interrupting is only regarding pointless matters, not praises of Hashem like Tehillim, which may be recited even in middle of Birkot Keriat Shema. Emek Bracha pg 7 (Birkat Pesukei deZimra) notes how the Rambam (Hilchot Tefillah 7:13) records the custom of some communities to recite Az Yashir after Yishtabach and doesn't protest. Az Yashir, writes Rav Pameranchik, isn't a hefsek, because it's just a praise of Hashem. Shir HaMaalot Mimaamakim is not, however, so he leaves the issue unresolved. Rav Schachter (Hilchot Yom Kippur 5778, min 47) holds that the Ashkenazi practice is clearly not to say Shir Hamaalot. See Nefesh HaRav page 203.
  30. Rivash 512, Sh"t Shvut Yaakov 3:42, Rama 602:1, Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 205
  31. Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim pg. 205, Sh"t Shvut Yaakov 3:42, Rivash 512, DailyHalacha by Rabbi Eli Mansour
  32. Rama, Orach Chaim 584:1
  33. Magen Avot 584:1. See Rav Pe'alim 2:OC:46 and Yechaveh Daat 1:54
  34. Chacham Yitzchak Yosef (Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot 1:2:1) and Chacham Ovadia Yosef (Shu”t Yechave Daat 1:48) write that there is no reason to prohibit this. Sdei Chemed Maarechet Chatan Vikallah Siman 23 writes that he got married during Elul and many of the gedolim were present.
  35. Although Mateh Ephraim 602:5 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 130:4 write that since they are days of judgment one should avoid getting married then, Rav Dovid Tzvi Hoffman (Melamed Lehoil EH Siman 1) argues that the merit of getting married could help gain a favorable judgment. He writes that common practice was to allow weddings during this time, and that he himself got married on the 6th of Tishrei. Shu”t Yechave Daat 1:48 agrees. see also Ten Minute Halacha Scheduling a Wedding Date toward the end by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz where he agrees
    Interestingly, Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot 1:2:1) does add that, if possible, you should try to get married during Bein Hazmanim so as not to disrupt the learning.
  36. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:9 and 130:5
  37. Mishna Brurah 429:2
  38. Rosh (Rosh Hashana 4:14) cites a dispute between Rav Neturay Goan and Rav Hai Goan whether it is permitted to fast on Shabbat Shuva. Rav Hai Goan (Teshuvat Geonim Shaarei Teshuva 64) held it is forbidden since we can't fast on Shabbat and even Tisha B'av that falls out on Shabbat is delayed until Sunday. The Rosh accepts Rav Hai Goan and adds that the Maharitz Geyitz agreed. Avudraham (Seder Tefilat Rosh Hashana s.v. veharamban) concurs. Tur and Shulchan Aruch O.C. 597:1 rule like Rav Hai Goan. Knesset Hagedola 597:3, Bigdei Yesha 597:1, Mishna Brurah 597:2, Kaf Hachayim on Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 597:9, and Aruch Hashulchan 581:9 agree. See Rama 581:2 and how the Aruch Hashulchan explains it.
( V | T ) The Jewish Holidays Matzah.jpg
Chodesh Elul - Rosh Hashana - Aseret Yimei Teshuva - Yom Kippur - Sukkot - Shemini Aseret - Simchat Torah
Chanukah - Tu BiShevat - Purim - Purim Katan
Pesach - Yom HaAtzmaut - Lag BaOmer - Sefirat HaOmer - Shavuot
Three Weeks - Nine Days - Tisha BeAv - Tu BeAv
Yom Tov - Chol HaMoed - Rosh Chodesh - Fast Days