This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
- In the times of the gemara, in cases of great need one should say an abridged Shmoneh Esrei called Havinenu. 
- In the times of the gemara, cases of great need that warranted saying Havinenu included:
- Havinenu is made up of the first and last three Brachot of Shmoneh Esrei and an alternate text for the middle of Shmoneh Esrei. 
The practice nowadays
- Nowadays the authorities agree that one should not say Havinenu (an abridged Shmoneh Esrei) but rather one should always say the unabridged version of Shemona Esrei. 
How Havinenu is said
- Havinenu should be said standing. 
- Havinenu takes the place of Shmoneh Esrei and when one is no longer in an extenuating circumstance one doesn’t have to repeat Shmoneh Esrei. 
When Havinenu could be said
- One may not say Havinenu during the winter (from Dec 4, outside Israel, or 7th of Cheshvan in Israel, until the second day of Pesach) nor on Motzei Shabbat or Yom Tov. 
The text of Havinenu
- Havinenu is composed of the first three brachot of Shemona Esrei, then the middle insertion summarizing all of the requests, and then the last three brachot of Shemona Esrei.
- The middle insertion of Havinenu which summarizes our requests is as follows: הביננו ה' אלהינו לדעת את דרכיך ומול את לבבינו ליראתך לסלוח היה לנו להיות גאולים ורחקנו ממכאוב ודשננו בנאות ארצך והנפוצים בארבע כנפות הארץ תקבץ והתועים בדעתך ישפטו ועל הרשעים תניף ידיך וישמחו צדיקים בבנין עירך ובתיקון היכלך ובצמיחת קרן לדוד עבדך ובעריכת נר לבן ישי משיחך טרם נקרא אתה תענה טרם נדבר אתה תשמע כי אתה ה' עונה ומציל בכל עת צרה וצוקה פודה ומציל ברוך אתה ה' שומע תפלה 
Workers who are in a rush
- In the days of the Gemara, workers who’s pay is their food should say Shmoneh Esrei regularly but not do a Chazarat HaShatz or Birkat Cohanim and workers who are paid beside receiving food should say Havinenu instead of Shmoneh Esrei. However, nowadays when employers aren’t so insistent about this one should say the full version of Shmoneh Esrei. 
- The Mishna (Brachot 28b) quotes a dispute where Rabban Gamliel says that every day a person should say Shmoneh Esrei, Rabbi Yehoshua says that one can say an abridged Shmoneh Esrei, and Rabbi Akiva says that only one who is unfamiliar with the words of Shmoneh Esrei should say the abridged Shmoneh Esrei. The Gemara (29a) quotes a dispute as to the meaning of an abridged Shmoneh Esrei, Rav saying it means an abridgment of all 19 Brachot, and Shmuel saying it means Havinenu. Rashi (Brachot 29a s.v. Havinenu) says that Shmuel means that one should say the first and last three Brachot as usual and the middle 13 Brachot are abridged to be one Bracha.
- Which tanna of the Mishna does the halacha follow? The Rambam (Pirush Mishnayot 4:3) writes that the halacha follows Rabbi Akiva. The Kesef Mishna (Tefillah 2:2) writes that we hold like Rabbi Akiva (because of the general rule that we hold like Rabbi Akiva over his college and even though we don’t hold like Rabbi Akiva when he argues on a number of his colleges here Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Yehoshua disagree it’s like he is arguing over individual opinions).
- What does Rabbi Akiva mean? Rav Ovadyah MeBartenuro (Brachot 4:3) writes that the halacha follows Rabbi Akiva and so if one is either unfamiliar with the words of Shmoneh Esrei or if one is in a situation of extenuating circumstances one may say Havinenu. However, the Meiri (Brachot 28b on Mishna) writes that the halacha is like Rabbi Akiva but explains that only if it’s a extenuating circumstance can one say Havinenu and Rabbi Akiva meant that if one isn’t familiar with Shmoneh Esrei enough to say it with kavana in such a extenuating circumstance one may say Havinenu. [It seems from the following paragraphs that the halacha follows the מאירי’s explanation of Rabbi Akiva.]
- The Kesef Mishna (Tefillah 2:2) and Bet Yosef 110:1 write that from the fact that the Gemara continues to discuss Havinenu implies that we hold like Shmuel (and not Rav).
- The Gemara (Brachot 29a) records Abaye’s resentment for those who said Havinenu because they would be skipping over the brachas instituted for Shmoneh Esrei (Rashi s.v. Layit). Tosfot (29a s.v. Layit) writes that the halacha follows Abaye that one shouldn’t say Havinenu. However, Tosfot concludes that in some versions Abaye only expressed resentment for those who said it in the city but it’s permissible to say it while traveling. This is also the opinion of Tosfot earlier on 3a (D”H Haya). [It’s unclear whether Tosfot means someone who is traveling specifically or any extenuating circumstance; see Halacha Brurah (Birur Halacha 110:1) who quotes other Rishonim who emphasize traveling specifically. Nonetheless, the Bet Yosef 110:1 quotes Tosfot and then writes that since the Rif, Rosh, and Rambam agree that one can say it in Shaat HaDachak that’s the halacha (which seems to imply that it’s a separate approach).]
- The Rif (Brachot 19b) writes that Havinenu could only be said in cases of Shaat HaDachak (extenuating circumstances). This is also the opinion of the Rosh (Brachot 4:13), and Rambam (Tefillah 2:2, according to the Bet Yosef 110:1).
- What’s the bottom line? The S”A 110:1 rules like the simple understanding of the Rif that one should only say Havinenu in cases of Shaat HaDachak. The Shulchan Aruch 110:1 (according to the explanation of the Mishna Brurah 110:2 and Beiur Halacha s.v. Oh Shelo) gives two examples as to when one may say Havinenu: (1) if one is traveling or in any other place where there is a fear that others will interrupt one's Shmoneh Esrei, or (2) if one is in a place where one can’t concentrate because of distractions or sickness.
- Beiur Halacha 110:1 s.v. Oh Shelo, Aruch HaShulchan 110:6, Kaf HaChaim 110:5, Halacha Brurah 110:5
- The conclusion of the Gemara Brachot 30a is that one should stand for Havinenu. This is codified as halacha by the Tur and S”A 110:1. The Rosh (Brachot 4:18) explains that even though in certain cases one is permitted to sit during Shmoneh Esrei, since Havinenu is a short prayer one should be able to have kavana (proper intent) even if one stands. This is quoted by the Bet Yosef 110:1 and Magen Avraham 110:3.
- Tur and S”A 110:1
- In Gemara Brachot 29a, Rav Nachman in the name of Shmuel says that on Motzei Shabbat one may not say Havinenu because one has to add in the paragraph of Atta Chonantanu and that wasn’t instituted into the paragraph of Havinenu. Mar Zutra asks why one isn’t able to add a few words into Havinenu to represent the idea of Atta Choanantanu. The Gemara leaves it as a question.
- The Rabbenu Yonah (Brachot 19a s.v. Mipnei) writes that even though the Gemara left it as a question it’s not a rejection and we indeed hold like Shmuel and perhaps one could answer that had we added a few words to represent Atta Chonantanu people would have come to think mistakenly that Atta Chonantanu is considered a Bracha by itself. The Rif 19a, Rosh 4:13, Rambam (Tefillah 2:4), Rashba (Brachot 29a s.v. Matkif) in name of Rav Hai Goan, and the Tur rule like Shmuel against the Rashba (his own opinion) and the Ri Ben Gayit (quoted in the Bet Yosef 110:1) who ruled like Mar Zutra. The S”A 110:1 codifies the halacha like Shmuel that one may not say Havinenu on Motzei Shabbat.
- Rav Bibi Bar Abaye says that one may not say Havinenu during the winter months because one has to add in the request of rain. Mar Zutra asked why one can’t add this request into Havinenu and the Gemara answers that there’s a concern that one will make a mistake and forget to add it in. [The Gemara says that this is different than Atta Chonantanu which is in the beginning of Havinenu and there’s no concern that one will forget. Additionally, the Bet Yosef 110:1 explains that this isn’t a concern when saying the full Shmoneh Esrei, but only when saying the abridged Shmoneh Esrei there is a concern that one will skip the few words which represent this addition.]
- The Rabben Manoach (Tefillah 2:4) writes that if one is certain that one is able to say this addition then one may say Havinenu. However, the Kesef Mishna (Tefillah 2:4) writes that there’s no other Rishon who holds like the Rabbenu Manoach.
- The Rif 19a, Rosh 4:13, and Rambam (Tefillah 2:4) writes that the halacha follows Rav Bibi Bar Abaye. This is codified by the Tur and S”A 110:1.
- Shulchan Aruch 110:1
- This is the text of the Tur 110:1 which is slightly different than the text of the Gemara 29a, however, the Mishna Brurah 110:3 references using the Tur's text.
- S”A 110:2