Shaliach Tzibur

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The Shaliach Tzibbur is the person who leads the congregation (tzibur) in prayers and at times fulfills its obligation on its behalf.

Who to appoint as Shaliach Tzibur

  1. Any male Jew is fit for being a Shliach Tzibbur as long as the congregation accepts him. [1]
  2. Preferably, the congregation should carefully choose a proper Shliach Tzibbur who is married, thirty years old, and the more he is learned and practices good deeds the better. [2] However, someone who is learned and Yireh Shamayim is preferred over someone who lacks these qualities but fits the requirements of being married and thirty years old. [3]
  3. Sephardim should not serve as a Shaliach Tzibbur of an Ashkenazic congregation unless they agree to let him pray according to his minhag.[4]

Tunes

  1. The Shaliach Tzibur may use secular tunes for Kaddish and Kedushah, though it is preferable to use tunes that the words to which have already been forgotten.[5]
  2. One should not elongate words or stop in the middle of a word, or put the stress on another syllable in order to hit every note, as it causes the words to lose their meaning and people will end up answering Amen Chatufah. Similarly, he may sing Hashem's name, as long as it is Mil'ra and not Mil'eil.[6]
  3. The Shaliach Tzibbur should pray with much joy and fear for the privilege to thank Hashem as Shaliach Tzibbur.[7]
  4. One may not repeat words, as it is considered a hefsek.[8]

Sources

  1. Rama 581:1
  2. Rama 581:1
  3. Mishna Brurah 581:13
  4. Yabia Omer OC 6:10:8
  5. Yechave Daat 2:5 explains that the main issue with secular music is the words, so it is best not to pick a secular tune that will remind the Tzibbur of the words to the song. Rather, one should use a tune that nobody remembers the words to, since by doing so one brings the tune into the domain of kedusha.
  6. Yechave Daat ibid.
  7. Yechave Daat 2:5
  8. Yechave Daat 2:5