If a shule puts up times when davening is to start and the Rabbi is consistently late, should the kehilla wait for the Rabbi to start davening or should the kehilla go by the times put up in the shule? I was looking in Shulchan Aruch siman 124 and thought that it is mashma that the kehila should go by the times published and not wait for the Rabbi (even though this seems to be a pgam in Kavod Harav). Is this correct?

Answer:

This is correct. The concept of waiting for the Rabbi at the end of the Amidah prayer only means to ensure that the prayer should be of reasonable length — the time it takes for someone to carefully utter the words of the prayer. If, however, the Rabbi davens for an exceptionally long time, there is no need to wait for him — on the contrary, the chazan should not wait for him, because this would be a tircha de’tzibura, an unjustified burden on the congregation. The same applies to the starting times of davening — waiting for a Rabbi who comes late would be a tircha de’tzibura, and the services should commence at the announced times.

Source: Mishnah Berurah 124:13, 104:1.

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