Regarding taking 3 steps for davening:
a)If one ends his davening and wants to take 3 steps back but there is a person still davening behind him but there is a table in between, can one take the 3 steps back because the table seperates the two of us or is this not a valid reason to take the 3 steps back?
b)If one wants to begin davening but the person in front of him or to the side of him already started his tefilla, can he still take 3 forward or do we say that since the other guy started his davening he shouldn’t move at all if he is within 4 amos?

Answer:

a) A table is not considered a valid separation to permit taking three steps back. Only a valid mechitzah is suitable for this, meaning a partition 10 tefachim tall. A table might be 10 tefachim high (it usually is), but the hole between the table legs would disqualify it as a partition.

b) It is permitted to take the three steps forwards. There is no prohibition on moving, but only on entering the ‘domain’ of somebody in the middle of davening.

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3 Responses to “Three Steps With Somebody Davening Behind”

  1. Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.

  2. so he must wait till the other person finishes davening? is it realistic for the person to wait till every person around him finishes…people show up at different times and end davening at different times?
    This is ESPECIALLY true by the Kosel area…any suggestions?

    • If there is somebody davening behind, and one is under time pressure, one may rely on the opinion (mentioned in Mishnah Berurah) which maintains that it is permitted to take steps sidewards, thereby not directly entering the other’s 4 amos domain.

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