The SP Guide to a 45 Minute Shacharis

As I walked into the 8:00 Shacharis for the bris of a friend’s grandson, I wished him a Mazal Tov and asked about the pace of the davening. The bris had to take place at 8:45 sharp, and he asked my opinion.

I thought it might be worth the effort to sketch out one possible allocation of times for a 45 minute Shacharis in nusach Ashkenaz.

8:00 – Morning Brachos (6 min)
8:06 – First Kaddish, Mizmor Shiur, Second Kaddish (2 min)
8:08 – Pesukei D’Zimra, Kaddish (9 min)
8:17 – Barechu, Brochas before Krias Shema (2 min)
8:19 – Krias Shema (3 min)
8:22 – Brachos after Krias Shema (2 min)
8:24 – Shemoneh Esrai (7 min)
8:30 – Shemoneh Esrai repetition, Kaddish (6 min)
8:36 – Tachanun (1 min)
8:37 – Ashrei, Uva Lezion, Kaddish (3 min)
8:40 – Alenu, Kaddish (2 min)
8:42 – Song of the Day, Kaddish (2 min)
8:45 – End

Morning Brachos in 6 minutes means a lot of skipping, but you can get in the essentials. If you listen and answer amen to the Baal Tefillah’s Brachos you’ll lose a minute of your own davening time there, so get to Shul early.

The Pesukei D’Zimra time is a little fast for my taste. I would prefer 12 minutes, but that wouldn’t work here where we’re constrained to a 45 minute davening.

The most critical time to set for davening is the time from Barechu to the beginning of Shemoneh Esrai. There are the two times when you need the highest level of Kavannah, during the beginning of the Shema and the beginning of Shemoneh Esrai. If people are davening fast during those times it will be harder for them to slow down and focus. An elapsed time of 7 minutes from Barechu to Shemoneh Esrai is a reasonable Kavannah-achievable pace.

The Shomeneh Esrai is when we are standing and talking directly to Hashem, so I think 7 minutes is a good time to allocate there. I’m also a big proponent of a dignified Shomeneh Esrai repetition and 6 minutes is respectful and is safely beyond AFAHP (as fast as humanly possible) range.

The end of davening on this scheduled is a bit rushed for my taste, but we only have 45 minutes. Going slower and being out of sync with the Tzibbur is less of a problem at this point of the davening.

What this exercise has shown me is that we really need 50 minutes for a dignified davening. If we truly realized what could be accomplished in our hearts, minds and the spirtual worlds during Shacharis we would give Hashem 50 minutes in a flash.