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Q&A

Is there any davening unique to being said when alone?

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I know that there are parts of davening that one can only say, or be involved with saying, in the presence of a minyan, but I was wondering if there were pieces of davening that can only happen when one is NOT with a minyan (and the extension, when one is all by himself). I'm curious if there is anything tailored for the individual or if davening is inherently geared towards being a communal experience.

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The only thing that comes to mind is in K'riat Sh'ma - if an individual is praying alone, they add the three words "ק-ל מלך נאמן" beforehand.

The reasoning for this is that when praying with a minyan, the last two words and the first word of the continuing - Hashem Elokeichem Emet - are repeated out loud by the Chazan, bringing the total number of words in Sh'ma to 248. Since this doesn't happen when praying alone, the three words "Kel Melech Ne'eman" were added beforehand when alone to bring the count up 248.1

  1. Rabbinical Council of America Artscroll Siddur commentary, 1987 edition, page 90; sourced to the Anaf Yosef.

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Many Chassidim (for example, Chabad) have the custom to recite the Zohar portion beginning Kegavna on Friday night before Barchu. When one is praying alone, they say the final part of the portion, which contains the words of Barchu as well the congregation's response. I've heard that the reason is to "compensate" for missing Barchu.

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