There is a custom or practice (I would not necessarily call it a Minhag) that I've seen here in Eretz Yisroel (maybe I saw it in Chu"l also, I dont remember) that one who wants to daven at length, moves to the front of the shul, so as not to be Mafri'a those whose place in shul is in front of him, who will be unable to sit (or perhaps move) while he is still davening.
Because of my mental poverty, it seems to me that this is incorrect behaviour. Rather, one should make sure that he does not daven at length.
The Rambam (Hilchos Tefillah 6:2) rules that one should not Daven at length when he is with the Tzibur; only when he is by himself. He adds that one may insert after his Tefilah "even the Seder Viduy of Yom Kipur" and one may add to the middle Berachos a request that the particular Berachah is related to. The Sefer Chassidim (siman 18) uses the same words in his ruling (I wonder who copied from whom).
Now, I wondered why this halachah is not found in this form in Shulchan Aruch.
However, upon learning today's Daf, Brachos 21b, and looking up the accompanying ruling in Shulchan Aruch (O"CH 109:1), it would seem to be included in the ruling that one should not begin davening (when arriving late) unless one can complete it before the Chazan gets to Kedushah.
If someone has a heavy heart beset with troubles and needs to talk to Hash-m and pour out his heart before Him, as every good Jew should do in such situations, but will be unable to finish before Kedushah, should pass up the chance to daven with the Tzibbur, and wait while they daven, say Kedushah, Modim and hear Kaddish with the Tzibbur, and only then begin his Amidah. Unless I misunderstood the Gemarah and Shulchan Aruch, there is no difference between a regular day of the week and Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, in this regard.
Mr. Mordechai Perlman, Jerusalem, Israel
1. In fact, the Kesef Mishneh (Hilchos Tefilah 6:2) writes that the Rambam's source is from the account in Berachos (31a) of Rebbi Akiva's conduct when he davened with the congregation. The Gemara states that the reason why Rebbi Akiva shortened his davening when he was with the congregation was because of "Torach Tzibur" -- not to put the community to the trouble of having to wait for him to finish. Rabeinu Yehonasan mi'Lunil writes that the custom was to wait for the Gadol of the community to finish davening before the Chazan would start the repetition, so Rebbi Akiva did not want to force the congregation to wait for him. The same reasoning would apply if Rebbi Akiva would have been serving as the Shali'ach Tzibur. The Ein Mishpat (21a) also indicates that this Gemara is the source of the Rambam's ruling and, in addition, tells us where this Halachah is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch. In Orach Chaim 53, the Shulchan Aruch discusses the Halachos of the prayer leader, and in 53:11 he states that "anyone who lengthens his praying is not doing a good thing because he imposes a burden on the congregation." In the light of the above, the statement of the Rambam that you cited is not referring to an individual davening for a long time by himself.
2. The Gemara (21b) that you cite refers to a person who arrives late. However, the Sha'arei Teshuvah, printed on the page of the Shulchan Aruch (52:1), discusses someone who does not come late, but rather his way is to daven patiently with Kavanah, and even if he arrives at the beginning of the Tefilah he is unable to pray at the same pace as the congregation. This person davens slowly, and if he would be required to daven with everyone else he would lose his Kavanah. He therefore is permitted to daven according to the order of the Tefilah without skipping. The Sha'arei Teshuvah concludes that "Hash-m searches out all hearts" (see Divrei ha'Yamim I 28:9); this verse teaches that the most important thing about davening is that it should come from the heart and one should think about what he is saying.
Thank you kindly for your response. I asked this question from my Rav, Rav Yehudah Gans shlita, and he directed me to the Bi'ur HaLachah (OC 109) where the author discusses my very question and is in doubt as to whether one who knows he will miss Kedushah and Modim should begin or wait.
The Aruch ha'Shulchan (OC 109:5) writes that we have never heard that one who Davens slowly and cannot reach Kedushah with the Tzibur, even if he starts together with them, should wait until after Kedushah to start the Shemoneh Esreh. He writes that there are some Gedolei Olam who Daven at length until after Kedushah.
Therefore, he asserts that Chazal spoke only about one who does not Daven long but who arrived at the synagogue after the Tzibur had started Shemoneh Esreh. Such a person should wait for Kedushah and then Daven Shemoneh Esreh on his own. In contrast, one who normally Davens at length but always starts with the Tzibur certainly should not wait, but should start with the Tzibur, and if he is still in his Shemoneh Esreh when the Tzibur says Kedushah, he should stop and listen silently to Kedushah, as the Shulchan Aruch (OC 104:7) explains.
The Aruch ha'Shulchan appears, therefore, to be a support for the Sha'arei Teshuvah which I cited in my first reply.