Shema refers to a prayer, named Shema after its first word. It is traditionally said 3 times a day: in the morning and evening prayers, and before retiring at night. Shema may refer to the first verse (Deut. 6:4), the longer version which includes Deut. 6:5-9, 11:13-21 and Num. 15:37-41, or the even ...

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All you need is love?

I once had a Hebrew professor state with absolute determination that "Ahavah" (the Hebrew word for "love") does not, in fact, mean love. His proof was twofold: 1. G-d could not have commanded us to ...
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Covering eyes when saying Shema Yisrael

When saying Kriyas Shema many have the custom of covering their eyes when saying Shema Yisrael. What is the reason this is done?
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Kissing Tzitzis during Shema

There are those that kiss their Tzitzis during Shema at Shacharis as per Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 17:7 and the Kaf HaChaim 18 and there are those that do not. What is the source and reason for those that ...
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Why have I never seen anyone “slicing the Shema”?

“Slicing the Shema” A good summary is to be found here, on the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash website. In short, “…. ten men who prayed alone can subsequently fulfill their obligations of ...
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Why do we say “Boruch Shem…” loudly on Yom Kippur?

As discussed in this question, there are two reasons generally given why we say "Boruch Shem K'Vod..." quietly when saying Shema: The Talmud (Pesachim 56a) says that Yaakov Avinu said it in response ...
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Sh'ma aloud but amida quietly

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 61:4: We are accustomed to reading the first verse [of "Sh'ma"] in a loud voice in order to arouse the direction [of our thoughts]. SA OC 101:2: But he should not ...
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What does “Baruch shem k'vod malchuso l'olam vaed” mean?

A sentence commonly said during prayer is "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד". How do we interpret it? What does it mean? It sounds like it means: Blessed is/be the name of the ...
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What does cantillation do to prayer's status?

I recall seeing recommendations, in multiple Halachic discussions, that someone who's reciting a Scripturally-derived prayer alone that normally requires a minyan, e.g. the 13 Attributes of Mercy, one ...
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108 views

Covering eyes for Shema

What is the requirement of covering our eyes for Shema? For example, do your eyes need to be closed? Must one cover with their hand? Does it matter which hand is used?
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Glasses and Shema

The Shulhan Aruch records the custom of placing one's hand over his eyes in Shema in order to increase concentration. What about someone who wears glasses? Must he move them or remove them?
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Significance of “Shema Yisrael”

The verse Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4) is highly significant. It is Biblically required to be recited twice daily, it is to be said at the end of one's life, and appears in the liturgy at the end of ...
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Why doesn't saying the sh'ma satisfy torah-reading requirements?

According to this answer to a related question, the g'mara on Bava Kamma 82a requires reading torah at least every three days because we should never go longer than that without words of torah. But ...
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Kissing tzitzit for full shma during “leolam yehey”

If one begins shacharit near sof zman kriat shema and is concerned that he not be able to say shema before sof zman kriat shema, he is supposed to say "full shema" during leolam yehey in the begining ...
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Choosing between Brachos on Shma and Sof Zman Kriyas Shema

Let's say Yosef woke up late one day, and by the time he was ready to say kriyas shema, it was two minutes before sof zman kriyas shema (the latest time at which a person could say kriyas shema). He ...
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315 views

Shema in Musaf Kedushah - Source and reason

I grew up on the Birnbaum siddur, I admit it. I read the little explanations at the bottom of the page over and over. Later, I bought a set of Artscroll machzorim and used those on Rosh Hashana and ...
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Is there any source for saying the first possuk of Shema quietly?

The Rema in OC 61(26) says the custom is to say the first possuk of the shema aloud. In this question Sh'ma aloud but amida quietly Gershon Gold said that Shema is said aloud in unison and msh210 ...
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Covering eyes for leolam yehey

As in this question, if you begin "leolam yehey" at the beginning of shacharit near the end of the time for reciting shema, and you may not otherwise recite it in time, you are supposed to recite a ...
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Bathroom or shema if you only have time for one?

If you wake up 5 minutes before sof zman kryat shema and you have to use the bathroom. Going to the bathroom when necessary is deorayasa (Shulchan Aruch 3:17) and so is saying the shema. Also there ...
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Can a non-Jew recite the Shema?

Can a non-Jew recite the Shema and other Jewish prayers? Is there any one which is off limits to non-Jews? Thanks.
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Kohanim on first shift can't say Shema'?

The first Mishnah in Berachoth quotes R' Eli'ezer's opinion that the time for reciting Shema' in the evening extends only until the end of the first shift (the Kohanim would serve in the Beith ...
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When we say “עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף” at which point do we kiss the tzitzis?

When we say Krias Shema, the widespread custom (referred to in OC 24 (4) Rema), is to kiss the tzitzis when we say the word, “צִיצִת”. When we come to the words, עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף (which Singer ...
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Is it ok to Text After Kriyat Shema al Hamita?

Is it okay to text after saying kriyat shema al hamita? You're not supposed to talk afterward, as it says: Tremble and sin not. Reflect in your hearts while on your beds, and be utterly silent. ...
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How could different pronunciations arise when we are obligated to pronounce the Shema precisely?

If one does not pronounce the Shema correctly, one has not fulfilled their obligation (שולחן ערוך או"ח סימן סב). If so, then how could different pronunciations of the Hebrew words arise? Shouldn't at ...
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laws of saying shema and aleynu with the tzibbur

I remember learning that you should say shema and aleynu together with the tzibur. If you're a little behind, do you stop what you're saying and say shema or do you catch up and say it when you're ...
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Near a bad smell, one might want to do Sh'ma, the Amidah, blessings, study, or think Torah. Is halacha equally strict about all five acts?

"Just as one separates oneself from excreta, urine, a foul odor, a corpse and the sight of nakedness for Kri'at Shema, so too, he should separate himself for Shemoneh Esreh". —Rambam. Hilchos ...
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61 views

How can Birchoth Keriath Shema' substitute for Birchoth HaTorah?

Birchoth Keriath Shema' are able to substitute for Birchoth HaTorah in case one cannot remember if he said the latter, or in case one did not sleep and is in doubt whether or not he should say them. ...
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Is it always a good idea to say an extra Shema' if you missed one?

According to Double AA's answer on a related question, "it can't hurt" to say an extra Shema' later if you missed the Zeman (set time) for it. While it may be true to a certain extent that saying ...
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1answer
243 views

Two Brachos before shema and one after in the morning, and two before and after in the evening

In the first Gemara of Brachos, the gemara quotes a 'seifa' that says: THE MORNING SHEMA IS PRECEDED BY TWO BRACHOS AND FOLLOWED BY ONE. THE EVENING SHEMA IS PRECEDED BY TWO BRACHOS AND FOLLOWED BY ...
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Does Baruch HaShem Le'Olam (Ma'ariv; Ashkenazi) count as Birchoth Keriath Shema'?

Does Baruch HaShem Le'Olam have the same Din as Birchoth Keriath Shema' in terms of interruption? If you are in the middle of the Berachah, do you respond to the same things as you would if you were ...