The mishnah on Berachos 2a teaches us that according to Chachamim one can say Krias Shema until chatzos ("midnight").

The mishnah proceeds to tell us that anytime Chachamim say a mitzvah can be performed until chatzos, in actuality the mitzvah can really be performed until dawn.

  • For example: burning the fats and the limbs, and korbanos that are to be eaten over the course of 1 day...technically are really allowed be performed until dawn.

The mishnah concludes by asking: if that's the case, then why did Chachamim say chatzos?

"כדי להרחיק את האדם מן העבירה"

"In order to distance a person from an aveirah"


I understand calling "delaying the burning of the fats and limbs" an aveirah (see Rashi), as well as calling "eating a korban when it shouldn't be" an aveirah (see Bartenura).

Why is omitting Krias Shema grouped with these two as an aveirah? Shouldn't it be considered more of a bittul aseh?

  • You went too far, in general, the Sages seldom use exact terms, more like general ideas. Not performing a Mitzvah is "equaled" to transgression (as per Shmuel's answer for example) but in fact, isn't. Same the word "Mitzvah" refers to all good activities, not only 613 of them. See Rambam Hil. Krishm"a - "מצווה להזכיר יציא"מ" but he does not count it as a Mitzvah.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 5:03
  • "להרחיק את האדם מן העבירה" is an idiomatic expression, it does not mean literally "transgressing a Deorayso sin".
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 5:04
  • 2
    Why shouldn't it be called an Averah? You aren't providing sufficient explanation for your question. What do you think "Averah" means? Why do you think that? Why doesn't it apply to Shema?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


Berachos 4b:

וכל העובר על דברי חכמים חייב מיתה

One who transgress the words of the Sages [with regards to Shema] is liable to death.

  • Sorry, what I meant that short quotes are of little use - some may understand but some may not. You better elaborate on the connection between the question and your insight. Your quote speaks of the death penalty unrelated to the question.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 5:28

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