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Over the last several years, I have noticed that most schuls in the US do not recite the pasuk of שמע ישרﭏ at the end of Shirat haYam in Pesukei deZimrah, while every Nusach Ashkenaz siddur I've seen (Ashkenaz, Polin, Anglia, Amerika, E"Y, Lita) still contains it.*§

Why did Ashkenazi schuls in the US stop reciting this passuk in the context of the paragraph of כי לה׳ המלוכה at the end of Shirat haYam ?


*Older siddurim contain it in the same type and setting as the remainder of the paragraph, although some newer ones have shifted to smaller type (see the older Koren [1980s-2007], for a particularly strong example of this phenomenon).

§Siddurim surveyed include the ArtScroll, Koren, Shilo, and some Hebrew Publishing Company siddurim, as well as Rödelheim, Sulzbach, older Birnbaums, Singer, Bloch (Siddur Cha'areh Tefillah) and Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz editions.

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    related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/45736/11532 – Heshy Aug 8 at 20:48
  • I don't recall if Siddur Shilo, considered, probably, the most common Hebrew Day school / yeshiva beginner's Siddur until about the early 80's, has this paragraph. I may still have my old Siddur at home. If you've been noticing this omission only during the past several years, I guess you're "lucky". I don't recall any Ashkenazi shul having said this in about 40 years. Why not go "reverse" and find out why it was placed there to start, esp. since Birkot Shema will be recited shortly after that? – DanF Aug 8 at 21:52
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    BeureiHatefillah.com has a machloket of whether it should or should not be said. I'm putting in the link to the article, Noach - beureihatefila.com/files/…. After reading the reasoning, I don't think anyone can explain why Ashkenazim once said it and now eliminated it, Who knows what happened? The best this article can explain is why it was printed in certain Siddurim. It seems to have been an error, but it remained. I can only surmise, that at some point, minyanim realized the mistake? But they won't discard the siddur for that! – DanF Aug 8 at 22:05
  • @DanF, AFAIK, all of the mainstream minyanim in the Heights still do, due to the Jekkisch influence. Kehillot in France (Consistoire and ACTI, at least) and the UK, as well as Sephardim (S&P, at least) and (IIRC) Italians all say it. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 9 at 2:28
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    As I said, there are two parts involved- 1) As the beurei article states, there is a machloket whether to say it or not. So, both opinions are correct. and 2) Why, apparently, some Siddurim have changed the font style / emphasis. That's somewhat common, actually. Art Scroll and BIrnbaum have undergone various changes - sometimes it's due to demographic changes or changes of minhagim of who currently uses their Siddur. Nothing new, here. Likewise, shuls change minhagim to some extent. (I visited the Heights about 3 months ago. Many of these "Yekke influenced" shuls that were there are gone. – DanF Aug 9 at 2:44
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The Vilna Siddur quotes the GR"A as saying that there are a number of שמות הויה and המוסיף גורע. You are adding שמות הויה by adding שמע ישראל... Also, the fact that something is in Siddurim is not necessarily a raya to say it because the Bach says that we don't pasken from Siddurim.

  • The Chassam Sofer says that were we to conclude with the passuk of והי׳ ה׳ למלך וכי׳ one would think that umot ha'olam would be on the same level as Klal Yisrael, so we add שמע to show our בחירה (Chassam Sofer on פ׳ ואתחנן) – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 13 at 23:38
  • Almost undoubtedly, the Chasam Sofer's to Rabbonim Muvhakim. The Baal Haflaa zatza"l and Rav Nosson Adler ztza"l were noheg like the Ar"i Za"l who was makpid for the sheimos. You asked why people stopped or don't saying it and this is likely a reason. The Kaballah of the Ar"I is also why people started being tokea in the middle of Mussaf of Rosh HaShanna. The Chasam Sofer's father in law, Rebbi Akova Eiger, says of the Ar"I "elev tishmeun" which is used in the Torah about a Navi emes. I think being something on the Ar"i is sufficient grounds being noheg a certain way especially when... – Meuchedet Aug 14 at 19:16
  • ... there is no ikkar hadin which is mechayim one to act a certain way. Saying Shema Yisroel say the end of pesukri d'zimra is neither m'ikkar hadin nor meakev. I think this is justification enough! – Meuchedet Aug 14 at 19:17

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