When saying Kriat Shema Al Hamita, if one were saying all three paragraphs, would they said “emes” at the end? It seems to me that the reason we say “emes” is to attach it to the next paragraph, which wouldn’t seem to apply on Kristin Shema Al HaMita.

  • Do you mean saying it once as it appears in the passuk, or repeating it as one does with a congregation at Shacharit and Avrit? Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 3:03
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    I have received psak that I should say "emes" when I am reciting the full Shema in the morning during Leolam Yehei Adam. It therefore stands to reason that psak holds for Kriyas Shema Al Hamita as well.
    – Yehuda
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 4:11
  • @Yehuda very interesting. Is this instead of saying it as part of the main kriyat shema b'shacharit or in addition to that? Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 4:40
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    @JoshK It doesn’t appear at all in the pasuk in Bamidbar
    – Joel K
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 6:26
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    @JoshK I asked it as a shailah of zman. If I was going to miss the zman and I'm saying Shema in l'olam yehei adam, should I say emes and the answer was yes. Whether that means instead of or in addition to, I'm not sure..... ;)
    – Yehuda
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 23:14

2 Answers 2


The Chabad custom is to repeat the words ה' אלקיכם and then also say אמת even during the Bedtime Shema, this is recorded in Sefer Haminhagim and also the Igros Kodesh. It's even printed in the Chabad siddur this way as well.

The reason is to arrive at 248 words altogether, corresponding to the 248 limbs as brought forth in Chatzkel's answer, quoting the Mishnah Berurah. Some people accomplish this by saying 3 words (א-ל מלך נאמן) before the Shema's 245. This however could be considered an interruption between the blessings before the Shema and the Shema itself therefore Chabad and others do it this way, by repeating the words ה' אלקיכם and saying אמת (see Kaf Hachayim OC 61:15 and ibid. 19, also Beis Yosef OC 61).

  • "an interruption between the blessings before the Shema and the Shema itself" But there are no blessings on Shema here?
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 14:18
  • @DoubleAA Hashkiveinu
    – ezra
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 6:50
  • That's not a blessing here and it's not before shema anyway
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 13:26
  • @DoubleAA chabad is careful not to make a hefsek between them and it does precede shema in the chabad siddur
    – ezra
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 20:22
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    No, that's to avoid a break between geulah and tefilla, not between hashkivenu and shema (!?). That doesn't apply here.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 21:36

The Mishnah Berura 239:1 says that the purpose of saying the entire shema at bedtime is for a shemira in all 248 limbs. This would indicate that one would have to say Emes to reach the number 248:

וטוב לומר תמיד כל ק"ש שהיא רמ"ח תיבות [בצירוף אל מלך נאמן] לשמור רמ"ח אבריו

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    Wouldn't the א-ל מלך נאמן accomplish that? It sounds as if the MB is specifically paskening to use אמ"ן rather than ה' אלוקיכם אמת to reach 248.
    – Derdeer
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 6:20
  • ^ That. Sounds like no Emes?
    – michael
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 10:12
  • @derdeer with Emes you get 245, there MB is saying that you need the other 3 to get to 248. You Emes You’d still only have 247. By davening we repeat 3 words instead but on the first round you need Emes to get 245
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 11:58
  • I’m pretty sure Emes gets you too 246. (I think?)
    – michael
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 22:21
  • @michael MB 61:8 is clear that emes would get you to 249. That being said, the reason for connecting ה' אלוקיכם with אמת is because there is a pasuk Yirmiyahu 10:10 with those words and they are nice words to go together. The 248 thing isn't why WE say emes, its why the chazzan repeats 3 words. Unfortunately I cant find the sources for this right now.
    – Derdeer
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 20:39

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