When saying k'riat sh'ma al hamitah, many (all?) people say the word emet at the end of the third paragraph. Also, I believe that the common practice when saying keriat sh'ma without the brachot (for example, saying it to oneself if the tzibur will not reach it on time) is to say it with the word emet at the end of the third paragraph.

But the word emet is really "borrowed" from the beginning of the first bracha after k'riat sh'ma. So why do we say the word when saying sh'ma without the brachot?

1 Answer 1


Firstly we add אמת to mimic the פסוק that says וה' אֱ-לֹקים אֱמֶת from ירמיהו פרק י:ט as mentioned in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ט"ז:ה.

Secondly we add אמת in order to have exactly 248 words once the ש"ץ has repeated ה' אֱ-לֹקיכֶם אֱמֶת. Since an individual may not repeat these words, he prefaces שמע with אֵ-ל מֶלֶךְ נֶאֱמָן - as the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch says in י"ז:ח.

So we have 2 good reasons why individuals add on אמת when saying שמע without the Brachot.

  • according to the talmud the verse you quoted is supposed to teach you not to interrupt between Hashem Elokechem and the beracha Emet V'yatziv... But it doesn't mention a reason for saying Emet by itself without Emet V'yatziv?
    – ray
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 9:03
  • @ray - maybe, but the Kitzur understands it (to almost mean) the way I wrote it; I'm simply quoting him, almost verbatim. Commented May 1, 2014 at 14:02
  • 1
    i think the op was asking for the reason in light of the talmud not the straight halacha but your second point does seem to answer.
    – ray
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 18:06

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