On Berachot daf 2a, the gemara says that we have two berachot before Shema and one after (in the morning) and two before, followed by two after (in the evening).

As far as I'm aware, there are three berachot before Shema in the morning:

  • Yotzer Or
  • Yotzer haMeorot
  • Habocher

On the other hand, in the siddur of R' Saadia Gaon, the former two berachot are combined in a single paragraph, unlike our modern siddurim.

How do the gemara and meforshim qualify this inconsistency?

  • 3
    Never put much stock in publishers' paragraph breaks.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 16:52
  • @DoubleAA, even if they're pretty universal? Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 17:42
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt a publisher's break is even less authoritative than the chapter breaks in tanach Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Yotzer Or and Yotzer Hameorot are actually part of the same long bracha. It has both an opening an closing bracha.

See Rambam, Hilchot Kriat Shma 1:5-7.

Halacha 5 says:

הקורא קריאת שמע מברך לפניה ולאחריה ביום מברך שתים לפניה ואחת לאחריה ובלילה מברך שתים לפניה ושתים לאחריה.

In the morning, there are 2 before Shma, and 1 after. For night, it's 2 and 2.

Halacha 6 begins:

ברכה ראשונה שלפניה ביום יוצר אור ובורא חשך וכו' וברכה שנייה אהבת עולם אהבתנו

The first begins yotzer or; the second ahavat olam (ahava raba for Ashkenazim).

Halacha 7 is the clincher:

ברכה ראשונה שלפניה בין ביום בין בלילה פותח בה בברוך וחותם בה בברוך

The first bracha starts with baruch and ends with baruch.

So we see, according to all, it's 2 brachot.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .