Let's say Yosef woke up late one day, and by the time he was ready to say kriyas shema, it was two minutes before sof zman kriyas shema (the latest time at which a person could say kriyas shema). He has time to say shema before time runs out, but he won't start shema before the time is over if he starts with the brachos.

What should Yosef do? Should he

  • Say shema without the brachos?
  • Start the brachos and say shema whenever he's up to it?
  • Something else?
  • Clearly not Rfפ, as the OP's name is not Yosef.
    – MTL
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 20:14
  • 6
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 20:15
  • similar judaism.stackexchange.com/q/29465/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 20:16
  • question is probably impossible judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/13226/precise-zemanim
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 20:16
  • Another option would be to recite first verse/paragraph of the Shema then do the full davening inserting the whole Shema at the relevant point then brachas after to Gaal Yisrael and Amida. You might also ask what if he hasn't got his Tefillin on yet. Say the first verse/paragraph then put his Tefillin on and do all the davening?
    – CashCow
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 10:59

3 Answers 3


He should say Shema absolutely immediately as the printed time may not be completely exact.

(See ShA OC 46:9 with commentaries. The assumption there is that one who can't say the blessings of Shema then (because he needs to say them just prior to his Amida which must be said with a Minyan) should still say Shema at its proper time without its blessings even if he only suspects a possibility that delaying Shema until he can recite the blessings will cause it to be recited too late. In our case where delaying Shema until he can recite the blessings will certainly make him miss the time, a fortiori he should recite Shema without worrying about the blessings. This is reasonable as reciting Shema is a biblical requirement whose time is ending, whereas reciting the blessings is a rabbinic requirement whose time is not ending for another hour.)


This information is not a direct answer (it touches on an aspect of the case) but is too lengthy for a comment -- apologies in advance. This comes from an email I get daily:

If one did not say Krias Shema in the morning before the end of three hours into the day (which is the latest proper time to say it) one should say it during the fourth hour of the day with the berachos, but one will not get rewarded as if one has said it timely. Shulchan Aruch w/Mishnah Berurah 58:6

  1. If one was unable to say Shema before the end of four hours into the day (e.g. one was sick) one may rely on the opinions that permit one to say Shema with the berachos until Chatzos. Biur Halacha 58:6, Piskei Tshuvos 58:12

  2. There are however some Poskim who follow the ruling of the Rambam, and permit one who was an Oness (unable), to say Shema all day with the berachos. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 17:1, Pri Chodosh 58:7, M'kor Chaim 58:6, Piskei Tshuvos 58:12

  • This post could be improved a great deal with the addition of explicit analysis of how the cited rulings may relate to the question at hand.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 19:44

In a situation where he will be going to daven with a Minyan who do not reach Kiryat Shema on time, the normal thing to do is recite it before going to Shul, without the brachas because the bracha after to Gaal Yisrael then needs to be followed immediately by the Amidah.

Therefore it would seem in this situation he should do the same: recite Shema now, then do the full tefilla, saying Shema again as part of that.

How much of Shema should he say now? First verse, first paragraph or all of it? I think the Rishonim and others may differ on that opinion, as well as when the zman actually is, but I think in general this is the accepted procedure.

Obviously, if it's a weekday he should also wear Tefillin whilst reciting Shacharit (brachas before and after Shema, Amidah and if said that day Tachanun). Possibly, if rushed, he might not have time to put Tefillin on before the z'man.

The 3rd hour is the proper time by which to say Shema but the 4th hour will suffice for the purpose of b'rachot (and some allow 6 or even all day according to Rambam but only in times of Ones).

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