The Ramban (Brachos 11b) writes that Birkas Kriyas Shema are blessings over the Mitzva of saying Shema.

What's in the text of Birkas Kriyas Shema that has to do with Shema? It talks about angels, Torah study, anything but the standard "Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvosav Vetzivan Al Kriyas Shema (or Likros Shema)?"

  • I believe that a "pre-requisite" to saying Shema is Kabalat Ol Malchut Shamayim - acceptance of the "yoke" of heaven, i.e. - the recognition and acceptance that G-d is the sole person in control of everything. The text of the brachot in Shacharit (as a matter of fact, the "kedusha" has the words "V'chulam mekablim ol malchut shamayim") convey this message. I'm unsure how the Ma'ariv brachot accomplish this.
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 2:45
  • @DanF the idea behind saying Shema morning and evening is that one has to renew their commitment to God every morning and evening. Thus, we recognize the astronomical marvels that are associated with this changing of time. Shema is also Talmud Torah, and a symbol of our relationship with God as a piece of the Torah that he graced us with (the second beracha) Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 4:14
  • @Matt - Thanks for that analysis. It raises some additional questions in my mind, but I would either have to put in chat with you, or create a separate question.
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 16:02
  • I don't have a real source but my thinking came from Abudraham and a passage in Toras ha-Mincha, though I forgot which parsha Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 18:52


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