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Although there are brachot that we say before and after reciting the Shema, they are not blessings on the recitation of the Shema. First, none uses the typical formula, "asher kidshanu bmitzvosov" - who has sanctified us with his commandments. Second, the siddur has the Shema early in the morning prayers without any bracha at all, indicating we may recite the Shema and discharge our obligation with no bracha. So, why do we not have a kidshanu bmitzvosov bracha before we do this Torah mitzva?

  • We do have one in some sources. See Tur OC 235 אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על קריאת שמע – Double AA Jun 16 '15 at 15:24
  • This is answered by Blessing on Grace After Meals – Scimonster Jun 16 '15 at 15:26
  • @Scimonster That Q&A seems to be only tangentially relevant. Is there other discussion in the sources on the above question specifically? – Yehuda W Jun 16 '15 at 15:34
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Sefer Likutei Shoshanim gives a few reasons as to why the longer Bracha of Ahava Rabba is used instead. Among other reasons, he quotes the Rashbash as saying:

The Mitzva of saying Shema includes other Mitzvos, such as accepting 'the yoke of Heaven'. Thus we use a broader, more encompassing Bracha. שהרי יש בה קבול מלכות שמים שהרי אומר ויחד לבבנו לאהבה את שמך, על כן לא תקנו לברך על שמע

He also quotes the Siach Hasadeh who writes that we don't make a bracha on saying the Shema, because it is inccluded already in the Birkas Hatorah that we should have already said. משום דסומכין על ברכת התורה כיון דבקריאת שמע תלמוד תורה נמי אית בה, ומקיים בזה ת״ת

Another answer he gives is that the very first Passuk - 'Shema Yisrael' is considered a Bracha! הואיל ונחשב כברכה ופסוק שמע ישראל יש בו הזכרת השם ונחשב כמלכות

Finally, he writes that according to the Shaagas Aryeh, one doesn't make a Bracha on a Mitzva that is primarily a thought.. הואיל ויוצאין בקריאת שמע בהרהור משום הכי לא תקנו ברכה שאין מברכים על מצוה שהיא בהרהור

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