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Every Shabbat morning, one of my neighbors arises early in the morning and starts to pray fervently and shakes his body back and forth. I ask him what he's doing, and he says, "don't interrupt me! I can't miss sof Z'man Krishna".

I've heard of "Harei Krishna" (which I guess means "the mountains of Krisha".) Wikipedia says that Krishna is the name of a Hindu deity.

I thought my friend was nuts, but then I hear the rabbi in my shul saying. "One should daven at home before coming to shul so that he doesn't miss the last time of Krishna."

What on earth or heaven is happening, here? Suddenly, all the rabbis are encouraging idolatry?? Why are they asking us to pray to Krishna at all, and what is the last time to say this prayer? Why is it so important not to miss the last time for Krishna?


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closed as off-topic by Double AA Mar 14 '17 at 21:59

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  • Sephardim might not get this one. I've really only heard Ashkenazim slur "Kriyas Sh'ma." ;) – ezra Feb 28 '17 at 21:49
  • @ezra I think this pronunciation is somewhat "neutral". Even for Sefardim who say "Kriyat Shema", if said very quickly and somewhat garbled, it sounds like "Krishna" (or "Krishma"). The "sh" sound is there for both. – DanF Feb 28 '17 at 21:54
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Krishna was actually one of the chachamim who advised King Achashverosh. As the Megillah says, "...והקרב אליו כרשנא" He was notable for being close to the king. Zman Krishna is the time when important politicians daven. To be careful to daven when they do is a good segula for meeting heads of state.

  • Clever! [15 ch] – DanF Mar 1 '17 at 16:20
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They are not asking us to pray to Krishna, they are saying that we need to deny the idolatry before the time that the idolaters believe that this particular god no longer has power. Thus, we are showing that even at the time when he is thought (incorrectly) to have the most power, he (and those like him) are powerless.

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"Sof zman krishna" means the end of the time of krishna/idolatry, namely the time of the messiah. They simply mean that one should daven as much as possible before the messiah arrives - for once he comes we will no longer receive the same level of reward for doing mitzvot. That is the more learned approach. The simple explanation is that some people misunderstand "harei krishna" to be referring to shma - "hurry krias shma" - in other words, say shma very quickly. Many members of my shul are very machmir in this matter and even apply it to many other parts of davening as well.

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