My siddur has hamapil as the last thing said before sleeping (I know some of them have Hamapil before the end) , but I was wondering if it would still count if one were to say the other parts of Kriat Shema a few hours before one goes to sleep, then leaving hamapil until right before one slept?

Or does one have to do it all at the same time straight before going to sleep? (I use tehillat hashem, the chabad siddur)


Traditionally, the kriat shema was said once in the morning and once at night (BT, Ber. 10b). For night time, i.e. going to bed, a distinct blessing was formulated - ha'mapil (ibid. 60b). Naturally, as the two pieces were unique for the evening they eventually took form as a unit, recited prior to bedtime. After the Halacha was codified, two orders were popularized (cf. order of Rambam, Tefillah 7:2, Shulhan; Aruch OC 239), one was to say the KS first and then ha'mapil, the other was to first say ha'mapil and then KS.

As it appears from your question, you follow the former. Therefore, to recite the KS (characteristically known as Kriat Shema shel arvit) before bedtime is fine since it is still a proper fulfillment of its evening recitation (cf. Aruch Ha'shulhan §239:5) and ha'mapil -in your case- is likewise still in fulfillment of the original enactment since you are reciting it at its proper time too, i.e. before bed.

In my opinion, there is no issue -in this scenario- of "hefsek" (interruption) because KS shel arvit is not unique for bed since it was prescribed for evening, not bed. (Although the Talmud (BT, Ber. 4b) cites a prescript that it be recited when in bed, I do not believe it was meant literally, as a requirement for exactly that time, because the KS isn't unique for sleep but rather for the phenomenon as opposed to ha'mapil which is unique for sleep See Meiri Ber. 60b.) The only debatable issue of interruption would be if between a blessing proscribed on sleep and the sleep itself (or preparation of it) one were to interrupt with unrelated musings. In any case, consult YLOR for actual practice.

  • No mention of the Yerushalmi? The Gemara in Shevuot?
    – Double AA
    Nov 6 '17 at 12:45
  • @DoubleAA Didn't find all that nec. to single out the Yeru. bec it's discussed in Hagahot Maimon. on Rambam which I cited. Re. Shevuot; if you mean 25a, I didn't think its an easily demonstrable source for the point so opted for first explicit source that come to mind.
    – Oliver
    Nov 6 '17 at 13:26
  • Also if you're going to conflate KS shel arvit and KS al hamittah, you have to address Tefillot BaEmtza Tikkenum. The Yerushalmi has no HaMapil because it's working in a world where bedtime Shema has two blessing before and two afterwards including notably Hashkivenu so there's no need for HaMapil. For the Bavli though it's a separate mitzva and we have new discussions of Hefsek and such. Your answer is say Shema earlier and Hamapil in bed. I'd recommend exactly the opposite.
    – Double AA
    Nov 6 '17 at 14:25
  • Plus it seems the OP is really worrying about all the extra verses of protection, which you don't address but are based in the sources I cited above and are essentially entirely optional.
    – Double AA
    Nov 6 '17 at 14:29
  • @DoubleAA IMHO since geula le'tefilah is a tefilah matter, and from OP's name I assumed a woman is asking, I don't think it's pertinent bec regardless OP would be exempt. As I indicated, I think in tanaaitic times KS was not said at bedtime, it was for evening, generally. Men would recite it together with tefilah for the aforementioned reason (following R. Yohanan). FFWing, a woman reciting KS before bedtime fulfills both the general enactment and the bedtime "segulah". The suggested order I proposed was based on OP's indicated rite.
    – Oliver
    Nov 6 '17 at 15:12

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