The order would be more logical if it was when you rise up comes before when you lie down. What do the mfarshim say about this?

  • Note that we just listed 'when you sit in you house and when you are going on a journey.' – user15253 Jul 26 '18 at 21:23
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    –1, lying comes first. Babies lie all the time. Eventually they rise, then lie again, rise again, lie again, etc. But if you're going to talk about one of them as being first, it's clearly lying. If this question post would explain why you think rising is first, that'd be a good question, but for now "rising first" is claimed without support and seems plainly contradicted by the facts. – msh210 Jul 27 '18 at 6:45
  • One simple idea, you can easily tell him, or you can read something before sleep time, but not before awakening – kouty Jul 27 '18 at 9:31

One of the easiest interpretations to grasp, is that it follows the nature of Bereshis 1:5:

First night, lying down - then day, getting up.

וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לָאוֹר֙ י֔וֹם וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ (פ) God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.

(Brachos 2a)

Also, this pasuk was written in this style to serve as a source (and hint?) to why we daven maariv first at night and then shacharis in the morning. It follows the order of the pasuk.

ובשכבך ובקומך. מאימתי קורין... וגם סידר של ערבית תחלה על סדר הכתוב בשכבך ובקומך

(תורה תמימה)

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  • I think that Berachos 2a is actually an argument against your answer. The Gemara there asks why the Mishnah discussed evening Shema before morning Shema. It gives two answers: 1. It's following the order of u'veshachbecha. 2. It's following the order of Bereshis. According to you that u'veshachbecha itself is only following the order of Bereshis the two answers would really be the same. – Alex Jul 27 '18 at 4:50

Going to sleep is mentioned before waking up because of causal priority.1

Because life begins in a state of awakeness, the concept of "waking up from sleep" does not exist without there first being a concept of "going to sleep". The reverse, however, is not true. The concept of "going to sleep" could exist without there being a concept of "waking up from sleep".

Because "going to sleep" is a fundamental prerequisite for "waking up from sleep" it is mentioned first.

(No, I do not have a source for this – למה לי קרא סברא היא)

1. It is not because of chronological priority (i.e. that night comes before day) because then we would have trouble making sense of a Talmudic passage. The Talmud (Berachot 2a) asks why the Mishnah discusses the Nighttime Shema before discussing the Daytime Shema. The Talmud first answers that the Mishnah was following the order of the verse where ובשכבך comes before ובקומיך. The Talmud then says that alternatively, the Mishnah was following the order of creation, where night occurred before day. If the reason for the order in the verse itself is that night comes before day, then there is no alternative answer. Both answers are saying the same thing, viz, that the Mishnah first discussed the Nighttime Shema because night comes before day.

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  • Neither the verse nor the question here mentions sleep. They refer to lying and rising. – msh210 Jul 27 '18 at 6:50
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    @msh210 no, they are idiomatic. – user15253 Jul 27 '18 at 7:07
  • @Orange how do you know that? – Double AA Jul 27 '18 at 12:23
  • @msh210 I used "sleep" as a simplification. The idea is true of "lying down" as well. Anyway it is referring to lying down to go to sleep. – Alex Jul 27 '18 at 13:38
  • This is an interesting answer. It would probably explain why the ordering is first "When sitting in your home" followed by "Going on the way." You can't go on "the way" without a starting point, namely, your home. – DanF Jul 27 '18 at 14:43

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