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Questions tagged [shema]

Shema refers to a prayer, named Shema after its first word. It is traditionally said 3 times a day: in the morning and evening prayers, and before retiring at night. Shema may refer to the first verse (Deut. 6:4), the longer version which includes Deut. 6:5-9, 11:13-21 and Num. 15:37-41, or the even longer prayer said before bed.

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All you need is love?

I once had a Hebrew professor state with absolute determination that "Ahavah" (the Hebrew word for "love") does not, in fact, mean love. His proof was twofold: 1. G-d could not have commanded us to "...
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Why no repetition of the Shema in shul?

We repeat the amida in shul for the sake of those who do not know the amida. We read the birkat hamzaon aloud for the sake of those who do not know the blessings. In both cases, we assume that many ...
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Covering eyes when saying Shema Yisrael

When saying Kriyas Shema many have the custom of covering their eyes when saying Shema Yisrael. What is the reason this is done?
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Kissing Tzitzis during Shema

There are those that kiss their Tzitzis during Shema at Shacharis as per Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 17:7 and the Kaf HaChaim 18 and there are those that do not. What is the source and reason for those that ...
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Can a non-Jew recite the Shema?

Can a non-Jew recite the Shema and other Jewish prayers? Is there any one which is off limits to non-Jews? Thanks.
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Why do we say “Boruch Shem…” loudly on Yom Kippur?

As discussed in this question, there are two reasons generally given why we say "Boruch Shem K'Vod..." quietly when saying Shema: The Talmud (Pesachim 56a) says that Yaakov Avinu said it in response ...
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Why have I never seen anyone “slicing the Shema”?

“Slicing the Shema” A good summary is to be found here, on the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash website. In short, “…. ten men who prayed alone can subsequently fulfill their obligations of ...
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How do you extend the sound of a daleth in Shema?

How does one extend the sound of the daleth in the echod of the shema as prescribed in OC 61 (6)?. The letter as we say it does not seem to allow extension. See Dalet (Wikipedia) which defines it as a ...
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Why doesn't saying the sh'ma satisfy torah-reading requirements?

According to this answer to a related question, the g'mara on Bava Kamma 82a requires reading torah at least every three days because we should never go longer than that without words of torah. But ...
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Shema in Musaf Kedushah - Source and reason

I grew up on the Birnbaum siddur, I admit it. I read the little explanations at the bottom of the page over and over. Later, I bought a set of Artscroll machzorim and used those on Rosh Hashana and ...
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How could different pronunciations arise when we are obligated to pronounce the Shema precisely?

If one does not pronounce the Shema correctly, one has not fulfilled their obligation (שולחן ערוך או"ח סימן סב). If so, then how could different pronunciations of the Hebrew words arise? Shouldn't at ...
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What does “Baruch shem k'vod malchuso l'olam vaed” mean?

A sentence commonly said during prayer is "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד". How do we interpret it? What does it mean? It sounds like it means: Blessed is/be the name of the glory/...
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Answering “amen” to “Ahavas olam” in the evening but not in the morning

Mishna B'rura (61:16) cites a difference of opinion regarding whether one should respond "amen" to the shatz's (leader's) blessing immediately before "Sh'ma" or should, on the contrary, finish saying ...
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“El melech ne'eman” not in Chabad siddurim

There is a common custom amongst many to recite the words אל מלך נאמן before Kriyas Shema when there is no minyan. However, in all Chabad siddurim I have davened from, this phrase is not there. ...
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Kissing tzitzit for full shma during “leolam yehey”

If one begins shacharit near sof zman kriat shema and is concerned that he not be able to say shema before sof zman kriat shema, he is supposed to say "full shema" during leolam yehey in the begining ...
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Sh'ma aloud but amida quietly

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 61:4: We are accustomed to reading the first verse [of "Sh'ma"] in a loud voice in order to arouse the direction [of our thoughts]. SA OC 101:2: But he should not ...
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Covering eyes for leolam yehey

As in this question, if you begin "leolam yehey" at the beginning of shacharit near the end of the time for reciting shema, and you may not otherwise recite it in time, you are supposed to recite a ...
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When we say “עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף” at which point do we kiss the tzitzis?

When we say Krias Shema, the widespread custom (referred to in OC 24 (4) Rema), is to kiss the tzitzis when we say the word, “צִיצִת”. When we come to the words, עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף (which Singer ...
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Near a bad smell, one might want to do Sh'ma, the Amidah, blessings, study, or think Torah. Is halacha equally strict about all five acts?

"Just as one separates oneself from excreta, urine, a foul odor, a corpse and the sight of nakedness for Kri'at Shema, so too, he should separate himself for Shemoneh Esreh". —Rambam. Hilchos ...
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Is it ok to Text After Kriyat Shema al Hamita?

Is it okay to text after saying kriyat shema al hamita? You're not supposed to talk afterward, as it says: Tremble and sin not. Reflect in your hearts while on your beds, and be utterly silent. -...
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Does one need to fulfill the 248 words when reciting Shema outside the timeframe of Kri'at Shema?

O.C. 61:3 states that one should recite a total of 248 words when saying Kri'at Shema. As there are only 245 words, the last 3 words are fulfilled by listening to the Shat'z repeat the ה אלקיכם אמת. ...
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Maariv After Bedtime Shema

Many a time I realize that I have forgotten to say Maariv in midst of reciting the bedtime Shema. Halachic Question: Is one permitted to Daven Maariv after saying ברוך המפיל?
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Is it always a good idea to say an extra Shema' if you missed one?

According to Double AA's answer on a related question, "it can't hurt" to say an extra Shema' later if you missed the Zeman (set time) for it. While it may be true to a certain extent that saying ...
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'Kavannah' of Shem Havayeh in the first line of Kriat Shma

The requirement when saying the name 'Havayeh' to have in mind both the meaning of 'adon ha-kol' and 'hayah hoveh ve-yihyhe' takes me some time: longer than almost anybody I see in shul taking to ...
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Polyphasic Sleep and Halacha

I recently read an article on polyphasic sleep and I'm quite interested in experimenting with it. The article advises the Uberman approach which advocates 20-30 minute naps every four hours, meaning ...
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What does cantillation do to prayer's status?

I recall seeing recommendations, in multiple Halachic discussions, that someone who's reciting a Scripturally-derived prayer alone that normally requires a minyan, e.g. the 13 Attributes of Mercy, one ...
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Customs regarding reciting the Shema after the allowed time

The latest time for reciting the קְרִיאַת-שְׁמַע is שׇׁלוֺש שׇׁעוֺת זְמׇנִיּוֺת (three variable hours) after sunrise (Orach Chayim 58:1). On Shabbat, many communities recite the morning Shema after ...
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source for obligation to recite the shema

The talmud in berachos 2a asserts that the verse ודברת בם בשבתך בביתך ובלכתך בדרך ובשכבך ובקומך is the source for the mitzva of reciting shema twice daily. Yet later on in daf 13, the talmud says ...
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Source for Chasidik practice of imagining yourself giving up your life during the first verse of Krias Shma

in a chassidus shiur i heard that the obligation for krias shma (for people busy with parnoso) according to all opinions is the first posuk of shma with kavono and that the kavono is by saying it you ...
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Glasses and Shema

The Shulhan Aruch records the custom of placing one's hand over his eyes in Shema in order to increase concentration. What about someone who wears glasses? Must he move them or remove them?
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Covering eyes for Shema

What is the requirement of covering our eyes for Shema? For example, do your eyes need to be closed? Must one cover with their hand? Does it matter which hand is used?
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Is reciting Shema a mitzva d'oraisa?

The first paragraph of the Shema (itself from the Torah) includes the instruction to say the Shema twice daily "when we lie down and when we arise." This would seem to indicate that the recitation of ...
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Can someone trying to convert have mezuzahs on his doorposts?

When one is going through an orthodox conversion, one is asked to keep all the mitzvoth with the exception of fully keeping the shabbos and putting Tefillin. I was wondering if this exception also ...
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dying person reciting shema

I have read a few times about people reciting the shema before dying. what is the reason for this and does it have any basis in halacha.
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Why does it say to love HaShem meodecha

The verse of Devarim 6:5 reads: Love HaShem your G'd, with all your heart bechol levav'cha, with all your being uvechol nafshecha, and uvechol ... meodecha. If I'm correct it's the only place in the ...
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Significance of “Shema Yisrael”

The verse Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4) is highly significant. It is Biblically required to be recited twice daily, it is to be said at the end of one's life, and appears in the liturgy at the end of ...
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Dr. Bronner's soap

If you read the label of a bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap you will find--as I was flabbergasted to find--that the very last words are a whimsical English translation of "Shema Yisroel." Dr. Bronner ...
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Kissing tzitzit for maariv

Why don't we kiss the tzitzit during the Vayomer section of shma of maariv? I would think we would since we are reading the same text as we do for shacharit.
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Who established the Shema?

The Gemara in Berachos 12b says "They sought to establish [various passages] in the Shema" and "they establish[ed] the passage of tzitzis in the Shema" (Artscroll trans.) I had thought that the ...
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Why hasn't the sof zman kriat shema adapted to the sleeping patterns of today?

The second mishna in mesechet berachot writes: From when may one recite Shema in the morning? From when one can distinguish between Tekhelet [purple-blue wool] and white. Rabbi Eliezer says: [...
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Is there any source for saying the first possuk of Shema quietly?

The Rema in OC 61(26) says the custom is to say the first possuk of the shema aloud. In this question Sh'ma aloud but amida quietly Gershon Gold said that Shema is said aloud in unison and msh210 ...
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Choosing between Brachos on Shma and Sof Zman Kriyas Shema

Let's say Yosef woke up late one day, and by the time he was ready to say kriyas shema, it was two minutes before sof zman kriyas shema (the latest time at which a person could say kriyas shema). He ...
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Bathroom or shema if you only have time for one?

If you wake up 5 minutes before sof zman kryat shema and you have to use the bathroom. Going to the bathroom when necessary is deorayasa (Shulchan Aruch 3:17) and so is saying the shema. Also there ...
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Kohanim on first shift can't say Shema'?

The first Mishnah in Berachoth quotes R' Eli'ezer's opinion that the time for reciting Shema' in the evening extends only until the end of the first shift (the Kohanim would serve in the Beith ...
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Bedtime Shema and אל מלך נאמן

Orach Chayim 61:3 (based on Berakhot 60b) says that the chazan should repeat ה' אלהיכם אמת after the 245 words of the Shema, in order to have 248 words in total, which corresponds to the traditional ...
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How can Birchoth Keriath Shema' substitute for Birchoth HaTorah?

Birchoth Keriath Shema' are able to substitute for Birchoth HaTorah in case one cannot remember if he said the latter, or in case one did not sleep and is in doubt whether or not he should say them. ...
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Can I say the prayers of Birkot HaShachar and Tikkun Chatzot after Chatzot (Midnight), even if I don't sleep yet?

Can I say the prayers of Birkot HaShachar and Tikkun Chatzot after Chatzot (Midnight), even if I had not gone to sleep yet? How should I proceed with the Kriat Shema Al Hamitá if I will remain awake ...
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Why do some people say the end of the 2nd bracha before Shema with the Shat"z?

I have noticed in many shuls (mainly Nusach Ashkenaz, though, I have seen in Nusach Sefard, as well) I have attended that some people conclude the end of the 2nd bracha before the Shema (Shacharit - ...
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laws of saying shema and aleynu with the tzibbur

I remember learning that you should say shema and aleynu together with the tzibur. If you're a little behind, do you stop what you're saying and say shema or do you catch up and say it when you're ...
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How does this explanation in Aruch Hashulchan address the issues regarding Shema times?

In this answer I cited R. Yechiel Michel Epstein's explanation for rejecting R. Yaakov of Karlin's suggestion that the times for Shema are not based on sha'ot zemaniot. In truth, however, I don't ...