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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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?
Hacham Gabriel's user avatar
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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 ...
Naftuli Kay's user avatar
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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 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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If kings get up at 3 hours past sunrise, wouldn't they need some extra time to say Shma?

Mishna Brachot 1:2 gives the times for saying Shma in the morning. מאימתיי קורין את שמע בשחרים: משיכיר בין תכלת ללבן; רבי אליעזר אומר, בין תכלת לכרתן. עד הנץ החמה; רבי יהושוע אומר, עד שלוש שעות, ...
Scimonster's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
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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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13 votes
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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/...
msh210's user avatar
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Minimal requirements for bedtime shema

What is the minimal required text to say for the bedtime shema? Is it sufficient to say only Hamapil and the first paragraph of shema?
Sam's user avatar
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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 ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
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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 "...
Seth J's user avatar
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Line break before למען ירבו ימיכם

In most of my prayer books there is a line break before למען ירבו ימיכם in the second chapter of the Shema (see also this one from Vilna or Zhytomyr): וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־שָׁמֹ֤עַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ אֶל־...
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11 votes
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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 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
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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 ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
282 views

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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
756 views

What constitutes the Shema?

In wanting to add a Jewish practice, I am now saying the Shema daily. (It is nice to know that is a mitzvah explicitly in the Torah.) What is the "actual" Shema. When I was a kid (Reform) we would ...
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When to say Hamapil

In the bedtime shema, some siddurim have the bracha of Hamapil printed immediately before the paragraph of shema, whereas others have it printed at the very end of the bedtime shema prayers. What is ...
Sam's user avatar
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When saying Shema Yisroel as your last words, should you say "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד"?

Ad 120 Since the "Baruch shem..." that follows the statement of "Shema yisroel" was collocated to "Shema yisroel" by rabbis, and is subordinate to the extent that we say it in an undertone, must it ...
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Davening after the zman

Can someone please explain the halachot for someone who wakes up after zman kriat shema? After zman tfillah?
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Accidentally saying "El Melekh Neeman" when in a tzibbur

There is a very widespread custom of commencing one's recitation of the Shema with the three-word phrase, אל מלך נאמן, when davening alone, and of having the shaliach tzibbur repeat the last two words ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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Why does Jewish law and tradition specify times for saying Shema?

This question is asked at a very basic level, not deeply aware of Judaism or the process of Jewish law. I'm not Jewish so it isn't directly applicable to me, but it helps me to ask a broader question ...
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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 ...
SAH's user avatar
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Saying shema before death in inappropriate circumstances

There are circumstances under which a person should not recite the Shema: if they are in the presence of naked people, if they are themselves undressed, if there is nearby fecal matter, if they need ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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Why does the Reform Siddur cut out most of Krias Shema?

I noticed recently that for Krias Shema, Reform Jews only say the first paragraph (V'ahavta) and the last couple verses of the third paragraph (for an example: scroll down to page 18). I know the ...
alicht's user avatar
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9 votes
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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 ...
rosends's user avatar
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Why is remembering the Exodus fulfilled by Shema and not first parashah of tefillin or Song of the Sea?

I was taught we fulfill the daily commandment to remember the exodus from Egypt at the end of the Shema, when we read: אֲנִ֞י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הוֹצֵ֤אתִי אֶתְכֶם֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם ...
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אמת at the end of קריאת שמע when not saying the brachot

When saying k'riat sh'ma al hamitah, many (all?) people say the word emet at the end of the third paragraph. Also, I believe that the common practice when saying keriat sh'ma without the brachot (for ...
Daniel's user avatar
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2 answers
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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?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
405 views

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.
2345678876543's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

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?
Y     e     z's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
338 views

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 ...
2345678876543's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
283 views

Rambam and Bahag disagree about the mitzvah of Shema?

The Rambam wrote his Sefer HaMitzvos as a polemic against the Bahag's selection of the 613 mitzvos (as is clear from reading his Shorashim). They have many disagreements, which the Rambam lays out in ...
robev's user avatar
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Covering eyes for Shma which isn't THE shma

Based on the answer to this question about covering ones eyes for the Shma said early in davening, it would appear that one only covers his eyes when saying the verse of Shma in order to enhance the ...
rosends's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Yehuda W's user avatar
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2 answers
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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 ...
Yehuda W's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are there five or six reasons why Parshas Tzitzis was added to Shema?

Berachos 12b: פָּרָשַׁת צִיצִית מִפְּנֵי מָה קְבָעוּהָ? אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר חֲבִיבָא, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים: מִצְוַת צִיצִית, יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם, עוֹל מִצְוֹת, וְדַעַת ...
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Are glasses a barrier before erva for "Sh'ma"?

One cannot say "Sh'ma" facing someone undressed. Even if the prospective "Sh'ma" reciter closes his eyes, it's insufficient according to many. However, if the person is covered by clear clothing or ...
msh210's user avatar
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"Uvesorascha kasuv lemor shema Yisrael..." before Yishtabach

Some siddurim have the following phrase in between "ושמו אחד" and "ישתבח": ובתורתך כתוב לאמר שמע ישראל ה׳ אלקינו ה׳ אחד "And in Your Torah it is written to say Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem ...
Joel's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Menachem's user avatar
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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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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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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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 ...
Tim Biegeleisen's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do the laws of forgiveness apply equally to Jews forgiving non-Jews?

In the prayer introducing the bedtime shema we say we forgive everyone for everything, even in previous incarnations (gilgulim), and then say, "every Jew." I'm not sure I'm understanding it correctly, ...
user2380's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
875 views

Why do the siddurim ask us to gather all 4 tzitzis before saying Shema?

Shulchan Oruch Orach Chaim 24 (4, 5) says 4 Some have a custom to look at their Tzitzit when they reach the verse "And you shall see them," and to place [their Tzitzit] on their eyes. This is ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can saying Sh'ma once satisfy two different Sh'ma obligations?

In an extenuating circumstance, one can say the night time K'riyat Sh'ma until Netz, as per this statement: If one didn’t say it then, make sure to complete it by Chatzot (midnight) and after the ...
rosends's user avatar
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Reason for Sepharadi Qeri'at Shema' Custom

I have seen no small number of Sepharadim recite Qeri'at Shema' whilst covering their eyes in the fashion below (as opposed to what I assume is the predominant Ashkenazi custom of simply placing one's ...
Lee's user avatar
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6 votes
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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 ...
2345678876543's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
745 views

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 ...
MTL's user avatar
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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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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6 votes
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Brachos Daf 2a - What does Creation have to do with Krias Shema?

The Gemorah in Brachos Daf 2a asks two questions right away after learning the Mishnah. The second is: Why is it that the Mishnah taught about the time at night for Krias Shema first - really we ...
Yehoshua's user avatar
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1 answer
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For things that can be said in any language, how fully must you understand the language?

Sotah 7:1 gives a list of things that are said in any language, including the Sh'ma and the t'filah. Several commentaries I've seen explain that these texts are so important that you need to ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
178 views

How can Chachomim nullify my recitation of the evening Shema if I read it at a time permitted by the Torah?

The Mishnah Berurah (OC 235:30) writes: לא יצא וכו' - דאף דמן התורה קרינן בשכבך עד הנץ משום דאיכא עדיין מקצת אנשים דגנו בההיא שעתא מ"מ היכא דלא איתנס בטלו חכמים ממנו מצות ק"ש על שאיחר כ&...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar

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