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Siman 66 . In which place may one interrupt [one's reading of the Shema] and in which place may one not interrupt

66:1. (1) Between the paragraphs [of the Shema] (2) one may greet (3) a respected person, and may return a greeting (4) to anyone; and in the middle [of any paragraph] one may greet a person whom he fears, for instance (5) his father or his Rav/teacher or anyone who is (6) greater than he (7) in wisdom; (8) and all the more so [may he greet someone in the middle of a paragraph, if the other person is] a king (9) or a robber*; and he may return a greeting to a respected person [in the middle of a paragraph] and may even do so in the middle of (10) a verse, (11) except for the two verses "Shema Yisroel" [itself] and "Boruch Shem K'vod Malchusoh Le'Olam Vo'ed [the following verse]." One may not interrupt (12) during these two verses at all, (13) unless he fears he may be killed [if he does not interrupt to greet the person].

MB: Anywhere it is forbidden to speak, it is forbidden to speak even in Hebrew; and even one word is forbidden (P'ri Megadim).

MB 1: Between the paragraphs - This is only where they meet each other in the natural course of events, but it is forbidden to get up early to visit one's friend, or to cross the Shul from his own fixed place to his friend's in order to greet him. This is true even for one's father, Rebbe [Torah teacher], and even before he commences "Boruch She'Omar" [the Blessing before the Verses of Praise] or any time before saying the main Amidah prayer [see Berochos 14a, where they say that one may not greet anyone before praying, as one first has to "greet" HaShem, as it were, before anyone else --SP].

MB 2: One may greet - even in one's own language. One may only greet and return a greeting to strangers [literally "new faces"], where if one did not return the greeting it might cause hatred. The Sefer HaChinuch also writes that one may not interrupt [the Shema] for a person whom we see is not disturbed by his friend's behavior [and will not be bothered if not greeted]. Therefore, because it is our custom nowadays not to greet others in Shul during Davening, Heaven forbid that we should greet or return a greeting (even with words of Torah) whether between the paragraphs [of the Shema] or even in the Verses of Praise. If he went ahead and interrupted during the reading of the Shema, even in a place where he is not permitted to interrupt, and he did not pause for longer than it would take him to complete the whole of it [ie all three paragraphs], then according to all opinions he only has to go back to the verse (and some say only to the word where he interrupted, as long as this begins a new phrase).

MB 3: A respected person - one whom it is fitting to greet first, for instance an elderly or learned person, and also a rich man who is sufficiently wealthy that one should give him honor because of his wealth.

MB 4: To anyone - who has greeted him first. It is implied in the novellae of the Rashboh that it is permitted even to deliberately greet someone who is reading the Shema, even though he knows that the other person will have to return the greeting; but see MB 2 above [which tells us that today our custom is not to exchange greetings in the synagogue during prayers].

MB 5: His father or his Rebbe [Torah teacher] - This refers to one's special teacher from whom he has gained the major part of his learning. This is true even if he is now greater in Torah learning than his Rebbe. It is appropriate to fear [both parents and Rebbe] because it says "You shall fear your mother and father," and our Rabbis also taught that "the fear of your Rebbe should be like your fear of Heaven".

MB 6: Greater than he - If they are equal [in wisdom] then [the laws regarding greeting a person] out of respect apply [as set out in the very beginning of this Se'if]. If the one reading the Shema is greater than the other person, then he should not interrupt at all even if the other is a learned man [Talmid Chochom].

MB 7: In wisdom - The later Rabbis decided that even if the other person is greater than the one reading the Shema, the one who is greater is merely treated as "respected," unless he is an outstanding Talmid Chochom in his generation, in which case he comes within the category of one whom one fears.

MB 8: And all the more so a king - Even a Jewish king is included in the category of "one whom one fears" as it is written, "You shall surely appoint a king over you" - ie. a king whose fear shall be "over you".

MB 9: Or a robber* - or an informer [Malshin]. [*Both "robber" and "violent man" would be appropriate translations of "Anas" - Stephen suggested "terrorist", which is certainly timely. The temptation to comment on our "obligation" to give a mangy cur a "Peace" prize... -- YM]

MB 10: A verse - There are some who say that one should not interrupt in the middle of a verse, unless he is at a point where a subject matter is complete - and if he interrupted he should go back to the start of the verse. On the practical question of interrupting to answer to Kaddish [Amen, Yehei Shemei Rabboh etc.] or Kedushah [Kodosh Kodosh Kodosh etc. and Boruch Kevod etc.], as will be explained later, if it is impossible for him to hurry and finish reading the current subject matter then he may interrupt even in the middle of a subject, and can rely on those who hold the first opinion [the one brought in the Shulchan Aruch] who make no difference [as to whether he is in the middle of a subject matter or not] for such a great Mitzvah as this [ie. Kaddish or Kedushah]. He can therefore answer with the congregation, and then go back to the start of the verse.

MB 11: Except for the verse - As there is no greater thing than the acceptance of the [yoke of the] Kingdom of Heaven [which is what the first verse entails]. For this reason one should also not interrupt between the two verses of "Shema Yisroel" and "Boruch Shem K'vod Malchusoh Le'Olam Vo'ed" [Blessed be the Name of His Glorious Kingdom for ever and ever] as both are part of "unifying" [Hashem's Name] (Beis Yosef).

MB 12: In these verses at all - This implies that even for Kaddish, Kedushah and Borechu one may not [interrupt] and answer [to any of these three], and see in the Biur Halochoh [where the Chofetz Chayim says that the matter requires much investigation. Apparently, if one forgot to say "Boruch Shem K'vod Malchusoh Le'Olam Vo'ed" one need not go back to say it, so why should we not be able to interrupt that verse to answer to Kaddish, Kedushah and Borechu?]

MB 13: Unless - and the law on this point is the same as that which applies to the Amidah - see later in Siman 104.

66:2. (14) If one forgot to put on Tzitzis [fringes] and/or Tefillin, he may interrupt [his reading of the Shema] (15) between the paragraphs to put them on and he should make the necessary Blessing(s) on them. {Rema: And some say that he should not make any Blessing on them until after the Amidah, and so is our custom regarding the (16) Tallis.}

MB 14: If he forgot - or there was some unavoidable circumstance ["Onus"] whereby he did not have any Tzitzis or Tefillin from the outset.

MB 15: Between the paragraphs - And if he obtains [Tzitzis or Tefillin] in the middle of a paragraph, he should wait to put them on until the end of the paragraph so that he can make a Blessing on them. This, however, only applies if he obtains them during the Blessings [before the Shema] of "Yotzer Or" and "Ahavoh Raboh", but if he obtains Tefillin in the middle of reading the Shema [even in the middle of a paragraph --SP] then he should put them on immediately, because for each and every word of the Shema there is a Mitzvah to be wearing Tefillin; and one should say the blessing(s) when putting them on, even during the Shema (P'ri Megadim).

MB 16: Tallis - Because concerning Tzitzis there is no actual [Torah] obligation on a person to put them on [ie. there is only an obligation if one is wearing a four-cornered garment --SP], so if one does not have a Tallis one is exempt from the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, and one may read the Shema without them - therefore, the Blessing on them is considered an interruption. Tefillin, however, are a personal obligation; and further, if he fails to wear Tefillin then it is as if he is giving false testimony about himself (Heaven forbid) when he says "And you shall bind them [the Tefillin]," and he has not "bound" them! Therefore, we follow the first opinion that [putting Tefillin on with a Blessing] is not considered an interruption. All of this is as regards the Blessing, but one is permitted to merely put on [the Tallis without a Blessing], and after the Amidah he should then handle the Tzitzis and make the Blessing. It is implied in the Beis Yosef [the commentary on the Tur by Rav Yosef Karo, the author of the Shulchan Aruch] that even in the middle of a paragraph putting on the Tallis [without a Blessing] is permitted (except for the first paragraph of the Shema). The P'ri Megadim writes that we follow this practice, which is in accordance with the opinion of the Rema. If one is sitting in the synagogue and he is embarrassed to sit without a Tallis, according to all opinions he may make the Blessing on it [the Tallis] between the paragraphs. *

Stephen Phillips stephenp@cix.compulink.co.uk

* The following is a bit advanced, and will take time to understand. It's also not critical for knowing the Law.

The last Halacha is rather confusing - we just read that it is permissible to put on a Tallis without a blessing, at any time. Now we find that if one is embarrassed to sit without a Tallis, he gets permission to also say the blessing!

While I think I have an explanation, please understand that I am thinking aloud, rather than telling you "the real story".

This last ruling comes from the Even Ha'Ozer, who rules that in general one is _not_ permitted to put on a Tallis after beginning the blessings over the Shema until concluding the Amidah, the silent prayer. As we already know, the Mishna Brura rules that one _is_ allowed to merely put on the Tallis, but without saying the blessing.

The Even Ha'Ozer also says our final Halacha - that one who is embarrassed to sit without a Tallis is permitted (according to all opinions) to say the blessing and put it on.

I think that this works as follows: in general, if one is not praying in synagogue or is not embarrassed to sit without a Tallis, it is questionable whether putting on the Tallis would constitute an interruption. The Even HaOzer rules that it is. The Mishna Brura, on the other hand, sides with those who rule that putting on the Tallis itself is _not_ an interruption, although it still may be an interruption if he says the blessing, actually stopping the Shema in order to speak other words.

This final ruling from the Even Ha'Ozer - which he says is in accordance with all opinions - results from the fact that the individual is embarrassed to sit without a Tallis. For the sake of his honor, it becomes _permitted_ to interrupt the Shema or its blessings (only between paragraphs). Since it is now permitted to make a definite interruption, he may now make the blessing - even according to the Mishna Brura, who said that merely putting on the Tallis would not have been an interruption in the first place.

-- YM

Siman 66. In which places may one interrupt [one's reading of the Shema] and in which places may one not interrupt

66:03. (17) For Kaddish and Kedusha (18) and Borchu (19) one may interrupt, even in the middle of a verse, and similarly for "Modim" - but in this situation one should say only (20) the one word "Modim". {Rama: And so to for Borchu, one should not say "Yisborach v'yishtabach etc.", and there are those who say that the Amen following the blessings "HaKel (21) HaKadosh [The Holy A-lmighty]" and "Shomea Tefila [Who Hears Prayer]" has the same law as Kedusha, and one may answer them during the reading of Shema - and this is the law. And in all (22) these cases it is all the more clear that one may answer them even while one is saying (23) requests.

[Terminology: Kedusha - said during the third blessing of the Chazzan's repitition Borchu - said before the first blessing before the reading of Shema Modim - referring to the Modim said by the congregation while the Chazzan reads the 18th blessing (on weekdays). That blessing also begins "Modim", which means "we give thanks" or "we acknowledge" "Yisborach v'yishtabach" - Printed in most siddurim alongside Borchu, "to be recited while the Chazzan sings an extended tune." Among 480+ readers, has anyone seen this done? "HaKel HaKadosh" and "Shomea Tefila" - 3rd blessing of every silent Amidah, and 16th blessing of weekday Amidah, respectively.]

MB 17: For Kaddish - This refers to the congregational response, "Amen, Yehei Shmei...Almayah [Amen, may His Great Name...the worlds]", but one should not continue "Yisborach" [in those congregations that normally do this]. And one should answer "Amen" following "D'amiran B'alma [that are said in the world]", but not after "Tiskabel...Yehei Shlamah...Oseh Shalom [the three additional verses added to certain Kaddishim - the Mourner's Kaddish includes the latter two]" because saying these verses is only a custom [and not required]. And for Kedusha, one should only answer the first two responses, "Kadosh [Holy, Holy...]" and "Baruch [Blessed is...]", because these are the main part of Kedusha, and not "Yimloch" [the third response]. And all the more so one should not say "Nekadesh [Let us sanctify... The opening words]" or the other sections that we add on Shabbos [and holidays]. And all of these things that should not be said, should not be said even between paragraphs of the Shema or its blessings.

MB 18: And Borchu - One answers "Boruch H' Hamevorach L'olam Vaed [Blessed be HaShem, who is blessed, forever and ever]," and when someone is called to the Torah it is permitted to make this response and also to say "Amen" at the end of the blessing on the Torah. There are those who question saying Amen here, but we can be lenient if a person is between paragraphs [of the Shema or its blessings].

MB 19: One may interrupt - If one may stop in order to honor and greet another human being, all the more so to honor the Holy One Blessed be He. And for this reason it seems that if one hears thunder, he should stop and say the appropriate blessing - because this is a passing Mitzvah [which will not be avaiable later]. And there are those who argue, because since he is already involved with praises of G-d, he should not interrupt for the sake of a different praise. And this is not similar to all those cases above [where it is appropriate to interrupt], because they are of special sanctity (Tvuous Shor, Elya Rabba and other later commentators). It also appears from the Chayei Adam that if one heard thunder in the middle of a paragraph, he should not say a blessing upon it, but [should bless] only if he heard thunder between paragraphs.

MB 20: The one word "Modim" - Meaning not literally one word, but "Modim Anachnu Lach [We give thanks/acknowledge You]." One should not say the entire "Rabbinic Modim" [Instituted to be said while the Chazan says "Modim...", the 17th blessing of his repetition], because this would be a large interruption. And it seems that this should be true between paragraphs as well as in the middle.

MB 21: HaKadosh - Because this is the end of the first three blessings [which constitute a full section], and Shomea Tefila [who hears prayer] is the conclusion of the middle blessings. However, many later commentators agreed that one should not say "Amen" after the blessing Sim Shalom [Grant Peace] in the middle of reading the Shema, even though this is the conclusion of the entire Amida prayer. See the reason given in the Magen Avraham.

MB 22: These cases - Really this language is imprecise, because one must actually answer any Amen while one is reading requests. But the truth is that the words of the Rama are quite correct - because he is speaking about the requests that we customarily say at the conclusion of the Amida prayer [referring to Elokai Netzor - "G-d, guard my lips from evil..." a final closing paragraph that we say before leaving G-d's presence at the end of the Amida], and this is why he refers specifically to these Amens [so I found explicitly in the responsa of the Rashba, upon which this law is based].

MB 23: Requests - And all the more so during the Verses of Praise. And as to whether it is permitted to answer Amen between paragraphs of the Shema and its blessings, the Chayei Adam writes in Category 20, Section 4, that it is not permitted to answer Amen except upon the blessing that one is currently finishing. However, the Pri Megadim in section 52 and Rebbe Akiva Eiger in his novellae here agree that one may answer any Amen between paragraphs. If one used the bathroom, he should not say the blessing afterwards until after the Amida.

66:4. A Kohen who was reading (24) Shema when they called him to read from the Torah, should (25) interrupt according to one opinion, but should not interrupt according to another - and (26) the law is like the latter opinion.

MB 24: Shema - Or its blessings; and it makes no difference whether he was in the middle of a paragraph or between them. And the Elya Raba and Derech HaChayim write that between Geula L'Tefila [between mentioning our Redeemer and praying, meaning when concluding the blessing after the Shema, beginning the Amida] he should not go up to the Torah even if they called him - and it hardly needs mentioning that he should not do so if he is in the middle of the Amida.

MB 25: Interrupt - Because of his honor and fear of other people he may interrupt as above, and all the more so because of the honor of the Torah. And according to this, even if they called an Israelite to the Torah, he can also interrupt, even in the middle of the Shema; the Shulchan Aruch only specified a Kohen because of the second opinion - that even a Kohen should not go up. And the latter's reasoning is that his failure to interrupt is not an embarrassment to the Torah, because he is involved in the Mitzvah of reading the Shema and its blessings. Further, even though he is a Kohen, we need not worry that people will think he is invalid if he does not go up, and will start talking about him and saying he was not accepted as a Koehn - because the only reason he is not going up to the Torah is because he is at a point in his prayers where he is not permitted to interrupt, so there is no sign of invalidity in that. Everyone will kow that this is the reason he is not going up, and they can even put an Israelite in his place if there is no other Kohen available.

MB 26: The law is like the latter opinion - From ny000548@mail.nyser.net Wed Oct 19 22:05:10 1994 Received: from worldlink.worldlink.com (worldlink.com) by israel.nysernet.ORG (4.1/3.1.090690-NYSERnet Inc.) id AA05749; Wed, 19 Oct 94 22:05:07 EDT Received: by worldlink.worldlink.com (5.65b/4.0.071791-Worldlink) id AA29191; Wed, 19 Oct 94 22:04:14 -0400 Message-Id: <2991702382.10.ny000548@mail.nyser.net> Date: Wed, 19 Oct 94 22:03:01 -0400 To: "Halacha Yomis" From: "Halacha-Yomi" Organization: Project Genesis Subject: Tue 13 Cheshvan - Interruptions in Shema X-Mailer: NYSERLink-DOS (3.3)

[At Lawton Cooper's suggestion, today's Halacha is dedicated for the memory of the martyrs who died in Israel today and last week. I apologize for the lateness - it is my responsibility. Once again, we need _writers_, or "the situation will become desperate" next week!]

Siman 66. In which places may one interrupt [one's reading of the Shema] and in which places may one not interrupt

66:3. (17) For Kaddish and Kedusha (18) and Borchu (19) one may interrupt, even in the middle of a verse, and similarly for "Modim" - but in this situation one should say only (20) the one word "Modim". {Rama: And so to for Borchu, one should not say "Yisborach v'yishtabach etc.", and there are those who say that the Amen following the blessings "HaKel (21) HaKadosh [The Holy A-lmighty]" and "Shomea Tefila [Who Hears Prayer]" has the same law as Kedusha, and one may answer them during the reading of Shema - and this is the law. And in all (22) these cases it is all the more clear that one may answer them even while one is saying (23) requests.

[Terminology: Kedusha - said during the third blessing of the Chazzan's repitition Borchu - said before the first blessing before the reading of Shema Modim - referring to the Modim said by the congregation while the Chazzan reads the 18th blessing (on weekdays). That blessing also begins "Modim", which means "we give thanks" or "we acknowledge" "Yisborach v'yishtabach" - Printed in most siddurim alongside Borchu, "to be recited while the Chazzan sings an extended tune." Among 480+ readers, has anyone seen this done? "HaKel HaKadosh" and "Shomea Tefila" - 3rd blessing of every silent Amidah, and 16th blessing of weekday Amidah, respectively.]

MB 17: For Kaddish - This refers to the congregational response, "Amen, Yehei Shmei...Almayah [Amen, may His Great Name...the worlds]", but one should not continue "Yisborach" [in those congregations that normally do this]. And one should answer "Amen" following "D'amiran B'alma [that are said in the world]", but not after "Tiskabel...Yehei Shlamah...Oseh Shalom [the three additional verses added to certain Kaddishim - the Mourner's Kaddish includes the latter two]" because saying these verses is only a custom [and not required]. And for Kedusha, one should only answer the first two responses, "Kadosh [Holy, Holy...]" and "Baruch [Blessed is...]", because these are the main part of Kedusha, and not "Yimloch" [the third response]. And all the more so one should not say "Nekadesh [Let us sanctify... The opening words]" or the other sections that we add on Shabbos [and holidays]. And all of these things that should not be said, should not be said even between paragraphs of the Shema or its blessings.

MB 18: And Borchu - One answers "Boruch H' Hamevorach L'olam Vaed [Blessed be HaShem, who is blessed, forever and ever]," and when someone is called to the Torah it is permitted to make this response and also to say "Amen" at the end of the blessing on the Torah. There are those who question saying Amen here, but we can be lenient if a person is between paragraphs [of the Shema or its blessings].

MB 19: One may interrupt - If one may stop in order to honor and greet another human being, all the more so to honor the Holy One Blessed be He. And for this reason it seems that if one hears thunder, he should stop and say the appropriate blessing - because this is a passing Mitzvah [which will not be avaiable later]. And there are those who argue, because since he is already involved with praises of G-d, he should not interrupt for the sake of a different praise. And this is not similar to all those cases above [where it is appropriate to interrupt], because they are of special sanctity (Tvuous Shor, Elya Rabba and other later commentators). It also appears from the Chayei Adam that if one heard thunder in the middle of a paragraph, he should not say a blessing upon it, but [should bless] only if he heard thunder between paragraphs.

MB 20: The one word "Modim" - Meaning not literally one word, but "Modim Anachnu Lach [We give thanks/acknowledge You]." One should not say the entire "Rabbinic Modim" [Instituted to be said while the Chazan says "Modim...", the 17th blessing of his repetition], because this would be a large interruption. And it seems that this should be true between paragraphs as well as in the middle.

MB 21: HaKadosh - Because this is the end of the first three blessings [which constitute a full section], and Shomea Tefila [who hears prayer] is the conclusion of the middle blessings. However, many later commentators agreed that one should not say "Amen" after the blessing Sim Shalom [Grant Peace] in the middle of reading the Shema, even though this is the conclusion of the entire Amida prayer. See the reason given in the Magen Avraham.

MB 22: These cases - Really this language is imprecise, because one must actually answer any Amen while one is reading requests. But the truth is that the words of the Rama are quite correct - because he is speaking about the requests that we customarily say at the conclusion of the Amida prayer [referring to Elokai Netzor - "G-d, guard my lips from evil..." a final closing paragraph that we say before leaving G-d's presence at the end of the Amida], and this is why he refers specifically to these Amens [so I found explicitly in the responsa of the Rashba, upon which this law is based].

MB 23: Requests - And all the more so during the Verses of Praise. And as to whether it is permitted to answer Amen between paragraphs of the Shema and its blessings, the Chayei Adam writes in Category 20, Section 4, that it is not permitted to answer Amen except upon the blessing that one is currently finishing. However, the Pri Megadim in section 52 and Rebbe Akiva Eiger in his novellae here agree that one may answer any Amen between paragraphs. If one used the bathroom, he should not say the blessing afterwards until after the Amida.

66:4. A Kohen who was reading (24) Shema when they called him to read from the Torah, should (25) interrupt according to one opinion, but should not interrupt according to another - and (26) the law is like the latter opinion.

MB 24: Shema - Or its blessings; and it makes no difference whether he was in the middle of a paragraph or between them. And the Elya Raba and Derech HaChayim write that between Geula L'Tefila [between mentioning our Redeemer and praying, meaning when concluding the blessing after the Shema, beginning the Amida] he should not go up to the Torah even if they called him - and it hardly needs mentioning that he should not do so if he is in the middle of the Amida.

MB 25: Interrupt - Because of his honor and fear of other people he may interrupt as above, and all the more so because of the honor of the Torah. And according to this, even if they called an Israelite to the Torah, he can also interrupt, even in the middle of the Shema; the Shulchan Aruch only specified a Kohen because of the second opinion - that even a Kohen should not go up. And the latter's reasoning is that his failure to interrupt is not an embarrassment to the Torah, because he is involved in the Mitzvah of reading the Shema and its blessings. Further, even though he is a Kohen, we need not worry that people will think he is invalid if he does not go up, and will start talking about him and saying he was not accepted as a Koehn - because the only reason he is not going up to the Torah is because he is at a point in his prayers where he is not permitted to interrupt, so there is no sign of invalidity in that. Everyone will kow that this is the reason he is not going up, and they can even put an Israelite in his place if there is no other Kohen available.

MB 26: The law is like the latter opinion - The later authorities have written that our common custom today is to follow the first opinion, and even if they call an Israelite, even if he is in the middle of the Shema, and even though it is possible to find a different Israelite to take his place, nonetheless our custom is that he interrupts in honor of the Torah. The exception is if he is reading the verses "Shema.." and "Baruch Shem...", in which case he should not interrupt in the middle, but complete them before going up. And we should not change the custom because there is argument about it. However, if a person can rush and finish until the end of a paragraph, then he certainly should rush, and if he cannot finish the paragraph then at the very least he should read until he completes a particular topic. However, he should not delay because of this. A person in this situation should not read along with the reader of the Torah, but should merely listen carefully - and all the more so he should not interrupt to ask the gabbai to say a "Mi Sheberach" [blessing given to people in honor of the aliyah - the person receiving the aliyah often gives money to the synagogue for this]. And it seems that if in the middle of saying a "Mi Sheberach" the gabbai forgets one's name and asks, he is allowed to answer. When he goes back to the Shema afterwards, he does not need to go back beyond the place where he stopped, even if the aliyah was so long that he could have read the entire Shema in the meantime. And all of this is only once they have already called him to the Torah - but initially, even if he is merely reading the blessings, and all the more so if he is reading the Shema itself, they should not call him up, even if he is the only Kohen, for example. Here there is no concern people will think he is invalid as a Kohen, because he is busy reading the Shema. They should just call a Israelite in his place, and it is permissible to call the Israelite by name and to say "in place of a Kohen". And there are those who aregue and say that even here it is possible people will think the Kohen is invalid, because not everyone knows that he is busy reading the Shema, and it seems that we can rely on the lenient opinion to call him if he is between paragraphs. And the best thing is if there is no other Kohen except hiim, that he shoudl go out of the synagogue before they call the first Aliyah, and so too with a Levite. And it seems obvious that if the Torah is lying ofn the table, and they have no one to read from it except a person who is reading the Shema or its blessings, everyone would agree that he can interrupt because of the honor of the Torah. However, if he can easily finish the paragraph, he should do so. Similarly he should not accept the responsibility of calling people up by name, because of the interruption.

66:5. The following are the (27) paragraph breaks: Between the first and second blessings; Between the second blessing and "Shema Yisroel"; Between "Shema" and "V'Haya Im Shamoa [And it will be, if you listen]"; Between "V'Haya Im Shamoa" and "Vayomer [And {G-d} said.. referring to the paragraph concerning Tzitzis]". However, between "Vayomer" and "Emes V'yatziv [true and steady, the paragraph following the Shema]" (28) one should not interrupt, in order (29) not to interrupt between HaShem and Emes [true]. Rather, one should say "'Ani HaShem Elokeichem' Emes - 'I am HaShem (30) your G-d' [is] true", and then stop according to the rules for the middle of a paragraph.

MB 27: Paragraph breaks - And the breaks in the evening also follow these rules (Magen Avraham, section 236), and see the Beur Halacha.

MB 28: One should not interrupt - The reason being because it says in another place "And Hashem is G-d of Truth." Therefore, one should not break within this phrase, and it is even more strict than the middle of a paragraph - and see in the explanations of the Gr"a.

MB 29: Not to interrupt - Even with waiting silently.

MB 30: Your G-d [is] true - This implies that one need not say more, but there are those who say that because Yatziv is also a way to say Emes, "true", one should not stop between these words. And the Gr"a in his explanations agrees with the Shulchan Aruch, but it is good to be careful at least initially.

Yaakov Menken menken@israel.nysernet.org

[I apologize to Naftoli Willner, who produced this Halacha on time. We've been doing a _lot_ this week. Plans move ahead with our regional Shabbaton at Cornell, our gopher is growing larger by the day... and several organizations are now planning a petition drive, condemning the designation of Yasir Arafat as a "model peace-maker" worthy of a Nobel Prize. Please write for details.

And we're using the spell-checker. Today's unrecognized word: Tefillin. Suggested replacement: Teflon. ]

Siman 66. In which places may one interrupt [one's reading of the Shema] and in which places may one not interrupt

66:6. One who interrupted, either out of fear or out of respect, after saying "Emmes" (*), or finished saying "Hashem Elokechim Emmes" before the Chazan and (31) waited for the Chazan in order to continue his prayers with him, does not repeat "Emmes".

[* - we learned previously that "Emmes", the first word of the blessing which follows Shema, is said together with Shema.]

MB 31: And waited - Because if one did not pause and said "Emmes Emmes" twice together we would silence him, in the same way that we do if one says "Shema" or "Modim" twice [since it appears as if he is recognizing two deities - NW]. Therefore if he did pause [as in our case], even though (*) we do not silence him when he repeats, nonetheless we do not require him to repeat as that would be of no benefit. Similarly whenever one has an interruption during any of the prayers surrounding Shema, he may return to the place he left off. Regarding interruptions during the Amidah, see later 104:5.

[* - Since he did pause between the two, it does not appear as the recognition of two deities - NW.]

66:7. (32) One should not answer "Amen" (33) after [the blessing of] "Ga'al Yisroel" [redeemer of Israel, completed immediately before the Amidah] because this would be considered an interruption. {Rama: (34) Some say that one should answer "Amen", and this is the custom to (35) answer (36) after the Chazan's blessing; however one who prays alone does not answer "Amen" [to his own blessing] - see later, Siman 216}.

MB 32: One should not answer "Amen" - Neither after his own blessing nor that of the Chazan.

MB 33: After "Ga'al Yisroel" [Who has redeemed Israel] - This is in the past tense, as it refers to the redemption from Egypt. This is in contrast to [the conclusion of the seventh blessing of] the Amidah, which reads "Go'el Yisroel" [Redeemer of Israel] since the Amidah is a request for mercy [and the purpose of the prayer] is praying for the future Redemption. In [the land of] Israel it is customary to say "Melech Tzur Yisroel V'Go'alo" [King, Rock of Israel and Redeemer - note present tense in place of "Go'al Yisroel" past tense - NW] during the blessing after the Shema [whereas the present tense is only appropriate for the Amidah]. The Ta"z went to great lengths to justify this custom, and the Degel Mervovah resolved the questions, nevertheless, because of the questions, righteous people say "Ga'al Yisroel" even in Israel [today, this is in all Siddurim].

MB 34: Some say - According to this opinion one even says "Amen" to his own blessing since it is the conclusion of the blessings of the Shema, and it is not considered an interruption between the [blessing of] redemption and the Amidah(*). The Rama sides with this opinion at least to the point that we answer "Amen" to the Chazan's blessing, not considering this an interruption; but if one prays alone our custom is not to say "Amen" [after our own blessing]. (See Siman 114)

[* - In terms of interruptions, between redemption and the Amidah is more stringent even than in the middle of blessings. - NW]

MB 35: Answer ["Amen"] - only if he did not start the [sentence preceding the Amidah, "HaShem, open my lips"] "Hashem Sfasai Tiftach", as that begins the Amidah. Some careful people attempt to satisfy all opinions and pause during "Tzur Yisroel" or "Shira Chodosho" to answer "Amen" after the Chazan's blessing. The later authorities did not approve of this approach, since one [then interrupts himself] during the paragraph of "Emes V'Yatziv where one should not answer any "Amen" except to those two blessings mentioned earlier in the Rama 63:3. Additionally, it is proper to begin the Amidah with the Chazan and the Minyan. There is another and more preferable method which satisfies all opinions, which is to conclude the blessing [of "Go'al Yisroel"] together with the Chazan, in which case he is not obligated to answer "Amen". Alternatively, he may begin the Amidah (meaning just the sentence "Hashem Sfasai Tiftach") slightly prior to the Chazan; there is nothing wrong with going ahead this slight amount, because it is not obvious.

[The universal custom today is to recite the blessing "Go'al Yisroel" together with the Chazan - NW]

MB 36: After the Chazan - Meaning if he finishes [the blessing of "Ga'al Yisroel"] before the Chazan and did not start the Amidah, and during that time the Chazan concluded [the blessing]. According to all, one is not required to wait for the Chazan to conclude.

66:8. (37) One must immediately proceed from the blessing of redemption to the Amidah, (38) and not pause after (39) saying "Ga'al Yisroel". However, in unavoidable circumstances such as (40) if one he has not put on Tefillin, and he obtains them between the blessing of Geulah and the Amidah, should he (41) then put them on, but he should not recite the blessings (42) upon them until after (43) reciting the Amidah. A Tallis (44) should not be put on at this time. If prior to his recitation [of the blessing of "Go'al Yisroel"] he obtains Talis and Tefillin, he should (45) put them on and delay blessing [upon them] until after the Amidah. {Rama: Some say that [if he obtained these items] (46) before "Go'al Yisroel", he should (47) recite the blessing on the Tefillin and (48) so is the custom}

MB 37: Must immediately proceed - See Siman 111.

MB 38: And not pause - even a pause absent of any other activity.

MB 39: Saying "Go'al Yisroel" - which is even more stringent than [interruptions] during paragraphs (of the blessings surrounding Shema), because here it is prohibited to interrupt even because of fear unless he is concerned for his life, like during the Amidah itself.

MB 40: He has not put on - He was not able to delay his recitation of Shema until he obtained Tefillin, as he was afraid that he would not be able to obtain Tefillin prior to the latest time for saying the Shema. Similarly, if one is afraid that the time for saying the Amidah may pass before he is able to obtain Tefillin, then he should say the Amidah without Tefillin and then upon receipt of Tefillin (even during midday or the afternoon) he should immediately put them on and say any Psalm or prayer. Concerning one who does not have Tefillin during the congregational recitation of the Amidah, we must ask: is it preferable for him to say the Amidah with the congregation sans Tefillin and later put on Tefillin, or to delay his recitation the Amidah so that he may borrow Tefillin from a friend and recite the Shema and Amidah with Tefillin [but independent of the congregation]? The Mogen Avrohom ruled that it is preferable to wait until after the congregational Amidah, and borrow Tefillin from a friend in order to recite Shema and the Amidah with Tefillin. (*)

[* - This is more common than one may at first realize. Common examples of this situation are when one travels or goes to shul and has forgotten his Tefillin at home, or one who has given his Tefillin to a scribe to be checked (this has happened to me). He then must borrow Tefillin from a friend in shul who also requires them that morning. When two people are using the same pair of Tefillin, this Halacha tells us that only one of them can recite the Amidah with the congregation. The second would recite the Amidah after the congregational Amidah - NW.]

MB 41: Then puts them on - Tefillin are more critical to Shema and the Amidah than Tzitzis.

MB 42: Upon them - The Pri Chodosh argues and reasons that since it is permissible to put on the Tefillin between [the blessing of] Geulah and the Amidah, it is also permissible to recite the blessing upon them [at that time] and this is not considered an interruption. So agrees the Even Haozer. However the Derech HaChayim and the Chochmos Adam and most other authorities side with the Shulchan Aruch.

MB 43: Reciting the Amidah - he should handle [the Tefillin] and recite the blessing upon them.

MB 44: Should not be put on at this time - Since should he put them on, he would be required to stand silently and delay his recitation of the Amidah and that delay would be considered an interruption, which is only permitted for Tefillin.

MB 45: Put them on - the putting on Tefillin and Tallis is not an interruption (prior to concluding "Go'al Yisroel") as he can even read or work while reciting Shema. (See 63:1)

MB 46: Before "Go'al Yisroel" - meaning before saying "Baruch Atoh Hashem" (Blessed are you the lord...) since after that point it is prohibited to interrupt and he must complete "Go'al Yisroel". See what is written later in the name of the Mamer Mordechai.

[The MB is referring to Seif 52 where he says that one who pauses immediately before the blessing should go back and resume from "Shira Chadasha" or at least "Tzur Yisroel" as it is preferable to mention praises related to the final blessing preceding the recitation of that blessing. - NW]

MB 47: Recite the blessing - obviously it is prohibited [according to this opinion that says to recite the blessing on the Tefillin] to say "Boruch Shem K'Vod" as is normally said after the second blessing on Tefillin ("Al Mitzvos Tefillin"). A proper approach is to only recite the first blessing [on the Tefillin], because many authorities anyway say that only one blessing is required.

MB 48: So is the custom - The latter authorities indicate that this is the law.

Naftoli Willner ewillner@compucare.com

Siman 66: Where One May Make an Interruption and Where Not (cont.)

66:9. One should not respond [with the rest of the congregation] to Kaddish (49) and Kedusha (50) [if he is] between 'redemption'* and 'prayer' [Shmoneh Esreh, Amidah].

(51) And what should one do [if he is approaching the Shmoneh Esreh and the congregation is approaching Kaddish or Kedushah] ? (52) He should wait before the words 'Shira Chadasha' ["A new song", a few lines before the end of the blessing] in order that he should be able to respond.

[* - This refers to the end of the blessing immediately preceeding the Amidah, "Who has redeemed Israel". It is forbidden to make an interruption between the end of this blessing and the beginning of the Amidah.]

MB 49: And Kedusha - Nor to "Bar'chu" or "Modim"*. And [in the case of "Modim"], one should adjust the pace of his prayer so that he will be bowing at the beginning of the Amidah at the same time the congregation is bowing at "Modim".

[* - "We thank", beginning of blessing #18 in the Amidah, which is called "[the blessing of] thanksgiving"; at this point, the congregation recites a passage in parallel to the Chazan during the latter's repetition of the Amidah]

MB 50: Between 'redemption' - There are later authorities [Elya Raba and Divrei HaHayyim] who wrote that on Shabbos it is permitted to respond between 'redemption' and the Amidah to Kaddish, Kedusha and all similar cases mentioned above in 66:3. And see below in Siman 111 [which speaks of the juxtaposition of 'redemption' and the Amidah].

MB 51: And what should one do? - The Shulhan Aruch means, if one has not yet heard Kedusha or Bar'chu.

MB 52: He should wait before 'Shira Chdasha' - After he has said the words "Oseh Phele" ["Who does wonders", the words immediately preceding 'Shira Chadasha']. And all this is the ideal behavior, but after the fact [if he did not stop before 'Shira Chadasha'], as long as he has not said "Baruch Ata A-d-n" ["Blessed art Thou O L-rd", beginning of the conclusion of the blessing], he may respond, and after responding he must repeat 'Shira Chadasha' or at least 'Tzur Yisrael' ["Rock of Israel", found between Shira Chadasha and the end of the blessing], which is the beginning of a new concept [a distinct topic witihin the blessing], like what the Magen Avraham wrote in his comment 3 [that if one made an interruption in the middle of a verse that was also in the middle of a thought, he must return to the beginning of the verse, which is the beginning of the thought]. And another reason [to go back and repeat "Shira Chadasha"] is that he must ideally say something similar to the closing of the blessing immediately before the closing. (Ma'amar Mordechai)

66:10. Anyone who did not say "Emes v'yatziv" in the morning and "Emes ve'emunah" in the evening [the blessings after the Shema in the morning and evening, respectively] has not fulfilled his obligation to read the Shema (53) properly. {Rama: One who is compelled by circumstances (54) and does not have time to pray [the Amidah] immediately after recital of the Shema should recite the Shema until the word "emes" [at the end of the Shema] and wait to say the rest of the blessing until he is able to pray. He should then say "V'yatziv v'nachon" etc. [the continuation of the blessing following the Shema] and then pray the Amidah, in order to adjoin redemption to prayer (Beis Yosef in the name of the Rokeah, Siman 321)}.

MB 53: Properly - But this is not to say that he did not fulfill the obligation to recite the Shema at all, for we rule that the blessings [if not recited properly] do not invalidate the recital of the Shema. Rather, this means that his recital of the Shema is also not as it should be, and he should at least go back to say this blessing after praying the Amidah if he did not say it beforehand, as written above in 60:2. And in this case, it is a good thing to repeat the Shema as well (Birkei Yosef).

The Tur wrote in the name of the Talmud Yerushalmi that one must mention during "emes v'yatziv" [the blessing after the morning Shema] the Exodus from Egypt, the Kingship of G-d, the Splitting of the Sea, and the Plague of the First-Born, see there. And it is implied in the Rashba to Tractate Brachos, p. 11 that this invalidates [the blessing, meaning that one must repeat it if he failed to mention these things] even after the fact.

[The following paragraph may be very difficult for those who have never studied Talmud to understand. It is also of little practical relevance, because we all use printed Siddurim that provide texts that fulfill the above requirements. Even the Mishnah Brurah put it in parentheses... --YM]

(And this requires study, for it is written in Brachos 14b: [The excerpt begins in the middle of a discussion about the evening prayer] "[Objection:] But he must mention the Exodus from Egypt [in the evening]! [Answer:] He said thus [in the evening prayer, instead of "emes ve'emunah" (the first blessing after the evening Shema)]: 'We thank you, L-rd our G-d, that you took us out from the land of Egypt, and redeemed us from the house of slaves, and did for us great deeds at the sea, and we sang to you", i.e., he continues "Who is like you", etc. until the end of the blessing, as Rashi explained the text. According to this, he does not mention the Plague of the First-Born! And it is far-fetched to say that there is a difference between the morning and evening prayers. Perhaps they had a different text at the end of the blessing which mentioned the plague of the first-born. Also, from the Talmud Yerushalmi Brachos Chap. 1, Halacha 6, it seems to be implied that the requirement is only beforehand, but after the fact [if one said the blessing without mentioning these things] it does not invalidate the blessing. As for practical application, it requires study.)

If one substituted the evening blessing for the morning blessing or vice-versa, then if he realizes his error before mentioning G-d's name at the end of the blessing, he should go back to the beginning ["v'yatziv" or "ve'emunah"]. If he has already said G-d's name, he should complete the blessing and he need not go back. [Hayye Adam in the name of R. Manoach]

MB 54: And does not have time - This requires study, for who permitted him to make an interruption in the middle because he does not have time? Rather, one who does not have time should recite the Shema by itself without the blessings, and afterwards when he has time, he should recite the Shema, its blessings, and the Amidah together, as above in 60:2 (Magen Avraham)

In the book Nahar Shalom, he wrote that nevertheless the ruling of the Ramah is true and correct if one recited the Shema under the impression that he would be able to complete the entire prayer, and then after he recited the Shema he was forced by circumstances to stop. In this case, the Rama explains above that it is preferable that he stop after "Hashem Elokeychem emes", and afterwards he should begin from "v'yatziv" etc. when he is able to pray. However, if one knows beforehand that he will not have time to recite Shema and to pray, and he fears that the time of the Shema will expire before he will have time, the Rama will certainly agree with the Magen Avraham that he should recite the Shema by itself. And the Pri Mgadim explained similarly, see there.


 






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