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Chapter 16: 3-5
Laws Pertaining to Shema

3. In the middle of these sections, one should not respond "Amen" except to the blessings ho'El haKodosh and shom'a tefilloh. In response to Kaddish, one should say Amen; Y'he Shmei rabboh m'voroch l'olom ul'olmei almayo.* When the chazon recites: da'amiron b'olmo, v'imru Amen, he should also respond "Amen." However, he should not respond "Amen" in other places, for these responses are not fundamental elements of the Kaddish.

* {The Mogen Avrohom 66:6 and the Shulchon Oruch Horav ibid. advise adding the work Yisboreich.}

With regard to Kedushoh: For the introductory section, a person should remain silent and listen to the chazon, and then respond with the congregation Kodosh, Kodosh, Kodosh Ado-noi Tz'vo'os m'lo chol ho'oretz k'vodo - "Holy, Holy, Holy is the G-d of Hosts. The entire earth is filled with His glory."

Afterwards, he should remain silent without reciting the passage recited by the chazon and then respond together with the congregation, Boruch k'vod Ado-noi mim'kmo, "Blessed be the glory of G-d from His place." He should not recite anything else, for the other responses including Yimloch...* are not essential elements of the Kedushoh.

* {In the pesokim which accompany his Siddur, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi also allows Yimloch... to be recited.}

If one hears Borchu either from the chazon or from a colleague who was called to the Torah, one may respond "Boruch Ado-noi ham'voroch l'olom vo'ed." Similarly, one may respond "Amen" to the blessings recited by a colleague called to the Torah.

A person at this stage of the service who hears the congregation answer Modim (We acknowledge...) should bow and recite Modim anachnu Loch, but no more. If he hears thunder, some authorities allow him to recite the blessing [shekocho ug'vuroso molei olom (Whose strength and power fill the world),] but others forbid it. *

* {The Shulchon Oruch HoRav 66:4 allows one to recite the blessing even in the midst of the sections. However, the Mishnoh Beruroh 66:19 also mentions a more stringent opinion which allows its recitation only between the various sections, but not in the midst of a section.

4. Regarding the interruptions which are allowed while in the midst of these sections: if one is reciting the blessings, on should try to plan the interruption to be made at a point which is the conclusion of a concept. If one is in the midst of the Shema, one should try to plan that the interruption be made at the conclusion of a verse.

If the above is impossible, on may make these interruptions even in the middle of a verse. In such an instance, one begins again from the beginning of the verse.

5. The permission granted to make an interruption in the middle of a section does not apply to the verses Shema Yisroel... and Boruch shem k'vod malchuso l'olom vo'ed. In these verses, it is forbidden to make any interruption whatsoever, Even when greeted by a king, one should not interrupt to reply to him.*

* {For by reciting these verses, one accepts "the yoke of G-d's kingdom." The Shulchon Oruch 66:2 and the later authorities allow a person to interrupt the recitation of these verses only if feels that his life is in danger.}

Similarly, an interruption should never be made between the concluding verse, Ani Ado-noi Elo-hechem and the following blessing, Emess, V'Yatziv because the phrase Ado-noi Elo-hechem emess (G-d, Your Lord, is true) is a verse [from the Bible, Jeremiah 10:10]. It is proper not to make an interruption until one recites the word v'yatziv (certain). (For v'yatziv also implies acceptance of the truth of the matter.)

([In Talmudic times, leniency was also granted to interrupt one's prayers to respond to a colleague's greetings.] However, at present, [failure to respond to such a greeting] is not considered socially objectionable. Hence, interruptions are not allowed for that purpose even between the sections.)

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.



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