Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

248 Limbs

“There are 248 limbs in the body, and each word of Shema serves to protect one of them” (Zohar Chadash, Rus 97b). However, when making a tally of all of the sections of Shema, one comes up with only 245 words. How do we make up for the three missing words?

“In order to make up the missing three words, the prayer leader should repeat the last three words of Shema, Hashem Elokeichem Emes (Hashem your G-d is Truth)” (Shulchan Aruch 61,3). This is based on the halachic principle of “shome’a k’oneh,” that when one listens to words it is as if one said them personally. Therefore, these three words, in addition to the 245 words of Shema, bring us to the sum total of 248 words.

Ashkenazim who say Shema without a minyan should not repeat these three words, while the custom of Sephardim is to say them. An Ashkenazi should preface the Shema with the words “Eil Melech Ne’eman” (G-d, Faithful King). These three words bring him to the desired total of 248.


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

The Meaning of Life
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5770

Parshas Ki Savo
Shlomo Katz - 5770

Everything Depends on Our Teshuvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

In the Footsteps of G-d
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Gratitude -- A Key Torah Principle
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

The Epitome of G-d's Kindness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Mystery
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

The Joy of Serving G-d
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Wake Up!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

ArtScroll

The Act of Investing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

What We Really Think
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

A Time for Fear, A Time for Joy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

> Looking to the Future
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Giving in to the Dictates of One's Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

A Message for the Generations
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

It's All About The Relationship!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information