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

Email this article to a friend

Significant Pauses

Some religions teach that the way to come close to G-d is through an intermediary. Some of these intermediaries are alive, while others have passed on, yet their followers still consider them a conduit to G-d. During the first blessing which precedes the Shema we declare our opposition to these erroneous belief systems in a very subtle way. Halachic authorities note a number of points in the prayer services where if two consecutive words are uttered in a hasty, slurred manner, a different word with an incorrect meaning could be formed. In order to prevent this, there are a number of points in the service where one should be careful to pause briefly between the words. In some siddurim, these places are marked with a slash or dash.

When we come to the word “mamlichim” (“declare the kingship of …”) in the first blessing before the Shema, we do more than pause momentarily. Even though this word is in the middle of a sentence, we stop completely after it and wait for the prayer leader to say this word out loud. Only then do we continue with the following word – “es.”

To understand this practice, it should be noted that if these two words are read quickly they sound like mamlichim mes — “declare the kingship of a dead person.” In order to show that such a belief is a complete anathema to the Jewish religion, the prayer leader and the congregation make a special point of stopping between these two words (Chasam Sofer, Shulchan Aruch 59).

A few lines later, when we arrive at Kedusha, we again pause and wait for the shaliach tzibbur. The reason for these pauses differs from the earlier one. Since Kedusha consists of biblical verses, we do not want to merely repeat them by rote after the shaliach tzibbur. We stop to make sure we will read them from the siddur (Magen Avraham).


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

Can the Sun Just Not Rise?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Unending Continuity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Falsehood Has No Legs
Shlomo Katz - 5758

ArtScroll

Standing By The Covenant
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Consistency is Key
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

"G-d Is Not In Our Midst" Is An Inappropriate Response
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Our Connection to the Sefer Torah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Heard but not Seen
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

G-d's Concealment
Shlomo Katz - 5761

> Duality of Emotion
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

So It Is Written
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Reading Between The Lines
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

"The Man Who Blesses Himself In His Heart Saying..." Wasn't Totally Wrong
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

In Good Standing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

The Difference Between The Two Tochachas
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Connected
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764



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