Chapter: 15 – Keriat Shema

01 – The Mitzvah of Keriat Shema (The Recital of Shema)

It is a positive biblical commandment to recite Shema at night and in the morning, as it is written (Deuteronomy 6:7), “And you shall say them… when you lie down and when you get up.” “When you lie down” denotes … Continue reading

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02 – Remembering the Exodus

It is a biblical commandment to remember the Exodus every day, as it says (Deuteronomy 16:3), “Therefore you will remember the day you left Egypt all the days of your life.” The Chachamim learn from the word “all” (kol) that … Continue reading

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03 – The Content of the Shema Paragraph

The Shema paragraph (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) consists of three sections: 1) the foundation of faith, 2) the meaning of this foundation in our lives, and 3) instructions on how to instill faith into our lives. 1) From the first verse, “Hear … Continue reading

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04 – The Second and Third Paragraphs

In the second paragraph, “V’hayah Im Shamo’a” (Deuteronomy 11:13-21), we learn about the value of the mitzvot, the reward for those who fulfill them, and the punishment for those who transgress them. If we love Hashem, serve Him with all … Continue reading

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05 – The Significance of the Exodus

The Egyptian kingdom, which enslaved Israel, was essentially the kingdom of materialism. Historical research verifies this. Among all the ancient nations, no culture was more materialistic than the Egyptian culture. The Egyptians denied the existence of a soul and did … Continue reading

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06 – Kavanah While Reciting the First Verse

One must have upmost kavanah while reciting the first verse of the Shema, in accepting the yoke of Heaven, as it is written (Deuteronomy 6:6), “Put these words… in your heart.” Therefore, a person must concentrate in his heart on … Continue reading

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07 – The Second Verse and Its Kavanah

Immediately following the first verse, we say quietly, “Baruch shem kevod malchuto l’olam va’ed,” (“Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity”). Although this sentence does not appear with the Shema paragraph and is not a verse … Continue reading

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08 – Mitzvot Require Kavanah

The Amora’im and the Rishonim disagree regarding the question, do mitzvot require kavanah? When the Torah commands us to perform a certain mitzvah, is the actual performance enough, or must a person have in mind the correct intent in order … Continue reading

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09 – The Laws of Reciting Shema

A person must recite Shema with great kavanah, fear, awe, and trembling, and concentrate in his heart that he is now proclaiming the sovereignty of the King, Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Even though Shema is recited every day in Shacharit and … Continue reading

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10 – The Manner in which to Recite Shema

It is permissible to recite Shema while standing, sitting, or lying down on one’s side. Indeed, according to Beit Shamai, one must recite the Shema of the evening while lying down, and the Shema of the morning while standing, as … Continue reading

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