Chapter: 16 – Birkot Keriat Shema

01 – The Significance of the Berachot

The Chachamim instituted the recital of three berachot with Keriat Shema of Shacharit, two before the Shema and one after it (Mishnah, Berachot 11a). These berachot add to the content of Keriat Shema, including praise and thanksgiving to Hashem for … Continue reading

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02 – The Link between Pesukei d’Zimrah and Birkot Keriat Shema

Upon the conclusion of Pesukei d’Zimrah and Yishtabach, the chazan recites Half-Kaddish. As we know, the virtue of the Kaddish is very great, and the Chachamim praise those who respond Amen to it with kavanah (see further in this book … Continue reading

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03 – Barchu

After the Kaddish, the chazan says, “Barchu et Hashem hamevorach” (“Bless Hashem Who is blessed”). The congregation responds, “Baruch Hashem hamevorach l’olam va’ed” (“Blessed is Hashem, Who is blessed for all eternity”), and the chazan repeats the congregation’s line, saying, … Continue reading

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04 – Kedushat Yotzer and Responding Amen to the Berachot

Birkat Yotzer Or is praise to Hashem, “Who constantly renews the acts of creation daily.” Over time, liturgy was added to this berachah; there is a special poem for weekdays and a special poem for Shabbat. Not only do we … Continue reading

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05 – Responding to Matters of Sanctity in Birkot Keriat Shema

In the opinion of Maharam of Rotenberg, while reciting Keriat Shema and its berachot, one may not interrupt to respond to Kaddish and Kedushah, for since he is already engaged in the praise of God, he is prohibited from interrupting … Continue reading

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06 – Interruption for a Respected Person

In order to prevent insult, the Chachamim permitted saying “Shalom” in the middle of Keriat Shema and its berachot to a person of exceptional distinction. Therefore, one who is in the middle of reciting Birkot Keriat Shema, or one of … Continue reading

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07 – Adjoining Redemption to Prayer

Even though the recital of Keriat Shema and its berachot, and the recital of the Amidah prayer are two separate mitzvot, one must connect them, and it is forbidden to interrupt between them. The Chachamim state that anyone who adjoins … Continue reading

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