Chapter: 25 – The Ma’ariv Prayer

01 – Keriat Shema and Its Berachot

The recital of Keriat Shema commands center stage at the beginning of the Ma’ariv prayer. It is a biblical commandment to recite Keriat Shema at night and in the morning, as written in the paragraphs of Shema and V’Hayah Im … Continue reading

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02 – The Ma’ariv Amidah

Yaakov Avinu established the Ma’ariv prayer, and based on this, Anshei Knesset HaGedolah instituted praying Shemoneh Esrei at night. They set the time of Ma’ariv to correspond to the offering of the organs and fats of the sacrifices, for whatever … Continue reading

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03 – The Order of the Ma’ariv Prayer

The Rishonim write that before Barchu it is customary to recite three verses, which open with the words, “V’Hu Rachum yechaper avon,” (“He, the merciful One, atones iniquity”), to request atonement for the sins that we committed throughout the day. … Continue reading

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04 – Adjoining Redemption to Prayer

The main part of the Exodus occurred during the day, when the Jewish people left Egypt. Therefore, the primary obligation of adjoining redemption to prayer is in Shacharit. Nevertheless, because the redemption began at night, there is also a mitzvah … Continue reading

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05 – The Time to Recite Keriat Shema Begins at Tzeit HaKochavim

The time to recite the evening Keriat Shema is “when you lie down” – when people lie on their beds to sleep, which starts when it gets dark. The Chachamim established a sign for the beginning of this time, when … Continue reading

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06 – The Time of the Amidah According to the Chachamim and Rabbi Yehudah

The time of the Ma’ariv prayer was established to correspond to the offering of the organs and fats of the Tamid offering upon the altar. As we already learned (earlier in this book 24:7), the Chachamim and Rabbi Yehudah disagree … Continue reading

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07 – The B’dieved Custom Linking Minchah to Ma’ariv Before Its Proper Time

In some congregations, it was customary to pray Minchah and Ma’ariv, one right after the other, between plag haminchah and tzeit hakochavim. During the time of the Rishonim, this custom was practiced primarily in Ashkenaz, and in the time of … Continue reading

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08 – The Final Time to Recite Keriat Shema and the Amidah of Ma’ariv

Biblically, the time of the Keriat Shema of Ma’ariv lasts the whole night, for it is written, “beshochbecha,” “when you lie down,” and people normally lie on their beds throughout the entire night. However, the Chachamim “created a fence” to … Continue reading

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09 – Forbidden Activities Prior to Praying Ma’ariv

It is forbidden to start eating, even a light meal, half an hour before tzeit hakochavim, for perhaps one will continue his meal until he becomes tired and falls asleep. It is also forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages. However, fruits … Continue reading

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