SECTION 61 Laws Relating to the Degree of Precision and Concentration Required when Reciting the Shema. (1–25)

סימן סא דִּין כַּמָּה צָרִיךְ לְדַקְדֵּק וּלְכַוֵּן בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּבוֹ כ"ה סְעִיפִים:

1 As the initial and preferred option, one must take care to recite all three passages of the Shema with concentrated intent, with awe, fear, trembling, and quaking, just as citizens read a proclamation sent by a king to his subjects.1 They stand upright and read it with awe, fear, trembling, and quaking. Now, the Shema is the proclamation of the Holy One, blessed be He, sent to His people, the Jews. The Holy One, blessed be He, did not require us to exert ourselves and read it while standing;2 we may read it [even]3 “while you are walking on [your] way.” Nevertheless, one must read it with awe and fear at least.

א לְכַתְּחִלָּה צָרִיךְ לְהִזָּהֵר וְלִקְרוֹת כָּל הַג' פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁל קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בְּכַוָּנָה, בְּאֵימָה וּבְיִרְאָה בְּרֶתֶת וּבְזִיעָה,א כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁבְּנֵי הַמְּדִינָה קוֹרִין פְּרוּטְגְמָא שֶׁמְּשַׁגֵּר לָהֶם הַמֶּלֶךְ,1 דְּהַיְנוּ כְּתַב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַלב בְּנֵי מְדִינָתוֹ, שֶׁהֵם עוֹמְדִים עַל רַגְלֵיהֶם וְקוֹרִין אוֹתָן בְּאֵימָה וּבְיִרְאָה וּבְרֶתֶת וּבְזִיעָה, וּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע הִיא פְּרוּטְגְמָא שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְלֹא הִטְרִיחַ עָלֵינוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִקְרוֹתָהּ מְעֻמָּד,ג,2 אֶלָּא3 "בְּלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ", אַךְ צָרִיךְ עַל כָּל פָּנִים לִקְרוֹתָהּ בְּאֵימָה וּבְיִרְאָה:ד

2 One should consider it like a new proclamation that one has never heard before. This is [intimated by] the phrase4 “which I command you today.” Every day one should consider its words as new, not like something that one has heard many times and which is no longer as precious as it was originally.

ב וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה בְּעֵינָיו כִּפְרוּטְגְמָא חֲדָשָׁה שֶׁלֹּא שְׁמָעָהּה מֵעוֹלָם.ו וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב:ז,4 "אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם", כְּלוֹמַר בְּכָל יוֹם יִהְיוּ בְּעֵינֶיךָ כַּחֲדָשִׁים, וְלֹא כְּמוֹ שֶׁכְּבָר שָׁמַע דָּבָר אֶחָד הַרְבֵּה פְּעָמִים שֶׁשּׁוּב אֵינוֹ חָבִיב אֶצְלוֹ כְּבַתְּחִלָּה:

3 The Shema has 245 words. Thus it is lacking three words to reach the sum of 248, which corresponds to the number of organs in the human body.5 Whenever a person reads the Shema in the proper manner, every organ acquires a word and becomes healed through it. Hence it is customary for the sheliach tzibbur to repeat [the concluding phrase] A-donai E-loheichem Emes (“G‑d your L‑rd; true”) in a loud voice. All the congregants thus fulfill their obligation, for they hear these three words from the sheliach tzibbur.

When all the congregants recite the Shema for themselves quietly, they should [conclude it with the words] Ani A-donai E-loheichem Emes and wait for the sheliach tzibbur [to say the last three words aloud]. They then continue veyatziv; they should not repeat the word emes. For anyone who says emes emes without another word interposed between them is like one who says Shema... Shema..., who should be silenced if he did not pause at all [between the phrases], as will be explained.6 Even if one did pause somewhat, it is preferable that he not repeat [this word] without interposing a different word. If, however, any congregant desires to repeat the phrase A-donai E-loheichem Emes together with the sheliach tzibbur, there is no prohibition involved, because [by doing so] he interposes the words A-donai E-loheichem between one emes and the next.

As to the sheliach tzibbur: According to one custom, he should not say the word emes when he recites [the Shema] privately in a hushed tone, for if he says emes quietly and then says emes aloud, there will be 249 words. According to another custom, emes is also said quietly, so as not to separate the words A-donai E-loheichem from emes.7 The second time he says the word emes is not [included] in the reckoning, because it is part of the blessing Emes veyatziv.

ג בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע יֵשׁ רמ"ה תֵּבוֹת וְחָסְרוּ ג' תֵּבוֹת לְהַשְׁלִים רמ"חח כְּנֶגֶד אֲבָרָיו שֶׁל אָדָם,ט,5 שֶׁכָּל הַקּוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע כְּתִקּוּנָהּ – כָּל אֵבֶר נוֹטֵל תֵּבָה אַחַת וּמִתְרַפֵּא בָּהּ, לָכֵן נוֹהֲגִין שֶׁהַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר חוֹזֵר וְאוֹמֵר "ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֱמֶת" בְּקוֹל רָם,י וּבָזֶה כָּל אָדָם יוֹצֵא, הוֹאִיל וְשׁוֹמְעִין מִפִּיו שֶׁל שְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר ג' תֵּבוֹת אֵלּוּ.יא

וְכָל הַצִּבּוּר כְּשֶׁקּוֹרִין לְעַצְמָן בְּלַחַשׁ אוֹמְרִים "אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹקֵיכֶם אֱמֶת", וּמַמְתִּינִים עַל הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר, וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַתְחִילִין "וְיַצִּיב", וְאֵינָן חוֹזְרִין וְאוֹמְרִין "אֱמֶת",יב שֶׁכָּל הָאוֹמֵר "אֱמֶת אֱמֶת" בְּלִי הֶפְסֵק תֵּבָה אַחֶרֶת בֵּינְתַיִם – כְּאִלּוּ אוֹמֵר "שְׁמַע שְׁמַע", שֶׁמַּשְׁתִּיקִין אוֹתוֹ אִם לֹא שָׁהָה כְּלָליג בֵּינְתַיִם כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר.יד,6 וְאַף אִם שָׁהָה קְצָת – אֵין לִכְפֹּל לְכַתְּחִלָּה בְּלִי הֶפְסֵק תֵּבָה אַחֶרֶת בֵּינְתַיִם.טו אֲבָל אִם רוֹצֶה כָּל יָחִיד לַחֲזֹר עִם הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר "ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֱמֶת" – אֵין אִסּוּר בַּדָּבָר, מֵאַחַר שֶׁמַּפְסִיק בֵּין "אֱמֶת" לֶ"אֱמֶת" בְּתֵבַת "ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם".טז

וְהַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר יֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין שֶׁלֹּא לוֹמַר "אֱמֶת" כְּשֶׁקּוֹרֵא בְּלַחַשׁ לְעַצְמוֹ, שֶׁאִם יֹאמַר בְּלַחַשׁ "אֱמֶת" וְחוֹזֵר וְאוֹמֵר "אֱמֶת" בְּקוֹל רָם – יִהְיֶה רמ"ט תֵּבוֹת.יז וְיֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לוֹמַר "אֱמֶת" גַּם בְּלַחַשׁ, שֶׁלֹּא לְהַפְרִיד בֵּין ה' אֱלֹקֵיכֶם לֶ"אֱמֶת",7 וֶ"אֱמֶת" הַשֵּׁנִי אֵינוֹ מִן הַמִּנְיָן אֶלָּא נֻסַּח בִּרְכַּת "אֱמֶת וְיַצִּיב" הוּא:יח

4 The verse8 “What is lacking cannot be counted,” is applied9 to a person who does not recite the Shema with a congregation — in allusion to the three words which he is lacking [to reach] the number 248.

Nevertheless, he can compensate to a certain degree, by focusing on the [initial] letter vav that appears fifteen [successive] times in the blessing Emes veyatziv. Some authorities interpret this [meditation] to signify that the numerical equivalent of 15 times [6, which is the numerical equivalent of] the letter vav is 90. This corresponds to a threefold mention of the Divine name י-ה-ו-ה, for the numerical equivalent of each [mention of the] name is 26, and its four letters bring the sum to 30.10 Others explain that the numerical equivalent of 15 times the letter vav is 90, and the recitation counts for an additional unit, bringing the sum total to 91. This is the total numerical equivalent of the Divine name as it is read and as it is written.11 Thus it is as if he said, [in allusion to these two Divine names,] “G‑d, the L‑rd, is true.”

Others propose a different means of compensation when reciting [the Shema] alone: to say the words E-l Melech Ne’eman (“A-lmighty, faithful King”) [before] the Shema; these three words complete the sum of 248. They take the place of the word Amen that should [theoretically] be said after [the blessing that ends] HaBocher BeAmo Yisrael BeAhavah, for אמן is an acronym for the phrase א-ל מלך נאמן. Nevertheless, when one recites the Shema together with a minyan, he should not say E-l Melech Ne’eman. Instead, he should respond Amen after the sheliach tzibbur completes the blessing. This is the practice in these countries.12

ד וּמִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בְּצִבּוּר – עָלָיו נֶאֱמַר"יט,8 "וְחֶסְרוֹן לֹא יוּכַל לְהִמָּנוֹת", אֵלּוּ ג' תֵּבוֹת שֶׁחָסְרוּ לוֹ מִמִּנְיַן רמ"ח.כ,9

וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן יֵשׁ לוֹ קְצָת תַּקָּנָה, לְכַוֵּן בְּט"ו וָוִי"ן שֶׁבֶּ"אֱמֶת וְיַצִּיב". יֵשׁ מְפָרְשִׁיםכא כַּוָּנָה זוֹ שֶׁט"ו וָוִי"ן עוֹלִין צ', וְהֵן כְּנֶגֶד ג' שֵׁמוֹת הוי"ה שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד עוֹלֶה כ"ו וְד' אוֹתִיּוֹתָיו הֵן ל'.10 וְיֵשׁ מְפָרְשִׁיםכב שֶׁט"ו וָוִי"ן עוֹלִין צ' וְעִם הַקְּרִיאָה הֲרֵי צ"א, כְּמִנְיַן הַשֵּׁם בִּקְרִיאָתוֹ וּבִכְתִיבָתוֹ,11 וּכְאִלּוּ אָמַר "ה' אדנ"י אֱמֶת".

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים תַּקָּנָה אַחֶרֶתכג לְקוֹרֵא בְּיָחִיד,כד שֶׁיֹּאמַר "אֵל מֶלֶךְ נֶאֱמָן" "שְׁמַע וְגו'", וְג' תֵּבוֹת אֵלּוּ מַשְׁלִימִין מִנְיַן רמ"ח, וְהֵן בִּמְקוֹם אָמֵן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לַעֲנוֹת אַחַר "הַבּוֹחֵר בְּעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּאַהֲבָה",כה כִּי אָמֵן רָאשֵׁי תֵּבוֹת "אֵל מֶלֶךְ נֶאֱמָן".כו וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם כְּשֶׁקּוֹרֵא בְּצִבּוּר – לֹא יֹאמַר "אֵל מֶלֶךְ נֶאֱמָן", רַק יֹאמַר אָמֵן אַחַר הַשְּׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר כְּשֶׁמְּסַיֵּם הַבְּרָכָה. וְכֵן נוֹהֲגִין בִּמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ:כז,12

5 It is customary to recite the first verse [of the Shema] in a loud voice in order to arouse one’s concentration. It is [also] customary to cover one’s face with his hand when reciting the first verse, in order that he not look at anything that might prevent him from concentrating.13

ה נוֹהֲגִין לִקְרוֹת פָּסוּק רִאשׁוֹן בְּקוֹל רָם כְּדֵי לְעוֹרֵר הַכַּוָּנָה.כח ונוֹהֲגִין לִתֵּן יְדֵיהֶם עַל פְּנֵיהֶם בִּקְרִיאַת פָּסוּק רִאשׁוֹן, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִסְתַּכֵּל בְּדָבָר אַחֵר שֶׁמּוֹנְעוֹ מִלְכַוֵּן:כט,13

6 Whoever prolongs his enunciation of the dalet in the word echad will have his days and years prolonged.14 Likewise, one should not cut the ches short, but also prolong it somewhat, in order that one should [have the time to mentally] affirm the sovereignty of the Holy One, blessed be He, over heaven and earth, for the ches, numerically equivalent to eight, alludes to the seven heavens and the earth. This is hinted at by the “hump” in the center of the upper line of the ches,15 [implying] that He dwells in the sublime heights of the world.16

The enunciation of the dalet, however, should be prolonged more, in order that one should have the time to contemplate how the Holy One, blessed be He, is alone in His world and rules over [all] four directions of the world.17 There is no need to prolong one’s enunciation more than this. Some people follow the custom of tilting their heads in a manner that mirrors their thoughts, i.e., up, down, and to [each of] the four directions.18

ו כָּל הַמַּאֲרִיךְ בדלי"ת שֶׁל "אֶחָד" – מַאֲרִיכִין לוֹ יָמָיו וּשְׁנוֹתָיו.ל,14 וְגַם לֹא יַחֲטֹף בְּחי"תלא אֶלָּא יַאֲרִיךְ בָּהּ קְצָת, כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּמְלִיךְ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ,לב שֶׁז' רְקִיעִים וְהָאָרֶץ כְּמִנְיָן חי"ת.לג וּלְזֶה רִמֵּז הַחֲטוֹטֶרֶת שֶׁבְּאֶמְצַע הַגָּג שֶׁל חי"ת,לד,15 כְּלוֹמַר חַי הוּא בְּרוּמוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם.לה,16 אֲבָל בְּדלי"ת צָרִיךְ לְהַאֲרִיךְ יוֹתֵר, כְּדֵי שִׁעוּר שֶׁיַּחְשֹׁב שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יָחִיד בְּעוֹלָמוֹ וּמוֹשֵׁל בְּד' רוּחוֹת הָעוֹלָם,לו,17 וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַאֲרִיךְ יוֹתֵר מִכְּשִׁעוּר זֶה.לז וְיֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לְהַטּוֹת הָרֹאשׁ כְּפִי הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה, מַעְלָה וָמַטָּה וּלְד' רוּחוֹת:לח,18

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

7 One should articulate the dalet so that it not resemble a resh.19 This does not mean that he should intensify its pronunciation as if it were vocalized with a dagesh,20 because it does not have one, but that it should be enunciated correctly. Needless to say, those who stress and prolong its pronunciation excessively are not acting appropriately,21 for this makes it appear that the dalet is vocalized with a shva. When [the Sages] stated that one should prolong the enunciation of the dalet in the word echad, they did not mean that [its] actual enunciation be drawn out, for whenever the final [consonant] of a word is not vocalized by a vowel mark below it, its enunciation should be cut short. Rather, [they meant that] one should think at length about affirming [G‑d’s] sovereignty in the four directions while enunciating the dalet and afterwards, before continuing Baruch Shem....

Even a person who does not prolong the enunciation of the dalet in the word echad should pause slightly between the words echad and baruch,22 for it is the first verse [of the Shema] that mainly expresses one’s acceptance of the Kingdom of Heaven. One should [therefore] separate it from other matters.

ז צָרִיךְ לְהַדְגִּישׁ בְּדלי"תלט שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה כָּרי"ש,מ,19 וְלֹא שֶׁיִקְרָאֶנָה בְּדָגֵשׁ20 שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין בָּהּ דָּגֵשׁ, אֶלָּא שֶׁיַטְעִימֶנָה בַּפֶּה יָפֶה.מא וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁלֹּא יָפֶה עוֹשִׂים הַמַּדְגִּישִׁין וּמַאֲרִיכִין יוֹתֵר מִדַאי,21 וְנִרְאֶה כְּאִלּוּ הַד' נְקוּדָה בִּשְׁוָ"א.מב וּמַה שֶּׁאָמְרוּ לְהַאֲרִיךְ בְּד' שֶׁל אֶחָד – לֹא אָמְרוּ לְהַאֲרִיךְ וְלִמְשֹׁךְ בִּקְרִיאַת הַד', שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל אוֹת שֶׁבְּסוֹף הַתֵּבָה וְאֵין נְקֻדָּה תַּחְתֶּיהָ הִיא נֶחְטֶפֶת לְגַמְרֵי, אֶלָּא יַאֲרִיךְ בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ לְהַמְלִיכוֹ בְּד' רוּחוֹת בִּקְרִיאַת הַד' וְאַחֲרֶיהָ בְּטֶרֶם שֶׁיַּתְחִיל "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם".מג

וְאַף מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַאֲרִיךְ בְּד' שֶׁל אֶחָד – יֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַפְסִיק מְעַט בֵּין "אֶחָד" לְ"בָרוּךְ",מד,22 כִּי עִקָּר קִבּוּל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם הוּא בְּפָסוּק רִאשׁוֹןמה וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַפְסִיק בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין שְׁאָר דְּבָרִים:

8 One who says Shema... Shema... should be silenced, because it appears that he is accepting two authorities.23 This applies if he recites the whole of the [first] verse and repeats it. If, however, he repeats each word individually, this is distasteful, though he does not have to be silenced, for this is not like accepting two authorities, but like jesting. Others interpret the statement in the opposite manner: If he repeats each word individually he should be silenced; however, if he recites the entire verse and repeats it, he does not have to be silenced, but this practice is distasteful.

All authorities agree that he is not to be silenced unless he [repeats the verse] in a loud voice [when praying] with a congregation.24 At the outset, however, it is forbidden to do so in any manner, even to read the entire passage and then repeat it immediately, except when reciting the Shema before retiring at night. In that instance one may repeat the Shema several times, so that he fall asleep amidst the words of the Shema.25 One authority holds that here, too, one should be careful not to repeat the first verse. It is advisable to be mindful of his words.

Nevertheless, the custom of saying the Shema whenever the phrase VaYaavor is recited in the Selichos prayer26 presents no difficulty. Since many [other words] are interposed between [one time and the next], it does not appear that one is accepting two authorities.

ח הָאוֹמֵר "שְׁמַע שְׁמַע" – מְשַׁתְּקִין אוֹתוֹ,מו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּרְאָה כִּמְקַבֵּל עָלָיו שְׁתֵּי רָשֻׁיּוֹת.מז,23 וְהוּא שֶׁאוֹמֵר כָּל הַפָּסוּק וְחוֹזֵר וְאוֹמְרוֹ שֵׁנִית, אֲבָל אִם כּוֹפֵל כָּל תֵּבָה – מְגֻנֶּה הוּא אֲבָל אֵין מְשַׁתְּקִין אוֹתוֹ, שֶׁאֵין זֶה דּוֹמֶה לִמְקַבֵּל עָלָיו שְׁתֵּי רָשֻׁיּוֹת אֶלָּא כְּמִתְלוֹצֵץ.מח וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםמט לְהֶפֶךְ, שֶׁכְּשֶׁכּוֹפֵל כָּל תֵּבָה – מַשְׁתִּיקִין אוֹתוֹ, וּכְשֶׁאוֹמֵר כָּל הַפָּסוּק וְשׁוֹנֶה אוֹתוֹ – אֵין מַשְׁתִּיקִין אוֹתוֹ אֲבָל מְגֻנֶּה הוּא.

וּלְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל אֵין מַשְׁתִּיקִין אוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר בְּצִבּוּר וּבְקוֹל רָם.נ,24 אֲבָל לְכַתְּחִלָּה אָסוּר בְּכָל עִנְיָן,נא אֲפִלּוּ לִקְרוֹת כָּל הַפָּרָשָׁה וְלַחֲזֹר וְלִשְׁנוֹתָהּ מִיָּד,נב אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן כְּשֶׁקּוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע עַל מִטָּתוֹ, שֶׁמֻּתָּר לוֹ לִקְרוֹת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע כַּמָּה פְּעָמִים כְּדֵי לְהִשְׁתַּקֵּעַ בְּשֵׁנָה מִתּוֹךְ קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע.נג,25 וְיֵשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵרנד שֶׁגַּם בָּזֶה יֵשׁ לִזָּהֵר מִלּוֹמַר פָּסוּק רִאשׁוֹן ב' פְּעָמִים. וְרָאוּי לָחוּשׁ לִדְבָרָיו.נה אֲבָל מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לוֹמַר "שְׁמַע" בְּכָל פַּעַם שֶׁאוֹמְרִים "וַיַּעֲבֹר" בַּסְּלִיחוֹת26 – אֵין בָּזֶה שׁוּם חֲשָׁשׁ, שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁמַּפְסִיק הַרְבֵּה בֵּינְתַיִם – לֹא נִרְאָה כִּמְקַבֵּל ב' רָשֻׁיּוֹת:נו

9 Those who, in the course of Selichos before daybreak and on Yom Kippur in the Neilah prayer,27 recite the verse Shema Yisrael twice should be instructed not to do so. For all authorities agree that this is distasteful at the very least, while some go further and say that people doing so should be silenced.28

ט הָאוֹמְרִים בָּאַשְׁמֹרֶת בַּסְּלִיחוֹת וּבְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים בִּתְפִלַּת נְעִילָהנז,27 ב' פְּעָמִים פָּסוּק "שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל" – יֵשׁ לְלַמְּדָן שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ, שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל עַל כָּל פָּנִים מְגֻנֶּה הוּא, וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים גַּם כֵּן שֶׁמַּשְׁתִּיקִין:נח,28

10 The sevenfold repetition of the phrase A-donai Hu HaE-lohim (“G‑d is the L‑rd”) in the Neilah service is a proper custom: we are praising G‑d Who abides above the seven heavens.29 One need not be concerned about appearing [to accept] two authorities by repeating it, because we find it repeated in the Tanach in connection with Eliyahu [the Prophet, as it is written],30 “And (the entire people) exclaimed: ‘G‑d is the L‑rd....’ ”

י "ה' הוּא הָאֱלֹקִים" שֶׁאוֹמְרִים בִּתְפִלַּת נְעִילָה ז' פְּעָמִים – מִנְהָג כָּשֵׁר הוּא, שֶׁמְּשַׁבְּחִים אוֹתוֹ שֶׁדָּר לְמַעְלָה מִז' רְקִיעִים.נט,29 וְאֵין לָחוּשׁ בְּכוֹפַלְתּוֹ לְב' רָשֻׁיּוֹת, שֶׁהֲרֵי מָצִּינוּ שֶׁהֻכְפַּל בַּמִּקְרָא גַּבֵּי אֵלִיָּהוּ:ס,30 "וַיֹאמְרוּ (כָּל הָעָם) ה' הוּא הָאֱלֹקִים וְגו'":סא

11 Certain authorities say that care should be taken not to respond Amen Amen lest [one appear to be accepting] two authorities. Others say there is no need for concern, for David himself said Amen VeAmen,31 and there is no reason to differentiate between saying [the two words] with a [connecting] vav or without. The halachah follows the latter view.

יא יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםסב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲנוֹת "אָמֵן אָמֵן", מִשּׁוּם ב' רָשֻׁיּוֹת. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםסג שֶׁאֵין חֲשָׁשׁ, שֶׁהֲרֵי דָּוִד אָמַר "אָמֵן וְאָמֵן",סד,31 וְאֵין לְחַלֵּק בֵּין אֹמֶר בְּוָא"ו לְאוֹמֵר בְּלֹא וָא"ו. וְכֵן עִקָּר:סה

12 There is no need for concern about [the acceptance of] two authorities with regard to the practice of saying the sentence Baruch shem kevod malchuso leolam vaed three times at the conclusion of the Neilah service.32 Such concern [was voiced] only with regard to Shema Yisrael, for this is the verse that fundamentally expresses one’s acceptance of the Kingdom of Heaven. Once Shema Yisrael has been said [only] once, there is no need for concern about [the acceptance of] two authorities when repeating Baruch shem kevod malchuso leolam vaed, for it is said in response to [the declaration that] “G‑d is one” in the verse beginning Shema Yisrael.

יב מַה שֶּׁנּוֹהֲגִיןסו לוֹמַר ג' פְּעָמִים "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד" בְּסִיּוּם תְּפִלַּת נְעִילָהסז,32 – אֵין לָחוּשׁ מִשּׁוּם ב' רָשֻׁיּוֹת, שֶׁלֹּא חָשְׁשׁוּ אֶלָּא בִּ"שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל" שֶׁהִיא עִקָּר קַבָּלַת מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם, אֲבָל כְּשֶׁאָמְרוּ "שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל" פַּעַם אַחַת – אֵין לָחוּשׁ בִּכְפִילַת "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד" לְב' רָשֻׁיּוֹת, שֶׁהֲרֵי עוֹנִין אוֹתוֹ עַל "ה' אֶחָד" שֶׁבִּ"שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל":

13 After the first verse [of the Shema], Baruch shem kevod malchuso leolam vaed should be said in a whisper. [To explain:]33

When Yaakov sought to reveal the End of Days to his sons, the Divine Presence withdrew from him.

He asked: “Perhaps there is an unworthy one among you?”

They all declared: “Shema Yisrael, A-donai E-loheinu A-donai Echad [lit., ‘Hear, O Israel, G‑d is our L‑rd, G‑d is one’]: Hear us, Israel our father! Just as in your heart there is only one [G‑d], so too, there is only one [G‑d] in our hearts.”

The venerable [Yaakov] immediately exclaimed:34 “Baruch shem kevod malchuso leolam vaed (‘Blessed be the name of the glory of His Kingdom for ever and ever’)!”

[Discussing the above dialogue], the Sages [wondered]: “What should we do? Should we say Baruch shem kevod malchuso leolam vaed? Moshe did not write it in the Torah!35 Should we not say it? Yaakov said it!”

They therefore ordained that it be said in a whisper.36 If one did not say it at all, he must be told to retrace his steps and say it.

יג אַחַר פָּסוּק רִאשׁוֹן צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד" בַּחֲשַׁאי, לְפִי33 שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ יַעֲקֹב לְגַלּוֹת הַקֵּץ לְבָנָיו נִסְתַּלְּקָה מִמֶּנּוּ שְׁכִינָה, אָמַר: שֶׁמָּא יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ הָגוּן, פָּתְחוּ כֻּלָּם וְאָמְרוּ: "שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ ה' אֶחָד", כְּלוֹמַר שְׁמַע מִמֶּנּוּ אַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל אָבִינוּ, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֵין בְּלִבְּךָ אֶלָּא אֶחָד – כָּךְ אֵין בְּלִבֵּנוּ אֶלָּא אֶחָד, מִיָּד פָּתַח הַזָּקֵן וְאָמַר:34 "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד".סח אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים: הֵיאַךְ נַעֲשֶׂה? נֹאמַר "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד" – לֹא כְּתָבוֹ מֹשֶׁה בַּתּוֹרָה,35 לֹא נֹאמַר – אֲמָרוֹ יַעֲקֹב, הִתְקִינוּ לוֹמַר בַּחֲשַׁאי.סט,36 וְאִם לֹא אָמְרוּ כָּל עִקָּר – מַחֲזִירִים אוֹתוֹ:ע

14 One should pause slightly between Baruch shem kevod malchuso leolam vaed and VeAhavta, so that a distinction is made between the acceptance of the Kingdom of Heaven and the other mitzvos.37 For Shema Yisrael... and Baruch shem kevod malchuso leolam vaed are expressions of acceptance, i.e., we submit ourselves to G‑d’s Divinity and sovereignty; VeAhavta, by contrast, is a command.38

In the first verse, a pause should be made between the words Yisrael and A-donai, and between E-loheinu and the second A-donai, so that the verse convey the following meaning: Hear O Israel, G‑d Who is our L‑rd, He is the one G‑d.

יד צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק מְעַט בֵּין "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד" לִ"וְאָהַבְתָּ" כְּדֵי לְהַפְסִיק בֵּין קַבָּלַת מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם לִשְׁאָר מִצְווֹת,37 כִּי "שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל" וּ"בָרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד" הוּא לְשׁוֹן קַבָּלָה, שֶׁאֲנַחְנוּ מְקַבְּלִים אֱלֹהוּתוֹ וּמַלְכוּתוֹ, "וְאָהַבְתָּ" הוּא לְשׁוֹן צַוָּאָה.עא,38

וְיֵשׁ לְהַפְסִיק בְּפָסוּק רִאשׁוֹן בֵּין "יִשְׂרָאֵל" לְ"ה'" וּבֵין "אֱלֹהֵינוּ" לְ"ה'" הַב', כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נִשְׁמַע: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, כִּי ה' שֶׁהוּא אֱלֹהֵינוּ – הוּא ה' אֶחָד:עב

15 Pauses should be made between the words HaYom (“today”) and Al Levavecha (“upon your heart”), and between HaYom (“today”) and LeAhavah (“to love”), so that it will not appear [as if one is saying], “[And these words...39 shall be] on your heart today,” [implying] “but not tomorrow.”

טו צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק בֵּין "הַיּוֹם"39 לְ"עַל לְבָבֶךָ", וּבֵין "הַיּוֹם לִ"לְאַהֲבָה", שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה נִרְאֶה "הַיּוֹם עַל לְבָבֶךָ", וְלֹא לְמָחָר:עג

16 A pause should be made between the words nishba and A-donai40 so that the [final letter] ayin [of the former word] be enunciated properly and not appear to resemble a hei. In this way, it will not sound as if (Heaven forbid) one is saying that G‑d was [as it were] taken captive.

The letter zayin in the words tizkeru and uzechartem should be pronounced distinctly so that it not sound like a samech,41 for any zayin preceding a chaf will sound like a samech unless it is pronounced distinctly.

טז צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק בֵּין "נִשְׁבַּע" לְ"ה'",עד,40 כְּדֵי לְהַטְעִים יָפֶה הָעַיִ"ן שֶׁלֹּא תְּהֵא נִרְאֵית כְּה',עה וּכְאִלּוּ אוֹמֵר "נִשְׁבָּה ה'" חַס וְשָׁלוֹם.עו

צָרִיךְ לְהַתִּיז זיי"ן שֶׁל "תִּזְכְּרוּ"עז וְשֶׁל "וּזְכַרְתֶּם",עח שֶׁלֹּא תִּדְמֶה קְרִיאָתָהּ לְסמ"ך,41 כִּי כָּל ז' הַסְּמוּכָה לְכ"ף שֶׁלְּאַחֲרֶיהָ דּוֹמָה קְרִיאָתָהּ לְסמ"ך אִם לֹא מַתִּיזִין אוֹתָה:ּעט

17 The yud in the phrase Shema Yisrael must be emphasized lest it be swallowed and appear to resemble an alef, for then it would sound as if one said i-s-r-a-e-l [instead of Y-i-s-r-a-e-l]. Similarly, the yud [of the word] vehayu [should be emphasized] so that it not sound as if one is saying vehau.

יז צָרִיךְ לְהַדְגִּישׁפ יו"ד שֶׁל "שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל", שֶׁלֹּא תִּבָּלַע וְלֹא תֵּרָאֶה אל"ף וּכְאִלּוּ אוֹמֵר "אשראל". וְכֵן יוּ"ד שֶׁל "וְהָיוּ", שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה נִשְׁמָע כְּאִלּוּ אוֹמֵר "והאו":

18 One should make a pause between [the words] vecharah and af42 so that it not appear that he is saying vecharaf.43

יח צָרִיךְ לִתֵּן רֶוַח בֵּין "וְחָרָה" לְ"אַף",42 שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה נִרְאֶה כְּאִלּוּ אוֹמֵר "וְחָרַף":פא,43

19 A pause should be made between words whenever an initial letter is the same as the last letter of the preceding word, so that neither of them be swallowed;44 for example, al levavecha, al levavchem, vaavad’tem meheirah, hakanaf psil, and es’chem mei’eretz. The same applies to bechol levavecha and bechol levavchem, except that in the latter instances the pause should not be long, for [each of these pairs of words is] connected by a hyphen, indicating that they should be read in direct succession. Nevertheless, the sound of the lamed should be distinctly divided so that it be apparent that one is pronouncing two [such] letters.

יט צָרִיךְ לִתֵּן רֶוַח בֵּין תֵּבָה שֶׁאוֹת שֶׁבִּתְחִלָּתָהּ כְּאוֹת שֶׁבְּסוֹף תֵּבָה שֶׁלְּפָנֶיהָ, שֶׁלֹּא תִּבָּלַע אוֹת אַחַת מֵהֶן,פב,44 כְּגוֹן: "עַל לְבָבֶךָ", "עַל לְבַבְכֶם", "וַאֲבַדְתֶּם מְהֵרָה", "הַכָּנָף פְּתִיל", "אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ". וְכֵן "בְּכָל לְבָבֶךָ", "בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם".פג אֶלָּא שֶׁבָּהֶן צָרִיךְ שֶׁלֹּא יַפְסִיק הַרְבֵּה, שֶׁהֲרֵי יֵשׁ מַקָּף בֵּינְתַיִם וְצָרִיךְ לְהַסְמִיכָן. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן יִתֵּן רֶוַח וְהֶבְדֵּל בְּל' שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נִשְׁמָע שֶׁקּוֹרֵא ב' למדי"ן:פד

20 Whenever an initial letter alef is preceded by a word ending with a mem, one should pause slightly between them so that the alef not be swallowed; for example,45 velimad’tem osam, ukshartem osam, ure’isem oso, vesamtem es, uzchartem es, and vaasisem es. [Otherwise,] it [might] appear that he is saying mosam, moso, mes.46

כ כָּל תֵּבָה שֶׁתְּחִלָּתָהּ אל"ף וְסוֹף תֵּבָה שֶׁלְּפָנֶיהָ מ"ם – צָרִיךְ לְהַפְסִיק מְעַט בֵּינֵיהֶם, שֶׁלֹּא תִּבָּלַע האל"ף,פה כְּגוֹן:45 "וְלִמַּדְתֶּם אוֹתָם", "וּקְשַׁרְתֶּם אֹתָם", "וּרְאִיתֶם אֹתוֹ", "וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֶת", "וּזְכַרְתֶּם אֶת", "וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֶת", שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה נִרְאֶה כְּקוֹרֵא: "מוֹתָם", "מוֹתוֹ", "מֵת":פו,46

21 Precise attention to all these matters is required not only in the recitation of the Shema, but also in Pesukei DeZimrah47 and Shemoneh Esreh. The same applies to a person reading the Torah, the Prophets, or the Writings: he, too, must be vigilant in all the above. [The Sages] cautioned about these matters [specifically] with regard to the Shema, because all Jews, both learned and unlettered, recite it twice daily. These words of caution therefore had to be said [in that context], because of the common people who are not expert in the finer points of reading.

כא וְלֹא בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַעפז בִּלְבַד, אֶלָּא אַף בִּפְסוּקֵי דְּזִמְרָהפח,47 וּבַתְּפִלָּה צָרִיךְ לְדַקְדֵּק בְּכָל זֶה. וְהוּא הַדִּין הַקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה אוֹ בַּנְּבִיאִים אוֹ בַּכְּתוּבִים – יֵשׁ לוֹ לִזָּהֵר בְּכָל זֶה.פט וּמַה שֶּׁהִזְהִירוּ בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע, הוּא, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל קוֹרִין אוֹתָהּ פַעֲמַיִם בַּיּוֹם, חֲכָמִים וְעַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ, לְפִיכָךְ הֻצְרְכוּ לְהַזְהִיר מִפְּנֵי עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ שֶׁאֵינָם בְּקִיאִים בִּקְרִיאָה:צ

22 [When reciting the Shema,] one must take care that a consonant not intensified by a dagesh not be articulated as if it had a dagesh.48 Likewise, a consonant which is intensified by a dagesh should not be articulated as a “weak” letter, i.e., as if it had no dagesh.

Also, if a consonant is vocalized by a shva na [in which case the shva should be pronounced as an indeterminate semi-vowel49], it should not be pronounced as if it were vocalized by a shva nach [in which case the shva is elided and no vowel sound whatsoever is heard]; nor should a shva nach be voiced as a shva na. Those who are familiar with the laws of grammar know when the sign for this vowel should be read as a shva na and when it should be read as a shva nach.

All these finer grammatical points are required as a matter of initial preference [only], as is stated in sec. 62[:1, below].

כב צָרִיךְ לִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא יַדְגִּישׁ הָרָפֶה,48 וְלֹא יְרַפֶּה הַדָּגֵשׁ, וְלֹא יָנִיחַ שְׁוָ"א הַנָּע, וְלֹא יָנִיעַ שְׁוָ"א הַנָּח.צא,49 וְאֵיזֶה שְׁוָ"א נָע וְאֵיזֶה שְׁוָ"א נָח – יָדוּעַ לְהַמְדַקְדֵּקִים. וְכָל דִּקְדּוּקִים אֵלּוּ הֵם לְכַתְּחִלָּה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ס"ב:צב

23 A certain authority maintains that the Shema be recited according to its cantillation notes as one reads from the Torah. It is appropriate to be mindful of his words. Nevertheless, this is not the custom in these countries and it is difficult to change the custom in this matter, because reading according to the cantillation notes disrupts the concentration of anyone who is not accustomed from childhood to focus properly on [both] the melody and the meanings of the words. If, however, one desires to be stringent with himself and knows that he will be able to concentrate on both, he may be stringent — and may blessings light upon him.

כג יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵרצג שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִקְרוֹת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בִּטְעָמִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁהֵם בַּתּוֹרָה. וְרָאוּי לָחוּשׁ לִדְבָרָיו.צד אֲבָל לֹא נָהֲגוּ כֵּן בִּמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ,צה וְקָשֶׁה לְשַׁנּוֹת הַמִּנְהָג בָּזֶה, כִּי הַקְּרִיאָה בִּטְעָמִים מַפְסֶדֶת הַכַּוָּנָה לְמִי שֶׁלֹּא הֻרְגַּל בָּהּ מֵעוֹדוֹ לְכַוֵּן בִּנְגִינָה וּבְפֵרוּשׁ הַמִּלּוֹת כָּרָאוּי. אֲבָל הָרוֹצֶה לְהַחְמִיר עַל עַצְמוֹ וְיוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיּוּכַל לְכַוֵּן בִּשְׁתֵּיהֶן – יַחְמִיר, וְתָבוֹא עָלָיו בְּרָכָה:צו

24 It is a desirable custom to touch one’s tefillin and tzitzis when mentioning their respective mitzvos while reciting the Shema, i.e., to touch the arm-tefillin when saying ukshartam le’os (“And you shall tie them as a sign”) and the head-tefillin when saying vehayu letotafos (“And they shall serve as a reminder”).50 When saying ure’isem oso (“And you shall see it”), one should touch the two front tzitzis and look at them, as explained in sec. 24[:6-7].51

כד מִנְהָג יָפֶה הוּא לְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בַּתְּפִלִּין וּבַצִּיצִית כְּשֶׁמַּזְכִּיר מִצְוָתָן בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע,צז דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיְּמַשְׁמֵשׁ בִּתְפִלִּין שֶׁל יָד כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר "וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת" כו', וּבִתְפִלִּין שֶׁל רֹאשׁ כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר "וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת" כו',50 וּכְשֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר "וּרְאִיתֶם אֹתוֹ" – יְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בְּב' צִיצִית שֶׁלְּפָנָיוצח וְיִסְתַּכֵּל בָּהֶן כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן כ"ד:צט,51

25 Some people are accustomed to recite the Shema in a loud voice, except for the sentence Baruch shem kevod malchuso leolam vaed.52 Others customarily recite it — except for the first verse — quietly,53 lest someone rely on hearing it and not recite it himself. And in truth, such a person will not fulfill his obligation through listening [to another], unless [at least] nine people are listening to one person who has the intention of enabling them to fulfill their obligation [thereby], as explained in sec. 59[:4].54

כה יֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לִקְרוֹת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בְּקוֹל רָם,ק מִלְּבַד "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד".קא,52 וְיֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לִקְרוֹתָהּ בְּלַחַשׁ,53 מִלְּבַד פָּסוּק רִאשׁוֹן,קב מִפְּנֵי חֲשָׁשׁ שֶׁמָּא יִבְטַח אַחֵר עַל הַשְּׁמִיעָה וְלֹא יִקְרָא בְּעַצְמוֹ, וּבֶאֱמֶת אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא בִּשְׁמִיעָה אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁט' שׁוֹמְעִין מֵאֶחָד הַמְכַוֵּן לְהוֹצִיאָםקג כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן נ"ט:קד,54