מאימתי קורין וכו' – פי' רש"י ואנן היכי קרינן מבעוד יום ואין אנו ממתינין לצאת הכוכבים כדמפרש בגמרא על כן פירש רש"י שקריאת שמע שעל המטה עיקר והוא לאחר צאת הכוכבים. והכי איתא בירושלמי אם קרא קודם לכן לא יצא ואם כן למה אנו מתפללין קריאת שמע בבית הכנסת כדי לעמוד בתפלה מתוך דברי תורה. תימא לפירושו והלא אין העולם רגילין לקרות סמוך לשכיבה אלא פרשה ראשונה (לקמן ברכות דף ס:) ואם כן שלש פרשיות היה לו לקרות. ועוד קשה דצריך לברך בקריאת שמע שתים לפניה ושתים לאחריה בערבית. ועוד דאותה קריאת שמע סמוך למטה אינה אלא בשביל המזיקין כדאמר בסמוך (דף ה.) ואם תלמיד חכם הוא אינו צריך. ועוד קשה דא״כ פסקינן כרבי יהושע בן לוי דאמר תפלות באמצע תקנום פ' באמצע בין שני קריאת שמע בין קריאת שמע של שחרית ובין קריאת שמע של ערבית. ואנן קיי״ל כר' יוחנן דאמר לקמן (ברכות דף ד:) איזהו בן העולם הבא זה הסומך גאולה של ערבית לתפלה. לכן פי' ר״ת דאדרבה קריאת שמע של בית הכנסת עיקר. ואם תאמר היאך אנו קורין כל כך מבעוד יום. ויש לומר דקיימא לן כרבי יהודה דאמר בפרק תפלת השחר (ברכות דף כו.) דזמן תפלת מנחה עד פלג המנחה דהיינו אחד עשר שעות פחות רביע ומיד כשיכלה זמן המנחה מתחיל זמן ערבית. ואם תאמר היאך אנו מתפללין תפלת מנחה סמוך לחשכה ואפילו לאחר פלג המנחה. יש לומר דקיימא לן כרבנן דאמרי זמן תפלת המנחה עד הערב ואמרינן לקמן (ברכות דף כז.) השתא דלא אתמר הלכתא לא כמר ולא כמר דעבד כמר עבד ודעבד כמר עבד. מכל מקום קשיא דהוי כתרי קולי דסתרן אהדדי שהרי מאיזה טעם אנו מתפללין ערבית מיד לאחר פלג המנחה משום דקיימא לן דשעת המנחה כלה כדברי רבי יהודה ומיד הוי זמן ערבית ובזמן התפלה עצמה לא קיימא לן כרבי יהודה אלא כרבנן. על כן אומר ר״י דודאי קריאת שמע של בית הכנסת עיקר ואנו שמתפללין ערבית מבעוד יום סבירא לן כהני תנאי דגמרא דאמרי משעה שקדש היום וגם משעה שבני אדם נכנסים להסב דהיינו סעודת ע״ש והיא היתה מבעוד יום ומאותה שעה הוי זמן תפלה. וגם ראיה (לקמן כז) דרב הוי מצלי של שבת בערב שבת ומסתמא גם היה קורא קריאת שמע. מכל אותן הראיות משמע דקריאת שמע של בית הכנסת היא עיקר. והא דקאמר בירושלמי למה היו קורין בבהכ״נ וכו' אומר ר״ת שהיו רגילין לקרות ק״ש קודם תפלתם כמו שאנו רגילין לומר אשרי תחלה ואותה ק״ש אינה אלא לעמוד בתפלה מתוך דברי תורה. ומכאן נראה מי שקורא ק״ש על מטתו שאין לברך וגם אינו צריך לקרות אלא פרשה ראשונה: FROM WHEN DOES ONE RECITE SHEMA ETC? All opinions mentioned in our Mishna agree that Shema is to be recited after the stars are visible. It was the common custom during Rashi’s times that people prayed Maariv before nightfall. In view of what is clearly stated in the Mishna, how can we defend the custom?
Rashi explained: And how do we recite Shema when it is still daytime and do not wait until the stars come out, as the Gemara explains that this is the time when Kohanim begin come to eat their Terumah? For this reason Rashi explains that the Shema that is recited when we go to bed is the primary fulfillment of the mitzvah of Shema, and that is recited after the stars appear.
Rashi quotes Talmud Yerushalmi to support his opinion. So is it found in Yerushalmi: If one recited Shema before this time mentioned in our Mishna, he has not fulfilled his obligation.
Yerushalmi continues: If so, why do we recite Shema in the synagogue, when we are saying the Marriv prayer before the stars appear and when we are definitely not fulfilling the mitzvah? That is done in order to stand before Hashem in prayer having first said some words of Torah. That first recital is not a fulfillment of the mitzvah of reciting Shema, but does serve as a vehicle from which we stand before Hashem in prayer, having fulfilled the all-important mitzvah of Torah study.
Tosfos asks a series of four questions attacking Rashi’s explanation: The first: His explanation that we fulfill the reciting of Shema with the Shema that we recite when going to sleep is bewildering! But the people, when going to sleep are accustomed to reciting only the first paragraph of Shema - שמע and ואהבת, and if so, that it is the recital with which we will fulfill our obligation to recite Shema, we should read all three paragraphs?
The second question: There is another difficulty. That one is required when reciting Shema to also recite two berachos before Shema and two berachos after Shema at night? Tosfos assumes that the berachos of Shema should be recited with the Shema that is recited for the fulfillment of the Mitzvah. According to Rashi, this should be recited when we are about to go to sleep, but in reality the berachos of Shema are recited together with the early Maariv prayer?
The third question: Furthermore, the Shema recited when one goes to bed is only because of the mazikin1Evil spirits that may attack a person while he is asleep. as [the Gemara] soon says (5a). The Gemara there also says and if he is a scholar he does not need to recite Shema when he goes to sleep. This is understandable if the purpose of that Shema is to protect one from mazikin. Presumably a scholar who is always learning does not need that protection. However, if the recital is in order to fulfill the mitzvah of Shema, scholars are also obligated to fulfill the mitzvah.
On 4b there is a dispute between R’ Yochonon and R’ Yehoshua ben Levi about the proper order of reciting Shema and saying Maariv. R’ Yochonon holds as we do that reciting Shema is first followed by tefilas Maariv. R’ Yehoshua ben Levi disagrees. He holds that we first say tefilas Maariv and then recite Shema. The particulars of the disagreement are discussed later on 4b.
The fourth question: There is another difficulty: For if so, that Rashi is correct and we fulfill the mitzvah of reciting Shema when we go to bed after tefilas Maariv, we are ruling in favor of R’ Yehoshua ben Levi who says that the prayers of Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv were instituted to be said in between. The explanation of in between: Between the two recitals of Shema , all prayers are to be said between reciting Shema in the morning and reciting Shema in the evening.
However, we rule in accordance with R’ Yochonon who says later (4b): Who is a son of the world to come? One who recites the beracha of redemption, גאל ישראל of the Maariv prayers immediately before the Shemoneh Esrai of Maariv. The beracha of גאל ישראל together with the other berachos recited in the evening prayers are collectively called the berachos of Shema. When we recite the Shema before Shmoneh Esrai of Maariv the beracha of redemption is said before Shmoneh Esrai, thus we are fulfilling the dictum of R’ Yochonon who says that one who does this is worthy of the world to come. If we would recite Shema after Shmoneh Esrai we would not be fulfilling R’ Yochonon’s dictum. This is proof that Shema is meant to be recited before Shmoneh Esrai, which contradicts Rashi’s position that we actually fulfill the recital of Shema when saying it as we are about to go to sleep. Rashi’s proposal seems to be in line with R’ Yehoshua ben Levi.
For this reason Rabainu Tam explains that to the contrary, the recital of Shema in the synagogue before Shmoneh Esrai is the primary recital. This decision requires that we must once again examine our custom to recite Shema together with tefilas Maariv before nightfall. If you ask: How do we recite Shema so early when it is still day? We can answer: That we rule in accordance with R’ Yehudah who says in Perek Tefilas Hashachar (26a) that the time for tefilas Minchah is till the midpoint of the Minchah period, which is ten and three quarter hours into the hours of the day. For example when sunrise and sunset are at 6 o’clock a.m. and p.m., ten and three quarter hours is at 4:45 p.m. Immediately after the end of the time for praying Minchah at 4:45 p.m., the time for tefilas Maariv begins. Since this is the time for tefilas Maariv we may assume that it is also the time for recital of Shema, which must be done before saying tefilas Maariv as discussed earlier.
In reality during the times of Tosfos people usually said Minchah late in the day, even after the midpoint of the minchah. If you ask: Since we rely on R’ Yehudah for reciting Shema before nightfall, how do we pray tefilas Minchah close to nightfall and even after the midpoint of the minchah? We can answer: That we rule in accordance with the Rabonon who say that tefilas Minchah may be said until the evening. [The Gemara] says later (27a): Now that we have not learned that the halacha follows the Rabonon who hold one may pray Minchah after the midpoint of the minchah (4:45 p.m.) or that the halacha follows R’ Yehuda who says that Mincha must be prayed before the midpoint (4:45 p.m.), one who does as [the Rabonon] fulfills his obligation and one who does like [R’ Yehudah] has fulfilled his obligation. This halacha has been left open for all to choose how they wish to behave. Thus one may choose to say Mincha after 4:45 p.m. or choose to say Mincha before 4:45 p.m. and then say Maariv immediately after 4:45 p.m. before night fall. Those of us who wish to follow the Rabonon may do so and those of us who choose to follow R’ Yehudah may do so. At this point Tosfos seems to hold that when we choose to pray Maariv at 4:45 p.m., we may also fulfill our obligation to recite Shema at that time.
In reality it seems that during Tosfos’ times people would say tefilas Minchah after 4:45 p.m. and then recite Shema and say tefilas Maariv. There seems to be a contradiction in using the same time period for both tefilas Mincha and Maariv. In any case there is a difficulty with our custom because it seems that we are practicing two leniencies that are contradictory, because for whatever reason we pray Maariv immediately after the midpoint of the Minchah (after 4:45 p.m.), must be because we rule that the time for praying Minchah has ended in accordance with R’ Yehudah, and immediately afterwards is the time for Maariv , but as far as the time praying Minchah itself is concerned, we do not rule like R’ Yehudah, rather like the Rabonon, because we do continue to say Minchah prayers after the midpoint of the Minchah (4:45 P.M.).
Tosfos concludes that we cannot possibly say that the reason we say Maariv early is because we hold like R’ Yehudah, because in fact we do not hold like R’ Yehudah as is evident by our saying Minchah after 4:45 P.M. Tosfos must once again search for the rationale behind our custom, which was to recite Shema before the appearance of the stars which is not in accordance with the ruling of our Mishna. We must keep in mind that Tosfos was not satisfied with Rashi’s approach that we fulfill the mitzvah of reciting Shema later when we go to sleep.
Therefore R’I says that certainly the recital of Shema that we recite in the Synagogue is the primary recital of Shema with which we fulfill our obligation, not the Shema we recite as we go to sleep. And we who say Maariv prayers while it is still day before the appearance of the stars, that is because we hold like those Tanoim mentioned in the Gemara (2b) who say that the correct time to recite Shema is at the time that the day is sanctified on Shabos, which is well before the appearance of the stars.
Tosfos also refers to another opinion mentioned on 2b, which was well before the appearance of the stars. The Gemara on 2b mentions another time that is earlier than the appearance of the stars, also from the time that people enter to recline and eat their meal which refers to the Shabos meal. That was while it was still day. From that time on is the time for saying Maariv prayers, which include the recital of Shema.
There is also proof from the Gemara later on 27a, that Rav prayed the tefilah of Shabos on the eve of Shabos and most probably he also recited Shema at that time. This too seems to indicate that we rule that the correct time to recite Shema is not like our Mishna, which says that the time is the appearance of the stars, but rather sometime earlier. From all those proofs it seems that the recital of Shema in the synagogue is the primary recital and that is for the purpose of fulfilling our obligation to recite Shema. The recital at the time we go to sleep is not for the purpose of fulfilling our obligation, rather to ward off evil spirits.
But how will Tosfos deal with Yerushalmi that clearly says that the purpose of reciting Shema in the synagogue is to stand before Hashem in prayer having uttered some words of Torah, but not in order to fulfill the obligation of reciting Shema? That which Yerushalmi says: Why did they recite Shema in the synagogue etc.? [in order to come before Hashem in prayer having uttered words of Torah], which seems to be saying that the recital of Shema in the synagogue is not for the purpose of fulfilling our obligation to say Shema. Says Rabainu Tam that it was customary for them to recite Shema before they prayed as we customarily recite Ashrey before the Minchah prayer, and that recital of Shema is only in order to come before Hashem in prayer having first said words of Torah. Yerushalmi is not discussing the Shema recited in the Maariv prayer at all. The Shema said before tefilas Maariv is for the purpose of fulfilling one’s obligation.
It appears that those who followed Rashi’s opinion that the recital of Shema as we got to sleep is the actual fulfillment of the mitzvah would also say a beracha to the effect that they were fulfilling the commandment to recite Shema. From this it appears that he who recites Shema as he is about to go to bed should not recite a beracha that Hashem commanded us to recite Shema, since he has already fulfilled this mitzvah earlier during Maariv and for the same reason he only needs to recite the first paragraph, that serves to ward off the evil spirits.