Avodat Hashem Shiur #02: Keriat Shema (II): The Fundamental Obligation and its Source Harav Baruch Gigi VBM—The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash of Yeshivat Har Etzion Series

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“When You Lie Down and When You Get Up”

In the previous shiur, we acquainted ourselves with the Talmudic dispute regarding whether the obligation of keriat Shema is mi-de’oraita or mi-derabbanan. This dispute, as we explained, is rooted in the question of whether the words “when you lie down and when you get up” constitute a specific command to recite the Shema during those times or if this expression is simply a part of the general imperative to engage in Torah study (“Impress them upon your children”), meaning that one must do so at all times and in every situation.

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ההוא בדברי תורה כתיב - והא דאמרינן לעיל בפרק קמא (דף ב.) בערב משום דכתיב ובשכבך אסמכתא בעלמא הוא:

מתני׳ בית שמאי אומרים בערב כל אדם יטה ויקרא ובבקר יעמוד שנאמר (דברים ו, ז) ובשכבך ובקומך ובית הלל אומרים כל אדם קורא כדרכו שנאמר ובלכתך בדרך אם כן למה נאמר ובשכבך ובקומך בשעה שבני אדם שוכבים ובשעה שבני אדם עומדים א"ר טרפון אני הייתי בא בדרך והטתי לקרות כדברי ב"ש וסכנתי בעצמי מפני הלסטים אמרו לו כדי היית לחוב בעצמך שעברת על דברי ב"ה:

MISHNAH III Bet Shammai say : In the evening a man should recline and read [the Shema'], and in the morning he should stand up [to read it] ; as it is said, "When thou liest down and when thou risest up" (Deut. vi. 7). But Bet Hillel say : A man reads it after his own manner; as it is said, "And when thou walkest by the way" (ibid.). If so, why is it said, "When thou liest down and when thou risest up" ? [That means], At the time when people lie down and rise up. R. Tarphon said : I was once journeying by the way and I reclined to read [the Shema'], according to the view of Bet Shammai, and I placed myself in danger on account of robbers. They said to him : Thou didst justly incur a penalty for thyself, in that thou didst transgress the view of Bet Hillel.


The interpretation is that the Torah did not specify through keriat Shema specifically, but rather that one should read from any place in the Torah that he desires. And that which we read this passage specifically – it is merely mi-derabbanan

Talmidei Rabbeinu Yona:

Since Shmuel maintains that keriat Shema is de-rabannan. And even though it is written in the Torah, “When you lie down and when you get up,” Shmuel maintains that the Torah did not say this specifically with respect to keriat Shema, but that one should read from any part of the Torah that he desires. Our practice to recite this passage specifically is merely mi-derabannan, and therefore he maintains that he need not recite it again.

ת"ר שמע ישראל ה' אלהינו ה' אחד זו ק"ש של ר' יהודה הנשיא א"ל רב לר' חייא לא חזינא ליה לרבי דמקבל עליה מלכות שמים אמר ליה בר פחתי בשעה שמעביר ידיו על פניו מקבל עליו עול מלכות שמים חוזר וגומרה או אינו חוזר וגומרה בר קפרא אומר אינו חוזר וגומרה רבי שמעון ברבי אומר חוזר וגומרה א"ל בר קפרא לר"ש ברבי בשלמא לדידי דאמינא אינו חוזר וגומרה היינו דמהדר רבי אשמעתא דאית בה יציאת מצרים אלא לדידך דאמרת חוזר וגומרה למה ליה לאהדורי כדי להזכיר יציאת מצרים בזמנה אמר ר' אילא בריה דרב שמואל בר מרתא משמיה דרב אמר שמע ישראל ה' אלהינו ה' אחד ונאנס בשינה יצא אמר ליה רב נחמן לדרו עבדיה בפסוקא קמא צערן טפי לא תצערן אמר ליה רב יוסף לרב יוסף בריה דרבה אבוך היכי הוה עביד אמר ליה בפסוקא קמא הוה קא מצער נפשיה טפי לא הוה מצער נפשיה אמר רב יוסף פרקדן לא יקרא קריאת שמע מקרא הוא דלא ליקרי הא מיגנא שפיר דמי

Our Rabbis have taught: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one" — that was the reading of the Shema' of R. Judah ha-Nasi'. Rab said to R. Hiyya, "I have never seen Rabbi receive the yoke of the kingdom of heaven upon himself." He replied to him, "Son of princes, at the time when he passed his hands across his face, he received upon himself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven." Did he afterwards finish the Shema' or did he not? Bar Kappara says : He did not afterwards finish it. R. Simeon b. Rabbi says : He did afterwards finish it. Bar Kappara said to R. Simeon b. Rabbi ; It is quite right according to me when I declare he did not afterwards finish it, because Rabbi used [every day] to deal with a theme in which the exodus from Egypt was mentioned; but according to thee who sayest that he did afterwards finish it, why did he [daily] deal with such a theme? [He replied] : For the purpose of mentioning the exodus from Egypt in its proper time. R. Ila b. Rab Samuel b. Marta said in the name of Rab: [If one recited only the verse] "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one" and was then overcome by sleep, he has fulfilled his obligation. Rab Nahman said to Daro his servant : With the first verse worry me [to keep awake], but do not so after that. Rab Joseph asked Rab Joseph b. Raba, "How used thy father to do ?" He replied, "With the first verse he took pains [to keep awake], but he did not so after that."

Rav Aharon HaLeyve, Sefer HaChinuch, Mitzvah 420

ת"ר והיו שלא יקרא למפרע הדברים על לבבך יכול תהא כל הפרשה צריכה כוונה תלמוד לומר האלה עד כאן צריכה כוונה מכאן ואילך אין צריכה כוונה דברי ר' אליעזר א"ל רבי עקיבא הרי הוא אומר

Our Rabbis have taught : "And these words shall be" means that one must not recite [the sentences of the Shema'] out of order. "These words... upon thine heart" — one might suppose that the whole Parashah requires Kawwanah; therefore there is a teaching to state, "These words... [shall be upon thine heart]," that is to say, up to this point Kawwanah is required, but from this point onward it is not necessary. These are the words of R. Eliezer. [[fol. 13 b.]] R. 'Akiba said to him : Behold it states,

Additional sources in the footnotes of this shiur