|The Essential Obligation to say Krias Shema
(Orach Chaim:Siman 70)
“…and you shall speak in them…when you lay down and when you rise up” (Devarim 6:6). This verse teaches that there is a Mitzvah to say some unspecified words from the Chumash in the morning and at night.
In the Gemara Berachos 21a there is a machlokes whether Krias Shema is d’orysa or derabanan.
a) The opinion that says Krias Shema is derabanan understands the above verse to be teaching us that it’s a Mitzvah to say any words of Torah in the morning and night. The Rabbis instituted that the way in which we should fulfill this Mitzvah is by saying the paragraphs of Shema and Tzitzis to facilitate Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shamayim, Achdus Hashem, and Yetzias Mitzraim.
b) The opinion that Krias Shema is D’orysa understands the above verse to be teaching us that it’s an obligation to specifically say the words Shema Israel etc.
Within this second opinion in the Gemara there is a discussion amongst the Rishonim as to how much of the paragraphs we say is actually m’dorysa.
Rashi and R. Yonah:
They hold that the D’orysa requirement was to read the whole first paragraph and the second paragraph is derabanan. It is important to note that the parsha of Tzitzis although it is not part of the Mitzvas Krias Shema m’dorysa but by saying it there is a fulfillment of the Mitzvah D’orysa of Zechiras Yetzias Mitzraim.
Rashba and Ra’ah:
They hold that one must say only the Passuk Rishon in order to fulfill the D’orysa Krias Shema. The rest of the first paragraph as well as the second paragraph are derabanan. They agree that the third paragraph is a kium d’orysa of remembering Yetzias Mitzraim.
Both the first and second paragraphs are the Mitzvas Krias Shema d’orysa. The third paragraph is a kium of Z. L. M. like we said above.
Rambam (Hilchos Krias Shema 1:2):
Many Achronim learn that the Rambam holds that all three paragraphs are a chiuv d’orysa for the Mitzvas Krias Shema. The third paragraph could also be a kium of Z. L. M. according to him.
Shulchan Aruch (60:5,63:4)/ Mishneh Brurah (63:16):
The halacha in Shulchan Aruch follows the Rashba that one is yotzei the Mitzvas Krias Shema M’dorysa with Passuk Rishon and he should read the rest of the paragraphs for his Mitzvas Krias Shema Derabanan. The Mishneh Brurah brings down that there is a three way machlokes as if to say we should be chosheish for all opinions lechatchila. Some nafkah minas can be found in (Orach Chaim 63)
The Mishneh in Berachos 20a says that women are pattur from Krias Shema
The Gemara in Berachos 20b asks what is the chiddush of the Mishneh? We know women aren’t obligated in time bound mitzvas. It must be teaching you that even though Krias Shema has Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shamayim in it and therefore maybe you would have thought that they should have been obligated to say it nevertheless they don’t.
Bach (Siman 70):
The Bach understands the Chiddush of the Gemara in a novel way. The halacha is that women don’t have to fulfill the Mitzvah of Krias Shema M’dorysa as the Mishneh/Gemara said. The Chiddush of the Gemara is that nevertheless women do have a chiuv to fulfill the Mitzvah D’orysa of Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shamayim since this is not a time bound commandment. As a result women still have to say Passuk Rishon to fulfill the Mitzvah D’orysa of Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shamayim.
Shulchan Aruch/ Mishneh Brurah (70:1):
He says that it may be true that women have a chiuv to fulfill the Mitzvah D’orysa of Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shamayim but they don’t necessarily have to do it by saying the Passuk Rishon. However it is a good thing to teach women to say passuk rishon in order to fulfill Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shamayim. The Mishneh Brurah holds by Shulchan Aruch. He also adds from the Lavush that women should say “Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuso…” as well since that also has Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shamayim in it.
The Mishneh in Berachos 20a says that children don’t have to say Krias Shema.
The Gemara in Sukkah 42a says that once a child can speak the father should teach him to say Krias Shema.
Even when a boy has reached the age of chinuch (6-7) the father doesn’t have a chiuv to train him to say Shema with its Berachos at the right time. The reason the father is pattur from the Mitzvah of Chinuch on this Mitzvah is because young boys are rarely around at the times of Shema on a regular basis. Rashi still agrees that a father has a chiuv to teach his son the text of the Shema once he is at the age of chinuch.
Once the boy is 6 or 7 the father has to train his son to say Shema with the Berachos at the proper time.
Shulchan Aruch (70:2):
The halacha is like Rashi but the minhag is like R. Tam
Mishneh Brurah (ibid.):
Brings the Bach who says that by 12 even Rashi agrees that training must begin.
The Rabbis of the Anshei Knesset Hagedolah instituted the Berachos of Krias Shema along with the Tekanas Hatefillah. As a result it would seem simple that they are a chiuv Derabanan. However regarding the Beracho of Emes Veyatziv the Gemara says something quite surprising.
The Gemara in Berachos 21a says that if someone is in doubt whether or not he said Shema he should say it again since it is a suffeik d’orysa. Also if he is in doubt whether he said the Beracho of Emes Veyatziv he should say it again since it is a suffeik d’orysa. (The normal rule for suffeik Berachos is not to say them when in doubt).
Tosafos brings down a basic rule that leads to the establishment of the ground rules in this discussion. He says that The kium d’orysa that you get from Emes Veyatziv is “Zechiras Yetzias Mitzraim”. We also get a kium d’orysa of “Zechiras Yetzias Mitzraim” in the third paragraph of Shema. Based on this information we can formulate a very fundamental question on the sugyah. If you are in doubt as to whether you said Emes Veyatziv but you know you said the third paragraph of Shema then you are definitely not in a suffeik d’orysa situation since you know you got your Mitzvas Zechiras Yetzias Mitzraim in the third paragraph of Shema. As a result we are at a complete loss for what the case of the Gemara is. Tosafos gives two possible answers.
The Gemara is referring to a case when you are in doubt about the Shema and the Beracho of Emes Veyatziv. As a result you have a real suffeik d’orysa on the Mitzvah of Shema and on the Mitzvah of Zechiras Yetzias Mitzraim. Tosafos says that the Gemara is telling you that it is better to just say Emes Veyatziv in this situation since the chances are that you said Shema. Tosafos would hold this to be true regardless of whether you hold Krias Shema is D’orysa or Derabanan.
The second approach in the Tosafos is that the case of the Gemara is when a person has a suffeik whether he said the third paragraph and Emes Veyatziv (The Gemara apparently felt comfortable referring to the third paragraph of Shema and Emes Veyatziv as “Emes Veyatziv”). In such a case he has one suffeik d’orysa, which is whether or not he fulfilled his Mitzvas Zechiras Yetzias Mitzraim. He should say Emes Veyatziv in this situation (That means he should say what the Gemara feels comfortable calling “Emes Veyatziv” i.e. the third paragraph of Shema and Emes Veyatziv).
Rashba/ Rabbeinu Yonah:
They both agree that the case in the Gemara is like Tosafos’ first peshat in the Gemara. However they have slightly modified approach to the case. They say that anytime someone has a doubt on Shema and the Berachos he has to say both the Shema and the Berachos again. The Gemara that says just to say Emes Veyatziv in this situation was only speaking according to the opinion that says that Krias Shema is Derabanan. We hold Krias Shema is D’orysa so the din in the Gemara is not speaking to us.
He speaks about the halacha lemaseh in the second case of the Tosafos. He says that whereas Tosafos understands that the third paragraph of Shema and Emes Veyatziv are one unit and therefore in a suffeik you say both, the halacha is not like him but rather that you should just say the third paragraph of Shema and not Emes Veyatziv.
There is another dimension to the Beracho of Emes Veyatziv and how it connects to the Krias Shema.
Beis Yoseif (61:3):
The Beis Yoseif brings down the Zohar Hakadosh that explains the inherent connection between Shema and Emes Veyatziv. The Mitzvas Krias Shema Ketikunah has 248 words each word is parallel to the 248 limbs and organs of a human being. By saying each word of the Shema properly a person is bringing Divine Blessing down upon every part of himself. The Zohar then asks but if you count the words in the three paragraphs there are only 245 words. The Zohar then answers that this is why the Shatz repeats Hashem Elokeichem Emes thus finishing off the last three words of the 248 and leading the tzibbur into the Beracho of Emes Veyatziv. In addition to learning the special secrets of the Shema from the Zohar we also learn in passing that the words “Hashem Elokeichem Emes”, which begin the Beracho of Emes Veyatziv, are an integral part of the fulfillment of the 248 words of Mitzvas Krias Shema Ketikunah.
Now that we have an understanding of the Beracho of Emes Veyatziv and its relationship to Shema we will explore the din on the Berachos before the Krias Shema.
Rashba (In explanation of Rambam):
The Gemara says that if you are in doubt whether you said Shema and the Berachos or not you should say them both. Even though the doubt you have on the Berachos is only derabanan and technically you shouldn’t say them now, nevertheless once the chazal were metakein the Berachos of Shema together with Krias Shema they became part of what is called “Mitzvas Krias Shema Ketikunah”.
In summary what we have established is that the Berachos before the Shema are a pure chiuv derabanan but they may be linked to the fulfillment of the Mitzvas Krias Shema Derabanan. The Beracho of Emes Veyatziv is a kium of Zechiras Yetzias Mitzraim, which is a d’orysa, but if you have already said Vayomer then it is clearly a pure chiuv derabanan. Also there is a more inherent connection between Shema and Emes Veyatziv since only by joining the two together can you get the complete Mitzvas Krias Shema Ketikunah.
We have learned above the basic principles of the Berachos of Shema. When we discuss the chiuv of women to say the Berachos we will have to explore whether they are time bound or not.
The Mishneh in Berachos 9b says that one who reads the Shema after the third hour doesn’t lose, just like someone learning Torah. According to the Gemara this means after the third hour he can say the Shema and get credit for Torah study and he says the Berachos along with it and gets complete credit for them. The question is how long after the third hour this lasts…
Rav Hai Gaon (brought in Tur in Siman 58):
He says it only lasts till the end of the fourth hour.
Rambam (Hilchos Krias Shema 1:13):
He says it lasts all day meaning the berachos have no time bound element.
Shulchan Aruch (58:6):
The halacha is like the Rav Hai. Therefore it is clear that the Berachos of Krias Shema are time bound and it should follow that women are patur.
The Mishneh Brurah in (Orach Chaim 70) says openly that since the Berachos of Krias Shema are time bound (although not by the same parameters as Shema) therefore women are exempt from them.
Emes Veyatziv for women:
Mishneh Brurah (ibid):
Regarding the third paragraph of Shema, Emes Veyatziv or Emunah, and Hashkiveinu (the issue being Zechiras Yetzias Mitzraim the Mishneh Brurah brings a machlokes between the Magen Avraham who says that women should have to say Emes Veyatziv or Emunah and Hashkiveinu cause the mitzvah of Y.M. is a non time bound mitzvah any time day or night is it’s time versus the Shagas Aryeh who says that Y.M. is time bound and therefore women are patur. M.B. holds like the Magen Avraham and they are chaiv.