HaShoneh Halachos emails include two halachos per day, seven days a week (emails for Shabbos and Yom Tov are sent in advance). Material is based upon the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, with occasional elucidation from the Mishnah Brurah abd other sources. The text is not a direct translation but a paraphrase into easy-to-read, conversational English.

Sign up for HaShoneh Halachos E-Mails:

101. Preparing Ourselves for Shemoneh Esrei

January 7, 2012, by

18:1 The time for morning prayer – meaning the Shemoneh Esrei – begins at the appearance of the sun as per Psalms 72:5, which says, “They will see You with the sun.” Nevertheless, if one prays after dawn, it is acceptable. The time to say Shemoneh Esrei lasts until one-third of the day. One may […]

Read more

100. When Others are Saying Shema

January 6, 2012, by

17:9 Let’s say that circumstances forced a person to stop in the middle of saying Shema – for example, he had to go to the bathroom. If the time he waited was long enough to say all of Shema, when he resumes, he must start again at the beginning. 17:10 If a person who already […]

Read more

99. 248 Words

January 5, 2012, by

17:7 Before reciting Shema, while reciting phrase “vahavi’einu” (that God should gather us from the four corners of the world) in the blessing of “Ahava Rabbah,” one should gather his tzitzis together. While saying Shema, he holds them between the forefinger and the middle finger of his left hand opposite the heart. When he reaches […]

Read more

98. Communicating During Shema

January 4, 2012, by

17:5 The Shema must be read with great care from a siddur; one should be able to hear the words he is reciting. Grammatically, one must not pronounce a Hebrew word as if it has a dagesh where it doesn’t, or vice versa. One should also pause briefly wherever a vertical line is drawn in […]

Read more

97. Saying “Echad”

January 3, 2012, by

17:3 Before beginning, one should have the intention that he is about to fulfill the mitzvah of reciting Shema. When a person says the words “Shema Yisrael,” he should concentrate on the meaning, i.e., that we Jews should recognize that God is our Lord and that He is unique and unified in all creation. The […]

Read more

96. When to Recite Shema

January 2, 2012, by

17:1 The time to say Shema in the morning begins at the same time when one may first put on his tefillin, namely when it is light enough to recognize an acquaintance from about six feet away (refer back to 10:2). The time for Shema lasts through the first quarter of the daylight hours, whether […]

Read more

95. Interrupting in the Middle of a Section of Shema

January 1, 2012, by

16:4 If one is in the middle of the blessings on either side of Shema, he should pace himself so that his interruptions to answer the various prayers fall between the topics of the blessings. If he saying Shema itself, he should pace himself so that his replies fall between the verses. If this is […]

Read more

94. Interrupting between Sections of Shema

December 31, 2011, by

16:2 Between the sections described in 16:1, one may answer “Amen” to any blessing and certainly to Kaddish, Kedusha and Barchu. However, one may not respond “Baruch Hu u’baruch shmo” at these junctures. If a person hears the congregation saying Shema and he is in a different spot in his prayers, he does not say […]

Read more

93. Shema and its Blessings

December 30, 2011, by

15:13 We only appoint someone who can grow a beard as permanent shaliach tzibbur but any boy aged 13 years and one day can serve as prayer leader on a temporary basis (but not on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur or fast days – Mishnah Brurah 53:24). 16:1 Shema is recited with three blessings, “Yotzeir Ohr,” […]

Read more

92. Who is Qualified to Lead the Service

December 29, 2011, by

15:11 We should try to have a suitable shaliach tzibbur so that the verse “she raised her voice against Me, causing Me to hate her” should not apply to our minyanim. (The Talmud in Taanis 16b says that this verse refers to a shaliach tzibbur who is unsuitable but who nevertheless represents the congregation in […]

Read more