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A Night-Day Dilemma
When One Reads Shema
(Berachos 8b)

 

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Our Gemara explores whether a person who couldn’t say the evening Shema at its proper time may say it as long as sunrise has not yet arrived. Another question is whether a person who won’t be able to recite the morning Shema at its proper time may say it once alos hashachar (dawn) arrives (see Mechaber, Orach Chayim 58:4).

Is it possible, though, that the period between alos hashachar and sunrise is one during which saying both the night Shema and the morning Shema is acceptable?

The Rishonim discuss this question, and the Mechaber rules, “Since he made that time night [i.e., if a person said the night Shema during this period], he is now unable to make it day [i.e., he cannot now say the morning Shema during this same period]” (Orach Chayim 58:5; see Mishnah Berurah, sk 21).

 

Saying the Night Shema While Wearing Tefillin

Ulla (infra 14b) maintains “that a person who recites Shema without tefillin is like a person bearing false testimony.” Of course, he only is talking about the morning Shema since we don’t put on tefillin at night. But what if a person for a reason beyond his control finds himself saying the night Shema after alos hashachar? Should he put on tefillin to avoid bearing false testimony?

The Or Same’ach (Hilchos Kerias Shema 1:10) leans toward the opinion that he shouldn’t while the Mareh Kohen rules that he should.

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Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.
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