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Siman 47 . Laws Concerning the Blessings for Learning Torah

47:1. Concerning the (1) blessings for learning Torah, one must be (2) very careful.

MB 1: Blessings for learning Torah - See in the Sha'agas Aryeh, Section 24, where he rules that the commandment to recite a blessing over learning Torah is of Torah origin. Therefore, if one is in doubt about whether one made the blessings for learning Torah one should go back and make a blessing for it.

[Virtually all blessings are of Rabbinic origin, so in case of doubt whether it has already been said or whether we are required to say it, we do _not_ make the blessing; see my comment after MB 24 above. This blessing and Grace after Meals are Torah commandments. -LC]

Since there is a doubt, he should make only the blessing "Asher bachar banu" (Who has chosen us), which is the highest of the blessings for learning Torah, as discussed in the Talmud (Tractate Brachos, 11b). See in the Sha'arei Tshuvah, who brings in the name of some later authorities that one who is in doubt about whether he recited the blessings over learning Torah should _not_ go back and say "Who has chosen us," but in truth it is hard to rely on this opinion, since many early authorities [who hold much more weight in Jewish law than later authorities - LC] (namely, the Ramban (Nachmonides), the Chinuch, and the Rashba in the Talmudic Chapter "Shlosha sheAchlu" (seventh chapter of Tractate Brachos)), maintain that making a blessing over learning Torah is of Torah origin, and it is well known that the punishment for one who fails to make a blessing over learning Torah is very severe. However, if a doubt arises in one's mind after finishing the morning prayers (or even the Silent Prayer) about whether one has recited the blessings over learning Torah, it is possible that one may be lenient about saying "Who has chosen us," (i.e., one need not say it), since one has made the blessing "Ahavah Rabah" ["A great love," - recited just prior to the Sh'ma - which refers to Torah study - LC], even if one did not learn Torah right after the Silent Prayer (Pri Megadim in his introduction).

[Since reciting a blessing over an action, such as learning Torah, must normally be immediately followed by that action, we recite one section each of Torah, Mishnah, and Talmud following the blessing "Who has chosen us" in the morning, thereby learing Torah; see the prayerbook - LC]

If one can find someone else who has not yet made the blessings over learning Torah, through whose recitation of the blessings one can fulfill one's obligation, or can still say "Ahava Raba" with explicit intent to fulfill his obligation to make a blessing over learning Torah, and then learn Torah immediately after praying, that is best.

This is especially true according to the Ma'mar Mordechai, who brings in the name of the Levush and the Olas Tamid that the commandment to make a blessing over learning Torah is Rabbinic in origin, and one should therefore be very careful before the fact to follow this practice (i.e., saying "Amen" to someone else's blessing or having the commandment in mind while reciting "Ahavah Rabbah"). And the blessings over the Torah recited publicly when the Torah is read (i.e., "Who has chosen us" before each section is read and "Who has given us" after each section) are Rabbinic in origin according to all authorities. They were established for the honor of the congregation, since one has already made the blessings over learning Torah during the morning service (Later authorities).

[I have mostly summarized the following philosophic but important MB - LC]

MB 2: Very careful - One should be scrupulous not to learn Torah prior to making the blessings over learning Torah, and one should make the blessings with great joy. This is because our Sages explain that one reason for the destruction of the First Temple is that although people learned Torah, they treated it as just another source of knowledge, as reflected in their not reciting the blessings over learning Torah (see Jeremiah 9:11-12 and Tractate Nedarim 81a). Therefore one should be very careful in this, and give thanks to G-d for having chosen us and given us the Torah. Our Sages say that one who is not scrupulous in making the blessings over learning Torah does not merit, G-d forbid, to have a son who is a Torah scholar.

Lawton Cooper


Siman 47: The laws of Bircat HaTorah [= the blessings on the Torah] (cont.)

47:2. One must recite the blessings [before learning Torah], whether for study of the Bible, Mishnah, or Talmud {Rama: (3) or Midrash [works of Rabbinical exegesis of the Bible]}.

MB 3: Or Midrash - The author of the Shulchan Aruch also agrees with this, but held that it was included in study of the Bible.

47:3. (4) One who writes words of Torah, even though he does not read, must recite the blessings.

MB 4: One who writes - His opinion is that writing words of Torah is greater than merely thinking them [which does not require a blessing, as below 47:4]. Some say the reason for this is because he is doing an action, and some say because a writer normally says the words while he is writing. This is true of one who is writing books for himself as he learns, and understands what he writes - but a scribe who is copying and does not try to understand need not recite the blessings, for this is not learning; and all the more so if he writes a verse in a letter just to be poetic, he need not recite the blessings, since he does not intend to learn. Practically, the "achronim" [= later authorities] agree that in all cases one should not rely on the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch and recite the blessings when merely writing, because he is still only thinking words of Torah [and not saying them, so a blessing is not required]. Rather, it is appropriate that anyone who writes words of Torah should orally recite a few words, in order to avoid [reciting] a blessing in vain - unless he recites the verses of the Priestly Blessings or the "baraita" [text from the era of the Mishnah] that begins "Elu Devarim [these are things]" after the blessing, as is our custom. [Both the Priestly Blessings and Elu Devarim are printed in Siddurim following the Blessings on the Torah.]

47:4. One who merely thinks words of Torah (5) need not recite the blessings. {Rama: And likewise, (6) one can (7) decide a case [of halacha] without giving a reason for his words [and is not required to recite the blessings]. (The Ra"N in the first chapter of Shabbos and in the chapter Kol HaTzlamim wrote that this is [only] like thinking.) }

MB 5: Need not - because thinking is not considered like reciting. Therefore, one should warn those who learn in depth from a book to be careful to orally recite some words of Torah after the blessing [so that the blessing will not have been in vain]; unless he recites the verses of the Priestly Blessings or other words of Torah after the blessing, as is our custom.

MB 6: One can etc. - It seems that this applies only to deciding a case between litigants, which is not the manner of learning, but to learn a decision from a book [even] without an explanation, one should recite the blessings, for it is no less than writing. (Mateh Yehudah in this Siman)

MB 7: Decide - because the reasoning, which is the important part of the law, he is only thinking in his heart. The Gr"a in his commentary argues with this, and holds that this is no less than reading Bible alone [without explanation], which nonetheless requires a blessing. Even concerning merely thinking Torah, the Gr"a is strict, saying that one should not even think about Torah as long as one has not recited Bircat HaTorah. But according to all opinions it is permitted to perform some mitzvah before Bircat HaTorah - even though at the time of its performance he is definitely thinking about that law, it is nonetheless permitted, because anything done without intention to learn does not require a blessing.

Assaf Bednarsh

Siman 47: The Laws of the Blessing For the Torah (continued)

47:5 The blessings for the Torah are "asher kid'shanu b'mitzvosov vitzivanu (8) al divrei Torah" (that sanctified us with his Mitzvos, and commanded us concerning words of the Torah), (9) "Vha'arev Na..." (sweeten, please...) (10) and "asher bochar banu..." (that chose us etc.).

MB 8: Al Divrei Torah - The custom in our areas is to say "la'asok b'divrei Sorah [to be involved with words of Torah]." A convert can say the blessing of "asher bochar banu" [because he is now part of the Chosen Nation].

MB 9: Vha'arev Na - There are those who are careful to add "v'tze'etza'ai tze'etza'ainu" (our offspring's offspring) [in order to ensure that Torah stays in the family line,] because if three generations are learned Torah scholars then Torah will not leave the family lineage, as it says "it will not move from your mouth, [your children's mouths and from your children's children's mouths,]" but it is not necessary to say this, because v'tze'etza'ainu (our offspring) also includes grandchildren.

MB 10: And "Asher Bochar Banu" - And the prayers of a father and mother should always be in their mouths, praying for their children that they should be Torah scholars, be righteous people and behave properly with other people. And one should concentrate greatly while saying "Ahava Rabba [Great Love]," [the second blessing before reading the Shema in the morning, that speaks about learning Torah] and when saying in the blessings on the Torah "V'nihyeh anachnu, v'tze'etza'ainu [and let us, and our children]," [which is also a prayer that we be scholars] and also during "U'va l'tzion [and (a redeemer) will come to Zion]" [towards the end of Morning prayers] when saying "L'ma'an lo niga larik v'lo neled labehala [in order that we should not toil in vain and give birth for futility]" [that one's children should have the proper qualities].

47:6 Say "V'ha'arev" with (11) a vov [the word v'ha'arev should start with a vov, and should not be "ha'arev." The extra vov, which means "and" shows that it is a continuation of the first half of the blessing]. {Rema: There are those that say it without a vov and that is the custom, but (12) it is better to say it with a vov}. [Today's Siddurim have this Vov.]

MB 11: A Vov - Because it is one blessing. If it was a separate blessing it would start with "Baruch". Even though it immediately follows another blessing it would still start with "Baruch" because the blessings are short, like Havdalah which immediately follows other blessings but still starts with "Baruch" - because they are short blessings. The opinion that says not to start with a Vov holds that the blessings of Havdalah are not considered one after the other because each one can be said separately. [Some background: Under normal circumstances every blessing starts with "Baruch ata etc." When a blessing immediately follows another blessing and the blessings are long, they discuss more than one specific topic, then the second blessing is called a "Bracha Hasmucha lachvrata" [a blessing next to another (lit. its friend)] and the latter does not have to start with "Baruch." Some well-known examples are the blessing after the meals where the first blessing starts with Baruch and the next two start without "Baruch. The fourth blessing starts with Baruch for other reasons. Another example is Shmoneh Esrei [the Amidah] where only the first blessing starts with Baruch. The discussion here is whether or not the blessing over Torah is one or two blessings that will make up one "unit." - BR]

MB 12: It is Better etc. - Because by doing this one follows all opinions, but if it is said without a Vov then "Ha'arev Na" is a separate blessing and this causes a separation according to the opinion that it is one blessing. Today the custom is to say it with a Vov. There is a difference of opinion about whether or not to say Amen after "La'asok b'divrei Sorah" [if this is the first of two separate blessings, then one _should_ say Amen - but if this is all one long blessing, one should not interrupt]. Most opinions hold that it is better not to, so it is preferable to say the blessing quietly [so as not to put people into a situation where the ruling is not definitive, and/or so as not to trip people, who may say Amen when they shouldn't].

47:7 The blessing of (13) "Ahavas Olam [Eternal Love]" [the bracha directly preceding the Shema) (14) exempts one from the blessings on the Torah (15) if he learned (16) immediately afterward without interruption.

MB 13: Ahavas Olam - The Shulchan Aruch says "Ahavas Olam" according to his ruling in 60:1, but the Rema rules that one should say "Ahava Raba" in the morning. Obviously, the blessing of "Ahavas Olam" said at Ma'ariv [the Evening Service] also exempts one from the blessing on the Torah, because the same reasoning will apply to that blessing. This makes a difference according to the Shulchan Aruch who is of the opinion later in 47:11, that if one had a full sleep during the day then he must repeat the blessing on the Torah. Even according to the second, lenient opinion there, which we are accustomed to follow, one should still try to have in mind when he says "Ahavas Olam" at Ma'ariv that he is fulfilling the requirement to blessing on the Torah. There is another reason why this [the fact that Ahavas Olam can exempt one from the blessings on the Torah] makes a difference, which is found in the Be'ur Halacha.

MB 14: Exempts - Because it contains similarities to the blessing on the Torah "Place in our hearts to learn, teach, watch etc." Since the Shulchan Aruch did not say that one had to specifically intend to use it for the blessing on the Torah, it seems that this applies even if one did not have this in mind. See in the Be'ur Halacha.

MB 15: If He Learned - Since the blessing of "Ahava Rabba" was primarily established as part of the saying of the Shema, it can not be used in place of the blessings on the Torah unless one learns immediately afterwards. The L'vush writes that even if one completes his prayers first, this is not considered an interruption if he learns immediately after that.

MB 16: Immediately - Even a little bit, for the sake of the commandment to learn, and then he doesn't have to say the blessing [over the Torah] that day even if he stopped and then returned to his learning, as is explained below for the regular blessings on the Torah.

Binyamin Rudman

Siman 47. The Laws of Blessing on the Torah

[47, paragraph 8 is a direct continuation of the paragraph 7, which says that the blessing Ahavat Olam can be substituted for the Blessings on the Torah, if one learns immediately following the blessing]

47:8. (17) And it is not clear if saying the Shema right after the blessing "Ahavat Olam" without interruption is sufficient [to fulfill the requirement that one learn immediately afterwards], and therefore (18) one should be careful to say the blessings on the Torah before saying the blessing Ahavat Olam.

MB 17: And it is not clear - because one can argue that the reading of the Shema is only like saying words of prayer, because one is not intending to learn when saying it. And see the explanations of the Gr"a, who concluded that it was obvious that saying the Shema does not qualify as learning Torah. Afterwards I found that the Eliyahu Rabba also quoted the same from many halachic authorities, and he said that this is the Halacha was so. It seems that if one read the Shema after the time for saying the Shema has elapsed [as we will see later, the commandment to read the Shema in the morning can only be fulfilled during the first quarter of the day], when it is as if he is reading Torah, it may be that according to all opinions one need not make another blessing over the Torah, even if he did not learn immediately. [We will see later that if one misses the time for reading the Shema, then he should still say it, and he will receive some reward because he is learning Torah. Therefore the Mishna Berurah says that it might be considered Torah learning to fulfill this requirement.]

MB 18: one should be careful - because one may forget to learn immediately after prayers.

47:9. There are those who say (19) that if one interrupted after saying the blessings on the Torah and before learning there is nothing wrong. However, it is proper not to interrupt, (20) and therefore it is customary to say the Torah portion of (21) the Priestly Blessing immediately after saying the Blessings on the Torah.

MB 19: that if one interrupted - Their reasoning is that only in Ahavat Olam which is not specifically the Torah blessing, do we say that it is not considered a blessing on Torah unless one learns immediately after it without interruption, but the "real" Torah blessing is good all day even if one didn't learn after the prayers until midday. And this is not like other blessings where one may not interrupt between the blessing and the Mitzvah, as is written in siman 206, because here there is a Mitzvah to delve into it night and day, and therefore one is never considered to have taken his mind off of the Mitzvah of learning Torah. The Mechaber sides with this opinion, as can be seen from the fact that he only says is that it is _proper_ not to interrupt. However, most of the latter halachic authorities disagree, and they say that the halacha for the blessings over the Torah is like that for any other blessing for a mitzvah or enjoyment: that one must say the blessing again if he interrupts immediately after the blessing, even if he clearly knows that he didn't take his mind off the mitzvah. This is because he didn't start the mitzvah, so the connection between the blessing and the mitzvah has been broken. So wrote the Pri Chadash and the Gr"a, and so wrote the Chayei Adam as the halacha. However, it seems to me that since there are halachic authorities who claim that one does not have to repeat the blessing, it would be better if in a case where one interrupted after the Torah blessing, that he should have in mind when he says the blessing Ahava Rabba that it should be considered a Torah blessing, and he should learn a little after finishing his prayers; and see the Biur Halacha [where he writes that if in addition to interrupting after the blessing, there was another possible reason to say the blessing, e.g., if he slept during the day, then he should make the blessing.]

MB 20: And therefore it is customary - the reason why a person reads three verses is because the Rabbis wanted it done like one who is reading from the Torah [which needs a minimum of three verses]. The reason why specifically these three were chosen is because they have a blessing in them. One can say these verses even before the light of day; this is not in accordance with those who are stringent and say that these verses should not be said then because the Priestly Benediction may not be given at night, because that opinion is incorrect - because we are reading this verses in order to learn, and not as a priestly blessing.

MB 21: The Priestly Blessing - and it is customary also to say "These are the precepts that have no prescribed measure..." which is a Mishna and the saying, "These are the precepts that a person enjoys..." This is in order to have a section from the Torah, a section from the Mishna, and a section from the Gemara.

47:10. If one stopped learning and took care of his business, (22) since he is planning to go back and learn this is not considered an interruption [and there is no need to make another blessing] and the same is true (23) for sleeping (24) and bathing and going to the restroom - these aren't considered an interruption.

MB 22: Since he is planning - from here we can understand that if one does not usually learn but decided to learn that day, he would need to make another blessing. So wrote the Magen Avraham. And the Turei Zahav wrote the opposite: because the Shulchan Aruch did not write "_if_ he plans to go back to learn," [but rather wrote "since..."] then in a normal case we say that he plans on learning if the opportunity arises, even at a time when he does not usually learn. And when we have a doubt regarding a blessing then we do not make it [so therefore even those who usually do not learn later in the day do not need to make a blessing if they decide to do so]. (The Elya Rabba and the Pri Megadim left this question for examination, as did the Gr"a in his explanations - even though he explains the Shulchan Aruch according to the Magen Avraham's interpretation, even so he agrees at the end of paragraph 8 that the halacha is like the Turei Zahav. This is like the first explanation in the Rosh, that argues that even one who does not usually learn need not make another blessing.)

MB 23: For sleeping - meaning a nap, i.e., if he dozed while sitting, leaning on his hands, and even at night.

MB 24: And bathing and the restroom - Because even there he doesn't take his mind off of learning Torah afterwards and also one needs to be careful there about various laws, such as baring oneself in the restroom, or similarly saying hello in the bathhouse; therefore he hasn't taken his mind off the Torah, and see the Biur Hagra.

Avi Bloch

Siman 47. The Laws of the Blessings on the Torah (cont.)

47:11. A proper sleep in bed consitutes an interruption, even during the day [in one's original blessing on learning Torah, and prior to continuing learning he must repeat Bircas Hatorah]. Others are of the opinion that it is not considered an interruption, (25) and so is the custom.

MB 25: And so is the custom - The Lechem Chamudos writes: It seems to me that who ever does repeat Bircas Hatorah should be blessed, and so was my teacher accustomed to do. The Pri Chadash and Elyah Rabah in the name of many early and later Authorities also agreed with this view. So also wrote the Gaon of Vilna, and the Chayei Adam codified this as the Halacha. (Even though from the Pri Megadim it implies that one can rely on the custom of not repeating Bircas Hatorah, nevertheless, it seems obvious that whoever relies on the above list of authorities and repeats Bircas Hatorah has certainly not lost by doing so.

47:12. Even if he [only] learned (26) at night, the night follows on from the (27) preceeding day, and he does not have to repeat the Blessings as long as (28) he has not yet gone to sleep.

MB 26: At night - i.e. even if he hadn't learned at all during the day.

MB 27: Preceeding day - as long as he is awake, he has the duty to learn Torah whenever he has time, and stopping or diverting one's attention is not considered an interruption with regard to Bircas Hatorah.

MB 28: He has not yet gone to sleep - i.e. a proper sleep, but if he did have a proper sleep on his bed, even at the beginning of the night, it is considered an interruption. Even the second opinion in paragraph 11 (above) agrees with this. If he was awake all night, some hold that he need not say the Blessings in the morning, and some hold that he should say them because the Chachomim instituted this blessing [to be said] daily similar to the other Morning Blessings. [The rule is] when in doubt with regard to Blessings to take the more lenient view. However, if it is possible he should try to either hear the Blessings from someone else and tell him to have in mind to include him in the Blessings, and he should have in mind to fulfill his duty [by hearing them], and he should then answer 'Amen' and say some verses from the Torah to be considered as learning; or he should have in mind to fulfill his duty with the blessing of 'Ahavah Rabbah' [the blessing immediately before the Sh'ma] and then learn something as soon as he finishes praying. If he slept properly on his bed during the day and he was awake the whole of the following night, R' Akiva Eiger ruled that all agree that he must say Bircas Hatorah in the morning, and the blessing of 'Ahavas Olom' [the blessing immediately before the Sh'ma] of the [previous] Evening Service does not absolve him, unless he learned something straight after the Service.

47:13. If someone gets up before daylight to learn (29) he should bless Bircas Hatorah and he does not need to repeat them when he goes to the Synagogue. Someone who gets up (30) before daylight blesses the complete Order of Blessings apart from 'Who gives (31) understanding to the heart' and the parsha of the (32) Daily Sacrifice (Korban Tomid) [for which he should] wait until daylight. {Rama - a priori he should wash his hands before he blesses for learning, but if he has no water he may (33) learn and bless without washing, as with other blessings that he may bless before washing as in Section 46 above.

MB 29: he should bless 'Bircas Hatorah' - Even if he went to sleep again for a proper sleep before daylight or during the day, he does not need to repeat the blessings because, notwithstanding any other specific intention, a person has in mind that this blessing should refer to [any future obligation] until the following nights sleep. And all this is according to the second opinion in paragraph 11 (above) but according to what we wrote there, that even after a proper sleep _during the day_ 'he who blesses has nothing to lose' how much more so in this instance where he had a proper sleep _before_ daylight that 'he who blesses has nothing to loose'.

MB 30: before daylight - Even if, for some reason, he gets up after midnight and has in mind to go back to sleep again, nevertheless, he may make all these blessings and not not have to repeat them when he wakes up in the morning. The exceptions are the blessing of 'My G-d, the soul...' which he should say without its concluding blessing, and 'He who removes sleep' which he should say without mentioning G-d's name; and then when he gets up in the morning he should say these again with G-d's name and Divinity, properly. Look in the Biur Halacha.

MB 31: Understanding - The Later Authorities agreed that he may also say this blessing before daylight, but some say that, a priori, one should only say it after daylight unless he heard the cock crow but, after the fact, he has fulfilled his duty even if he did not hear the cock crow providing he said it after midnight. However, if he said this blessing before midnight, [it is invalid and] he must repeat the blessing even if he heard the cock crow. Look in the Biur Halacha.

MB 32: Parsha of the (32) Daily Sacrifice - and all the 'mishnayos' that deal with the sacrifices that come after it for they are in place of the sacrifices and the offering of the sacrifices can only be done during the day.

MB 33: Learn and bless - but he should wipe his hands on anything that can clean them.

K'sivah V'chasima Tovah [May you be written and sealed in the Book of Life],

Jonathan Chody

Section 47. The Laws of the Blessings on the Torah (cont.)

47:14. Women (34) make the blessings on the Torah.

MB 34. Make the blessings - For the reasoning, see the Biur Halacha.

Biur Halacha: Women etc. - The reason is that [although women are exempted from the obligation to learn Torah for it's own sake, day and night (mentioned above in MB 19),] they are obligated to learn the laws that are relevant to their daily lives, and further they are obligated to say the Torah portions about the sacrifices [see Section 48 below] just as they are obligated to pray. If so, the blessing applies to these things - so says the Bais Yosef and the Magen Avraham. According to this reasoning, a woman should be able to fulfill the obligations of a man who listens to her blessing on the Torah, and so wrote the Pri Megadim explicitely. Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna (the Gr"a), however, disagrees with this reasoning in his commentary, see there. Rather [according to the Gr"a], the reason why women make the blessing is that although they are exempted from the obligation to learn Torah, nonetheless they may make a blessing over it and even say "and commanded us," because it is no worse than any positive time-bound commandment, for which we have already established that women may bless over them, as above in section 17:2, see there. And according to this, they can not fulfill a man's obligation. And a child, even one who has reached the age where we are obligated to educate him, is certainly not able to fulfill an adult's obligation to bless on the Torah, according to the opinion of many authorities that the blessings over the Torah are themselves a Torah obligation - and so wrote the Pri Megadim.

Section 48. We say the Torah portion about the everyday sacrifice, and the verses describing the Sabbath sacrifice are said next to the portion of the everyday sacrifice.

{Rama: We say the portion of the (1) everyday sacrifice, and some say the order of the arrangement of the altar, and "Master of the worlds, you have commanded us etc." If it is impossible to say them (2) with the congregation then one can say them at home, (3) and repeat the everyday sacrifice with the congregation, and (4) intend that his second reading be merely reading from the Torah. And those who are precise have a custom to shake when they are reading from the Torah, similar to the Torah which was given with trembling - and similarly (5) at the time that one is praying, in accordance with the verse "All my bones say, 'HaShem, who is like You?'" (Abudraham)}

MB 1: Everyday sacrifice - And this is in place of offering the everyday sacrifice, as our Sages received from tradition: at a time when the Holy Temple is not standing, and it is not possible to actualy offer the sacrifices, one who involves himself with them and their appropriate portions in the Torah is considered by the Torah as if he actually offered them. Therefore, there are those who also say the order of the arrangement of the altar for this reason, and this is why it became the common custom in our day to say every day the arrangement according to Abbaye. And it seems obvious to me that for one who knows how to learn, it is a Mitzvah to study the explanation of this saying [Abbaye's arrangement, I believe -- YM] in the Gemara, and so too the details of the making of the Incense that we say each day, in order that he understand what he is saying, so that his reading will thus be considered in place of the actual offering of the incense. And so is found in the books of the Sages, that when the Talmud says that "anyone who involves himself with the Torah portions of the sacrifices etc.," the intent is that he study in order to understand the process, and not mere recitation of the words. The Magen Avraham wrote that the portions of the sacrifices should be read while standing, similar to the sacrifices themselves which were offered while standing. And see in the Shaarei Tshuva, who disagreed with this in the name of several later authorities; and the Pri Megadim wrote that in any case, it is appropriate to stand during the portion of the everyday sacrifice, which is read together in the congregation in a loud voice. So too concerning the ruling in the Be'er Heitev in the name of the Derech Chochma, that one should be careful to say the portion of the everyday sacrifice in the congregation together with the leader, see in the Shaarei Tshuva who disagrees. See in the Pri Megadim concerning the wording in the Siddurim of the "Yehi Ratzon" - "May it be Thy will as if we offered the everyday sacrifice..." He writes there that those Siddurim which say "as if _I_ offered" are incorrect, because _I_ offered is relevant to the Sin offerings which apply to the [guilty] individual who makes the offering, which is not the case with the everyday sacrifice, where no individual is considered its owner. And in the Tur the wording is "as if the everyday sacrifice was offered in its time etc.," and this is correct - and in the Shaarei Tshuva he even justifies our version. [Which apparently read "_I_ offered" - we have several Siddurim here, which either say "we offered" {Artscroll, Metzudah, Eshkol} or have no "Yehi Ratzon" at all {Siddur Vilna HeChadash, Hirsch}.]

MB 2: With the congregation - Because the way they did things there was to say only the portion of the everyday sacrifice with the congregation [and not the other portions].

MB 3: And repeat - Because the old custom was to say the entire section individually in a loud voice, and if so [a person following this custom] could not be quiet while the congregation was reading, because this would be changing his way.

MB 4: Intend - See in the Tur, who says that this is only to distance himself from appearing as if he is offering two everyday sacrifices.

MB 5: At the time that one is praying - And there are those authorities who disagree with this ruling, and say that when praying one should not shake - only when saying the "Psukei D'Zimra [Verses of Praise]," the blessings surrounding the recitation of the Shema, and learning Torah or even Talmud (the Oral Law), the custom is to shake. The Magen Avraham wrote that each person should follow his own custom. And all is according to the nature of the person - if he concentrates better by bowing, then he should, and if not, he should stand, as long as he directs his heart properly. And there are those who do a bizarre sort of shaking, with the body standing still and shaking his head from right to left - this is haughtiness and a person should not do it. [Like shaking one's head "no" - if you stand up in a corner and compare bowing back and forth with shaking your head "no," you will perhaps realize what he means. Just don't let anyone catch you practicing... ;-)]

48:1. On the Sabbath, we say the verses of the Sabbath additional offering following the everyday offering. However, we do not do likewise on Rosh Chodesh [the new month] or the holidays, because we read the verses for the appropriate additional offerings during the Torah reading. {Rama: And there are those who say that we should also read the verses of the offering for Rosh Chodesh [the new month], and such is our custom, (6) in order to publicize that it is Rosh Chodesh; and so we see later in section 421 (Tur).}

MB 6: In order to publicize - However, on holidays it is not necessary to publicize the fact, because everyone already knew this on the previous night. On the Sabbath, however, even though it is well-known, we say these verses during the Morning Prayers because we can not read them in the Torah - because there are only two verses [while the minimum for a Torah reading is three verses] as will be explained in section 283.

Section 49. A Person Can Recite the Shema from Memory.

49:1. Even though we have established that (1) "those things that are written, (2) you are not permitted (3) to say from memory," any passage that is regularly said and (4) well-memorized ["routine in one's mouth"] by everyone, such as (5) the recitation of the Shema, the Priestly Blessings, (6) the portion of the everyday sacrifice, and similar passages, in these cases (7) it is permitted.

MB 1: Those things that are written - A blind person is permitted to say things orally, because of "A time to act for HaShem; they have abandoned your Torah" [the verse is explained: certain things otherwise forbidden are permitted to prevent the Torah from being forgotten]. And so too if one is in prison and cannot obtain a Chumash there.

MB 2: You are not permitted - The Ridbaz wrote in his book, division I section 135, that concerning reciting the Torah portion from memory while the leader is reading it, "I personally am careful [not to do this], but I do not rebuke others, because there are many authorities who say that the prohibition is only when one is fulfilling the obligation of others" - and so wrote the Turei Zahav and explained the Gr"a.

MB 3: To say from memory - Someone who is speaking in public and referring to several verses of the Torah, and it is difficult for him to constantly search for them in the Chumash, may have room to be lenient because of the honor of the congregation. See in the Talmud Tractate Yoma (70) in the Tosfos Yeshanim, beginning with the word "U'b'asor [and in the tenth]", in the first and last answers, and in the explanations of the Gr"a he agreed that the ruling is according to the last answer.

MB 4: Well-memorized - However, if it is not well-memorized by everyone, even though one has memorized it himself, it is forbidden.

MB 5: The recitation of Shema - And so to the P'sukei D'Zimra [Verses of Praise].

MB 6: The portion of the everyday sacrifice - The Magen Avraham wrote that one who examines the Bais Yosef will see that there are various opinions why it is permissible to say these things from memory. Therefore one should be careful not to say anything from memory that is not mentioned here. The Sh"A [Shulchan Aruch, our Code of Jewish Law, is the logical expansion of this acronym... but where? -- YM] and the Responsa of the Chovas Yair permit reciting the entire book of Psalms from memory, for since they are being said to arouse Heavenly mercy, they are like prayer - and it seems to me that one can rely on this, for even without this, the opinion of the Ateres Zekainim and the Gr"a is like those authorities who say that recitation from memory is only forbidden when fulfilling the obligation of others.

MB 7: It is permitted - When one is fulfilling the obligation of others with his recitation of these writings, the Magen Avraham leans towards stringency, suggesting that one not say this things from memory in any event - and the same is apparent from the words of the Gr"a in his explanations.



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