Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kiddush vs. Sh'ma


We have been learning about making Kiddush on Friday night.

Maariv [the evening service] on Friday night is generally recited close to sunset, which creates a problem: The earliest time to fulfill one's nightly obligation to recite Shema is after the stars have emerged, which is usually measured as 36 minutes or more after sunset. Therefore, we need to repeat Shema when we return home from the synagogue. So which do we do first: Recite Shema, or Kiddush?

There are several fine points within this debate, but at bottom it is appropriate to repeat Shema when one comes home from shul, before Kiddush, lest one forget about Shema in the course of the meal.

(Mishneh Berurah 267:6 and 271:2)

Have a great day,

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