Friday, March 04, 2005

Daf Yomi Day 3: Shema in Shul Redux

I wrote on the first daf about how Rashi (and others) brought in a yerushalmi in the beginning of brachot about how Shema in shul does not really fulfil the obligation, but is only said to lead in the Amida with a davar shel Torah. This was brought in Yerushalmi to answer why we say it in shul if we are not yoztei so early. Having seen some more gemara, I have some further thoughts on the matter, that hopefully are taking me closer to the truth instead of further from it.

First, just because something is brought down in yerushalmi does not mean we necessarily pasken like it. In fact, it may even reflect one side of a machloket we have in Bavli. (In fact, I think this may well be the case here - the opinion being that of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi instead of Rabbi Yochanan.) As a result, we should be very careful in trying to harmonize the sources, because in so we might do damage to the true meaning of each source.

First, on this daf there seems to be a good hint that the maariv they davened in shul was after the coming out of the stars, the Yerushalmi notwithstanding. Here is the source (Bavli Brachot 4b):

כדתניא חכמים עשו סייג לדבריהם
כדי שלא יהא אדם בא מן השדה בערב
ואומר אלך לביתי ואוכל קימעא
ואשתה קימעא
ואישן קימעא
ואח"כ אקרא ק"ש ואתפלל
וחוטפתו שינה ונמצא ישן כל הלילה
אבל אדם בא מן השדה בערב
נכנס לבית הכנסת
אם רגיל לקרות קורא
ואם רגיל לשנות שונה
וקורא ק"ש ומתפלל
ואוכל פתו ומברך
וכל העובר על דברי חכמים חייב מיתה
As we learned in a brayta: The Sages made a fence for their words
{in saying one may only say Shema until midnight}
So that a man should not come from the field in the evening
And say I wull go to my house and eat a bit
And drink a bit
And sleep a bit
And afterwards I will read kriyat Shema and then pray {the Amida}
And sleep will snatch him and it will come out that he slept the entire night.
But rather a man will come from the field in the evening
And enter the shul {house of gathering}
If he is used to reading he reads {Scripture}
And if he is used to learning he learns
And he reads Shema and prays {the Amida}
and eats his bread and bentches
And anyone who violates the words of the Sages is deserving of the death penalty.
So it seems clear from here that he is in fact fulfilling the obligation to say kriyat Shema by saying it in shul.

Now, as the gemara observes, this is actually supporting Rabbi Yochanan who says you say Shema first and then Amida, and not like Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi who says that the two Shema's are at the ends, sandwiching the Amidas. It is a support because the brayta says the Shema is read first.

Now, Rabbi Yochanan, and the brayta, clearly think that you are fulfilling your obligation in shul. Furthermore, I think there is a proof that this Shema said in shul is said after the stars come out, such that you can fulfil your obligation in shul. The proof is in the lines:

אבל אדם בא מן השדה בערב
נכנס לבית הכנסת
אם רגיל לקרות קורא
ואם רגיל לשנות שונה
וקורא ק"ש ומתפלל
But rather a man will come from the field in the evening
And enter the shul {house of gathering}
If he is used to reading he reads {Scripture}
And if he is used to learning he learns
And he reads Shema and prays {the Amida}
The evening is when the sun has set, before the stars come out. He does not pray immediately, but first he learns for a while, whatever is appropriate for him to learn. Why does he do this? I think it is clear that he is killing time until the stars come out, such that he can fulfil his obligation to say Shema at night.

So you fulfil the obligation in Shul, and with brachot, as we see in Rabbi Yochanan later (putting geula with tefila). You would not have any obligation later.

On the other hand, we have Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who says that Shema is said after Shemoneh Esrei. If so, perhaps he means that this is said in shul, or perhaps he means this is said at home. Part of the support for his position is that just as the first Shema is said close to his bed, so too the second one is said close to the bed, such that the Shemas sandwich the Amidas.

Now we have a statement later in the gemara, also from Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi:

א"ר יהושע בן לוי אע"פ שקרא אדם ק"ש בביהכ"נ מצוה לקרותו על מטתו
אמר רבי יוסי [רב אסי או רב יוסף] מאי קרא (תהילים ד) רגזו ואל תחטאו אמרו בלבבכם על משכבכם ודומו סלה
אמר רב נחמן אם תלמיד חכם הוא אין צריך

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Even though you read Shema in shul it is a mitzvah {commandment ~= obligation} to read it upon his bed.
Rabbi Yossi said:
{And note Rabbi as opposed to Rav, means he is a Palestinian Amorah just like Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi and Rabbi Yochanan, and furthermore, he is likely the same Rabbi Yossi who said his statement in Yerushalmi!}
What is the source? (Tehillim 4:5)

ה רִגְזוּ, וְאַל-תֶּחֱטָאוּ: אִמְרוּ בִלְבַבְכֶם, עַל-מִשְׁכַּבְכֶם; וְדֹמּוּ סֶלָה. 5 Tremble, and sin not; commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah
{Thus, perhaps, thinking about the Dominion of God upon your bed will cause you not to sin.}
Rav Nachman said: if he is a Talmid Chacham he need not.
Perhaps, the meaning of the derasha of Rabbi Yossi, to bolster Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, is that you are supposed to say it {the Shema} upon your bed, and then sleep. That is, the fulfilling of the obligation of kriyat Shema is to be fulfilled upon your bed. After all, he is explaining Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who might not feel that there is any point in saying it in shul. He would not be saying that the purpose it to chase away mazikim, evil spirits, as other Amoraim are saying. Within Rabbi Yochanan this might be the reason to say something upon the bed, but Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi has a much better reason - the actual obligation to say Shema.

Now, if Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi maintains that the obligation is only on the bed, then if you say it in shul, you are not fulfilling it. He might even say you can say Shema first, before Amida, but without the brachot, such that you still could not lead from geula into tefila. He holds the real Shema would be after, and the Shema you say in shul is just to lead into Amida with a davar shel Torah. As a result, also, you need not necessarily wait for the coming out of the stars.

In fact, as I mentioned above, it is Rabbi Yossi the Palestinian Amora who bolsters Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi here, and it is Rabbi Yossi in the Yerushalmi as well.

Let us turn now to the yerushalmi, brachot 1b:

תני הקורא קודם לכן לא יצא ידי חובתו
אם כן למה קורין אותה בבית הכנסת?
אמר רבי יוסי אין קורין אותה בבית הכנסת בשביל לצאת ידי חובתו
אלא כדי לעמוד בתפילה מתוך דבר של תורה
We learnt: One who reads (Shema) before this time does not fulfil his obligation (to read Shema at night).
If so, why do we read it in the shul?
Rabbi Yossi said: We do not read it in shul in order to fulfil his obligation
But rather in order to stand in prayer (=Shemoneh Esrei) from a matter of Torah.
First, note that it is very likely the stama that connects the brayta mentioning that reading earlier one does not fulfil, with the statement of Rabbi Yossi. Rabbi Yossi's statement may have originally stood on its own, and unrelated.

Now, this statement that one does not fulfil in shul is clearlt not like Rabbi Yochanan, who holds the obligation is in shul, such that you say the brachot, and that fulfilling the obligation should precede Amida.

Rabbi Yossi is probably within the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi. Even though you say in shul, you are only saying it there to lead in with a davar shel Torah. As a result, just as Rav Hai Gaon said, you should not say the brachot in shul, even though the Shema precedes the Amida. This is true even if you say it after the stars come out, for you should say them on your bed.

{If you discard the linking statement of the stama, then Rabbi Yossi is a rejection of the saying in shul as a fulfillment of the obligation in favor of saying it on the bed, such that the saying it too early is not the consideration. If you take the linking statement as accurate, then it is either the reason, or an additional reason. So perhaps you can fulfil in shul - and perhaps not.}

Rav Hai was thinking you say them with brachot at home, not necessarily on your bed with brachot {you would probably say the first parsha without brachot on the bed according to him}, so it is a bit different from Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who I now claim would say you would have to say them with brachot on the bed.

However, this is only according to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, and Rabbi Yossi within his position. We may very well rule in accordance with Rabbi Yochanan, against Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi. If so, we would wait to say Shema after the stars come out, and say it with brachot, in shul. We would fulfil the obligation of Shema in this way. We would say the 1st perek upon the bed, without brachot, because of mazikin.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin