Mishnah/Seder Zeraim/Tractate Berakhot/Chapter 2/1
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Seder Zeraim, Tractate Berakhot: Chapter 2, Mishnah 1
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Chapter 2 continues the discussion of the Shema. This mishnah begins by addressing the mental focus that one must have in order to fulfill one's obligation to say the Shema.
The Shema is part of the Torah; is it sufficient to merely read this paragraph as one comes across it in the text? Can one interrupt the recitation of the Shema?
- הָיָה קוֹרֵא בַתּוֹרָה, וְהִגִּיעַ זְמַן הַמִּקְרָא:
- אִם כִּוֵּן לִבּוֹ – יָצָא,
- וְאִם לָאו – לֹא יָצָא.
- בַּפְּרָקִים – שׁוֹאֵל מִפְּנֵי הַכָּבוֹד וּמֵשִׁיב,
- וּבָאֶמְצַע – שׁוֹאֵל מִפְּנֵי הַיִּרְאָה וּמֵשִׁיב;
- דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר.
- רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר:
- בָּאֶמְצַע – שׁוֹאֵל מִפְּנֵי הַיִּרְאָה, וּמֵשִׁיב מִפְּנֵי הַכָּבוֹד;
- בַּפְּרָקִים – שׁוֹאֵל מִפְּנֵי הַכָּבוֹד, וּמֵשִׁיב שָׁלוֹם לְכָל אָדָם.
- If one was reading [the Shema] in the Torah, and it came time to recite [the Shema]:
- If he directed his heart [and intended to fulfill his obligation to recite the Shema as he read it], he has fulfilled his obligation.
- And if not, he has not fulfilled his obligation.
- At the breaks [between sections of the Shema], one may greet another out of honor and return a greeting,
- And in the middle [of a section], one may greet out of fear and return a greeting.
- These are the words of Rabbi Meir.
- Rabbi Yehuda says:
- In the middle, one may greet out of fear and return a greeting out of honor,
- And at the breaks, one may greet out of honor and return a greeting to any person.
Interrupting "out of honor" refers to a situation where the other party would be offended if he were ignored. Interrupting "out of fear," on the other hand applies in a situation where causing the other party offense could result in death. For example, if a Gentile king were to pass by and not be greeted properly, he would be liable to execute the worshiper if he did not understand the seriousness of the Shema.