(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Bais Medrash (c) Torah.Org

Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 23:51:58 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Krias Shma

Jonathan Chipman has gotten me intrigued in the BARUCH SHAYM KEVOD issue
(V1 #88). Why did Chazal "interrupt" a Biblical commandment with a rabbinic

The following idea comes to mind. According to Rambam Shma 2:1 one has not
fulfilled his Biblical obligation to say Kriath Shma if he did not have
proper concentration while saying the first verse (You are SUPPOSE to
concentrate on the other verses but you have fulfilled your obligation if
you didn't; but the first verse requires concentration and if you did not
concentrate you have not fulfilled your obligation).

Perhaps then this sentence BARUCH SHAYM KEVOD ...is inserted in case we had
not had proper concentration. For the meaning of BARUCH SHAYM (Praise be
the name of his kingdom for ever) closely approximates the meaning of the
first verse (Hear Israel, God is our Lord God is One) In other words, I am
suggesting that Chazal inserted this verse to help our concentration

This brings up another point I had made in a previous posting (which I
still don't have an answer to). Suppose a person EXPOUNDS after reading
every verse of Shma. (Thus he says a verse and then recites Rashis,
Midrashs or Halachas on that verse). He continues this way till he has
completed the shma.

Clearly this person HAS FULFILLED his obligation. INtuitively I would say
however that he shouldn't have behaved this way. But as I read Jonathan's
question and my suggested answer the thought occurs to me that perhaps such
a procedure (of expounding each verse) is laudatory in that it helps us

Does anyone know of any sources on this? Is this Reading-expounding
desirable or not?

Russell Jay Hendel; Moderator Rashi is Simple