Halacha for Sunday 27 Iyar 5781 May 9 2021

The Bedtime Keri’at Shema

Question: Is it obligatory to read the bedtime Keri’at Shema? Similarly, should the blessing of “Hamapil” printed in Siddurim be recited before Keri’at Shema including Hashem’s name?

Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 60b) states: “One who goes into bed to sleep recites the blessing ‘Hamapil Chevlei Shena Al Einai.’” The Tosafot and Mordechi write that all of the blessings quoted in the final chapter of Masechet Berachot must recited along with Hashem’s name and kingship (i.e. “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam”) like any other blessing. Thus, the “Hamapil” blessing is included in this rule and it must be recited along with Hashem’s name. Many other great Rishonim rule likewise. The Poskim explain that this blessing is to be recited before going to sleep at night. However, one going to sleep during the day should not recite this blessing. The Poskim add that it is also customary to recite the bedtime Keri’at Shema immediately before going to sleep and one should not interrupt with any speech between reciting Keri’at Shema and going to sleep.

Hagaon Rabbeinu Yosef Haim of Baghdad in his Ben Ish Hai (Parashat Pekudei) writes that although one should recite the “Hamapil” blessing along with Hashem’s name and this is likewise correct according to the teachings of the saintly Ari z”l, nevertheless, there are those who customarily recite this blessing without Hashem’s name lest they be compelled to interrupt by speaking between the blessing and going to sleep, rendering the blessing a blessing in vain. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes lengthily to rebuff his opinion and writes that even if one speaks, for whatever reason, between Keri’at Shema and going to sleep, the blessing is not considered in vain and one should not repeat it, for the essence of this blessing was not instituted based on one’s personal sleep; rather, it was instituted based on the humanity’s collective need to go to sleep in general. Thus, halachically speaking, one should certainly not forgo the “Hamapil” blessing because of the concern that one may interrupt with speech before going to sleep, for even if one speaks, one has still not recited a blessing in vain. Many other great contemporary Poskim concur. Indeed, Hagaon Harav Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg zt”l (a close friend of Maran zt”l) writes in his Responsa Tzitz Eliezer (Volume 7, Chapter 27) that if one is asked something after having recited the bedtime Keri’at Shema, one may respond to the individual. Nevertheless, Maran zt”l writes that one should preferably not interrupt with any kind of speech between Keri’at Shema and sleeping at all.

One who goes to sleep at night after halachic midnight should recite the “Hamapil” blessing without Hashem’s name. In the following Halacha, we shall discuss this law further as well as the obligation of women regarding this blessing.

Ask the Rabbi


ספר אביר הרועים - בית מידות
ספר אביר הרועים
לפרטים לחץ כאן

הלכה יומית מפי הראש"ל הגאון רבי יצחק יוסף שליט"א

דין ברכת שפטרנו מעונשו של זה
לחץ כאן לצפייה בשיעורים נוספים

Recent Halachot

"תנא דבי אליהו כל השונה הלכות בכל יום מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא"

נדה ע"ג א'

8 Halachot Most Popular

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

Motza’ei Yom Kippur

Adding From the Mundane Onto the Holiness One must add some of the mundane weekday onto the holiness of Yom Kippur upon its exit, i.e. one should not end this holy day immediately with nightfall; rather, one should wait another few minutes. Thus, it is prohibited to eat or perform work on Motza&rsq......

Read Halacha

The Obligation to Eat in the Sukkah

Since there is not so much time left to discuss the laws of Sukkot, let us now spend the next few Halachot discussing some pertinent Halachot for the upcoming Sukkot holiday. A Meal of an Established Character Throughout the entire Sukkot holiday, both during the night and day, it is prohibited ......

Read Halacha

Reciting Selichot Alone, Without a Minyan

Question: If one is unable to recite Selichot with a Minyan (quorum of at least ten Jewish men) for whatever reason or if a woman wishes to recite Selichot and she cannot do so with a Minyan, may one recite the Selichot texts alone or should one abstain from doing so? Answer: If one wishes to rec......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Eating a Kezayit of Bread in the Sukkah on the First Night of Sukkot and One who is Uncomfortable in the Sukkah

In the previous Halacha we have discussed that one may not eat an established meal outside of the Sukkah anytime during the Sukkot holiday. One must be aware that the reward for the Mitzvah of Sukkah is that it protects one during turbulent times (see Zohar, Parashat Tetzaveh). The Mitzvah of......

Read Halacha

The Custom of “Tashlich”

Following Mincha services of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to go to a seashore, river, well, or pit in order to recite the order of “Tashlich.” If there is no river, lake, or pond in close proximity of one’s vicinity, it is likewise perfectly acceptable to recite ......

Read Halacha

The Proper Behavior for the Days of Rosh Hashanah-The Custom of Maran zt”l

It is customary to eat red meat and sweet foods on the days of Rosh Hashanah, as the verse in Nechemia states, “Go eat fatty foods and drink sweet beverages and sent gifts of food to those who do not have, for the day is sanctified to our Lord.” One may not fast at all on Rosh Hashana......

Read Halacha

Blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

It is a positive Torah commandment to hear the Shofar blasts on the day of Rosh Hashanah, as the verse states, “It shall be a day of [Shofar] blasts for you.” One may not speak between the various sets of Shofar blasts and certainly not during the blasts themselves. The Poskim disagree r......

Read Halacha