Halacha for Tuesday 19 Sivan 5774 June 17 2014              

Halacha Date: 19 Sivan 5774 June 17 2014

Category: Tefilah


Proper Intention While Reciting “Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed”

In the previous Halachot we have discussed that one must have the proper intention while reciting the first verse of Keri’at Shema and if one did not do so, one has not fulfilled his obligation. In the previous Halacha we have written that after reciting the first verse of Keri’at Shema, one must recite the verse of “Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed.”
 
The Poskim disagree whether the verse of “Barech Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed” retains the same status as the first verse of Keri’at Shema in that if one did not concentrate while reciting this verse, one does not fulfill his obligation, or does it share the status as the other paragraphs of Keri’at Shema where proper intention does not hinder the fulfillment of one’s obligation (meaning that one fulfills his obligation even by saying the words even without concentrating).
 
Maran Rabbeinu Yosef Karo does not rule explicitly on the law regarding “Barech Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed.” Nevertheless, in his work Bet Yosef, after writing that it is forbidden to interrupt by answering “Amen” to Kaddish and the like within the first verse of Keri’at Shema, for “there is nothing greater than accepting the yoke of Heaven upon one’s self” (similar to the law regarding the Amida prayer), he adds the following: “It seems to me that the same applies to ‘Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed,’ for this is likewise part of the unification of Hashem. Thus, one may not interrupt to answer anything between the first verse of Keri’at Shema and ‘Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed.’”
 
Based on this, we can infer that according to Maran Ha’Bet Yosef, the recitation of the verse of “Barech Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed” shares the same laws as the recitation of the first verse of Keri’at Shema.
 
Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l (in his Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 6, Chapter 9) provides several sources to prove that “Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed” shares the same law as the first verse of Keri’at Shema and one must therefore have the proper intention while reciting it; if one did not, one has not fulfilled his obligation. He proceeds to quote many Poskim who rule likewise, including the Levush and Magen Avraham.
 
Thus, halachically speaking, one must concentrate and have the proper intention while reciting the verse “Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed.” If one did not have the proper intention while reciting this verse, one must repeat Keri’at Shema over again, as we have explained in the previous Halacha.
 
In the next Halacha, we shall, G-d-willing, discuss the meaning of the words “Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Le’Olam Va’ed.”

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