Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Minhagim: Shema (2)

This week's halacha summary from the shul discusses some more minhagim about Shema, including kissing the tzitzis during the reading of the Shema. Here are some specifics for those who want to know the Rebbe's custom:

The Rebbe takes all four of the tzitzis before Shema. He does not do this specifically at "vehavi'einu le'shalom" but may gather them together even as early as right after Barchu. During Shema itself, the tzitzis are held in the left hand between the ring finger and the little finger. During the third paragraph of Shema, the tzitzis are also held in the right hand.

The Rebbe said that he remembers his father, Rav Yaakov Yisroel, ztz"l, kiss the tzitzis a total of six times. Once at each time the word "tzitzis" is said, by the words "v'acharei eineichem", at the word "emes", and after "la'ad kayames". The tzitzis are passed over the eyes each time they are kissed.

After "v'nechamadim  la'ad" the tzitzis are released (as it says in the Radviller siddur).

Regarding being careful about the pronunciation of the words of Shema, the Rebbe is very careful  about this. For example, the difference between sheva na's and sheva nach's should be articulated clearly. (The Rebbe himself favors the pronunciation of the Baal Hatanya, but has said that one certainly need do so, as the vast majority of poskim find difficulty in that pronunciation, and it only a hiddur.)

In the Radviller siddur, it is delineated how the Ten Commandments are hinted to throughout the Shema. I was told by one individual that the Rebbe suggested to him that he have those in mind, and that "the Rebbe does so as well".

Please comment about anything written here, especially if you have seen or heard different.

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