Ask the Rabbi

  • Halacha
  • Times of Day and of Prayer

Zman Kriyat Shema


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Kislev 6, 5771
Depending on the time of year, our Shabbat morning services start after zman Kriyat Shema. Is there a heter for this, or do we need to change the start of services? Let’s say that some, or maybe many, religious people do say Shema at home earlier, is there an issue of misleading people? Even without needing to deal with people who want to sleep in, there is also a concern that if starting earlier, people will show up ’late’ or not at all. Thank you.
The best way to deal with this issue is to bring it to the attention of your Synagogue or local Rabbi. Nonetheless, I will mention a few relevant points. There is a difference of opinion between the Magen Avraham and the Gra as to when Kriyat Shema may be said. According the Gra the end of Kriyat Shema time is a bit later and it may be that according to his calculations, Kriyat shema will actually be on time.(The timetables must be checked) In the event that it is not, Kriyat Shema should be said by each individual prior to Sacharit so they do not miss the Mitzva. An effort should be made that Tefilla start at a time when there is ample time for Kriyat Shema on time. If that is not successful, the end of the time for Kriyat Shema should be brought to attention of the other congregants so they can say it on their own. The objective has to be that in a pleasant manner the message of the importance of Kriyat Shema on time is to be brought to the entire congregation.
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