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Hilchos Kriyas Shema 61 (page 187)
מסעיף ב עד סעיף ו

Why the Chazan Repeats the Words 'Hashem E-lokeichem Emes' Out Loud
Reciting E-l Melech Ne'eman to Reach the 248 Words
Listening to Hashem E-lokeichem Emes in Middle of  Kriyas Shema

Why the chazan repeats the words 'Hashem E-lokeichem Emes' out loud 
Together, the three paragraphs of Shema contain 245 words. The Chachomim instituted the repetition of the final three words-- Hashem E-lokeichem emes--to bring the number of words to 248. The 248 words correspond to, and serve to heal, the 248 limbs of the human body. The chazan's repetition counts for the congregation as well. The poskim discuss whether the chazan should say the word emes quietly, as part of his own recitation of Shema, before he repeats the entire phrase out loud. Some poskim suggest that when the chazan repeats the phrase immediately after he completes his own Shema he should omit the word emes, but when he completes Shema ahead of the congregation and has to wait for them, he should add the word emes.
( סעיף ג וס"ק ו ו־ח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 4)
Reciting E-l Melech Ne'eman to reach 248 words?
Someone davening alone does not have the benefit of the chazan's repetition. Instead, he should employ one of the other methods listed in Shulchan Aruch. The Rama suggests adding the words E-l melech ne'eman before Shema as the ideal way to reach the number 248. The poskim discuss whether someone who recited Shema with E-l melech ne'eman before davening should repeat those words later when reciting Shema with the berachos, or whether this is considered a hefseik.
( סעיף ג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 9)

Listening to Hashem E-lokeichem Emes in middle of kriyas Shema
An individual who is still in the middle of Shema when the chazan repeats the words Hashem E-lokeichem emes should listen silently to the chazan. Likewise, someone who expects the chazan to repeat those words before he completes Shema should plan to be yotzei when he hears them from the chazan rather than saying E-l melech ne'eman before starting Shema. It is also preferable for someone who has completed the beracha of Ahava Rabbah but has not yet started Shema to hear Hashem E-lokeichem emes from the chazan rather than saying E-l melech ne'eman before beginning Shema. There is an opposing opinion which holds that according to Kabbalah, one should not pause in the middle of Shema to listen to Hashem E-lokeichem emes.

  • The halacha follows the opinion that the fulfillment of mitzvos requires prior intent. Someone who performed a mitzva without proper intention must repeat it. (The beracha, however, is not repeated because there are those who hold that the obligation has been fulfilled.)
  • A mitzva can be fulfilled without explicit intent if the actions leading up to it or the manner in which it was done demonstrate that the activity was intended as a mitzva.
  • The first pasuk of Shema requires an added level of kavana in that the person must also be focused on the meaning of what he is saying.

  • The intentions necessary for the daled of echad

  • Undulating the head when reciting the word echad

  • Repeating words when reciting Shema



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.