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Lighting the Menora After the Zman Until Alos
Ideally, the menorah should be lit within the first half hour of the zman. (There are three main shitos as to the correct zman: 1) at shekia, 2) approximately 15 minutes before tzeis, 3) at tzeis.) During this time the menorah can unquestionably be lit with a beracha, whether it is lit indoors or out and whether or not there are passersby or others to view the menora. After this time, if the menorah is placed outdoors it can be lit with a beracha as long as there are passersby; if the street is empty, the beracha should be omitted. According to Rav Nissim Karelitz, once the half hour has passed, a beracha is not recited on a menorah left outside. A menorah placed indoors can be lit with a beracha the entire night until alos if at least one or two additional members of the household are awake. If everyone is asleep [besides the person lighting] and can't be woken [e.g. parents], according to some poskim the menorah is lit without a beracha. A second opinion holds that the beracha can be recited even if everyone is sleeping. Rav Moshe Feinstein explains that according to the second opinion, the persumei nisa aspect is only an ideal and its absence does not invalidate the mitzva. According to Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Shmuel Wosner, the custom is to recite a beracha when the menorah is lit late and in solitude.
[שו"ע תרעב, ב, משנ"ב יא ושעה"צ יז; ביאורים ומוספים 'דרשו', 36-40]

Hilchos Kriyas Shema 61 (page 189)
מסעיף ו עד סעיף יב

The Intentions Necessary for the Daled of Echad
Moving the Head While Reciting the Word Echad
Repeating Words When Reciting Shema

The intentions necessary for the daled of echad
When saying the word echad in the first pasuk of Shema, one must focus on accepting Hashem's sovereignty, understanding that He is One in the heavens above and through all four corners of the earth below. According to some poskim, one should have these thoughts when pronouncing the dales. Other poskim recommend beginning these thoughts earlier, when pronouncing the ches. It is possible to have the kavana after completing the word if he will be distracted from proper kavana by dragging out the letter. Today we do not pronounce the dales correctly and it cannot be drawn out properly; one should begin the kavana while pronouncing the letter and continue it after completing the word.
( סעיף ו וס"ק יח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 11 )         
Moving the head while reciting the word echad
Some have the custom to move the head while uttering the word echad, as focus is placed on Hashem's mastery over the heavens and the four directions of the world. The head is nodded up, down and in each of the four directions as an indication of this focus. The proper manner to wave the head for this custom is to copy the order of placing the blood of the korbanos on the mizbayach-east, north, west and south. One should avoid waving the head forward and backward and then right and left (or vice versa) so as not to appear to be making the shape of a cross.
( סעיף ו וס"ק כ, עם הרחבת המקור שבשעה"צ ס"ק י)

Repeating words when reciting Shema
It is forbidden to repeat words or even the entire sentence when reciting the first pasuk of Shema, lest one create the impression that he is addressing more than one god. Someone who recited the pasuk without the necessary intention may repeat it softly [in a way that others cannot hear]. If no one else is around to hear, he may repeat the pasuk out loud. For the same reason, it is forbidden to repeat the entire first paragraph of Shema. Only someone attempting to fall asleep with Torah on his lips may repeat the first parsha as many times as he needs to until he falls asleep. Most poskim permit repeating all three parshiyos of Shema together as a unit. When reviewing the week's Torah portion, it is permissible to read the pasuk of Shema Yisrael twice. Some poskim require the second reading to be done in a whisper.
( סעיף ט-י, וס"ק כב, כד ו־כה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 15-16)

  • Together, the three paragraphs of Shema contain 245 words. The Chachomim instituted repeating 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.
  • Someone davening alone does not have the benefit of the chazan's repetition. The Rama suggests adding the words E-l melech ne'eman before Shema as the ideal way to reach the number 248.
  • 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.

  • Why Baruch Shem is recited quietly

  • If Baruch Shem was omitted

  • When to repeat Amen after a beracha



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.