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 Hilchos Kriyas Shema 66 (page 198)
  מתחילת סימן סו עד סעיף ב

People Who May Be Greeted During K'riyas Shema
Responding To People In Today's Times
Writing During Birchos K'riyas Shema

People who may be greeted during K'riyas Shema
The blessings and parshiyos of K'riyas Shema are referred to as p'rakim (chapters). Each individual section is referred to in the singular as perek. Speech is generally forbidden during these prayers; although the following rules technically govern greetings. When someone is holding bein hap'rakim (between the sections), he is permitted to salute (with the greeting " Shalom") a dignified person (who attained this distinction due to wisdom, age, or wealth, and it is incumbent upon him to show honor - this is called " mip'nei hakavod," due to another's honor) and to reply to anyone who saluted him. B'emtza haperek (during a section) he is only permitted to salute a person whom he is obligated to fear (e.g. father - this is called " mip'nei hayira" due to fear of another) or from whom he actually fears (because he may harm or punish him for not saluting), and to reply only to a dignified person. During the first verse, Boruch Sheim, and in between them, he may not salute or reply to anybody, unless there is concern for his life.
( סעיף א, ד"ק ג, ד, ה, ט ו-יא, וביה"ל ד"ה או, וראה שם ד"ה שלא)
 Responding to people in today's times
The technical rules regarding greetings only apply when the custom is for people to salute each other, and only to the extent that refraining will impact the honor or fear of the other. In our times, we do not salute people during prayers in shul and there is no concern about impacting the other's honor or fear; therefore it is forbidden to salute or to reply to anyone's greetings. Even in our times, there is a permissible instance to reply mip'nei hakavod. If a gabbai asks for one's name to call him to the Torah, he is permitted to respond.
( ס"ק ב; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 4)
Writing during Birchos K'riyas Shema
The poskim debate whether writing is considered like speaking for different halachic issues, such as counting the Omer, or writing divrei Torah in an unclean place. The poskim disagree regarding writing during Birchos K'riyas Shema. Some poskim say that since writing is an action it is a bigger interruption than speech and is forbidden. Others prohibit it because people often speak aloud the words they write so there is concern that while writing one will come to interrupt with speech. Other poskim permit writing.
( ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 2)

  • If one finds himself among a congregation reciting K'riyas Shema, he must join with them in kabbolas ol malchus shamayim (accepting the yoke of Heaven) by reciting at least the first verse and Boruch Sheim.
  • Regarding a congregation reciting the verse Shema Yisroel not during K'riyas Shema, the poskim disagree whether he needs to join them.
  • When the congregation recites Aleinu, in most cases one should join them, except during specific parts of davening.

  • Reciting Amein during Birchos K'riyas Shema
  • Permissible prayer responses during Birchos K'riyas Shema
  • Other blessings permitted during Birchos K'riyas 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.