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Placing Ner Chanuka in a Second Story Window, Balcony or Porch
According to Rav Nissim Karelitz, a menorah placed in a second story window must be visible to the family inside as well as to the street. Care should be taken not to obstruct the view of the menorah with curtains, shutters, etc. for the required half hour. According to Rav Chaim Kanievsky, it is not important that the candles be visible to the household but they must be visible to those on the street. If a dining room window barely overlooks the street but a bedroom window does, it is preferable to place the menorah in the bedroom window according to Rav Nissim Karelitz. The menorah should not be placed in a bathroom window. According to Rav Chaim Kanievsky, if there is a ledge outside the bathroom, the menorah can be put there. (The beracha must be recited in a proper place.) Rav Nissim Karelitz holds that the menorah should not be put there. According to many contemporary poskim, a mirpeset/balcony (that is not covered with a roof and has no direct access to the street) can be considered a window and the menorah can be placed on its railing. If the menorah can be placed at the door to the porch and still be viewed from the street, it is proper to put the menorah by the door. According to Rav Elyashiv, however, a porch without proper walls or roof is not considered part of the house and the menorah cannot be placed on the railing. A ground floor attached porch that is used for household needs can be considered a chotzer even according to the Chazon Ish (who holds that modern yards do not generally have the status of a chotzer), and the menorah can be placed at the entrance that faces the street.

Hilchos Kriyas Shema 63 (page 194)
מסעיף ד עד תחילת סימן סד

If One Recited The First Verse Of K'riyas Shema Without Kavanah
Motioning During K'riyas Shema
Which Sections Of K'riyas Shema Are M'doraisa

If the first verse of K'riyas Shema was recited without kavana
The first verse of K'riyas Shema and Boruch Sheim must be recited with kavana. If one realized further on in K'riyas Shema that he said the first verse without kavana, or he is uncertain about it, he must repeat the entire first parshah making sure to have the proper kavana. If he realized it at the end of the verse, before continuing, some poskim say it is sufficient to think the required kavana at that point. If he forgot to have kavana by Boruch Sheim, it should be repeated with kavana at the place that he realizes. Some say that if he already read further on, he need not repeat Boruch Sheim.
( סעיף ד וס"ק יב ו-יד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 14 ו-17)
Motioning during K'riyas Shema
It is forbidden to interrupt while reciting the three parshiyos of K'riyas Shema, or even between them. During the first parsha it is also forbidden to signal by motioning or winking, even for the purpose of a mitzvah. Poskim disagree whether signaling might be permitted during a pause in the recitation. Some poskim hold that during the second parshah it is also forbidden to signal except for a mitzvah purpose. Between the parshiyos it is permitted to signal for a mitzvah purpose. Some poskim permit signaling even during the first parshah for the purpose of stopping someone or something which is disturbing his kavana.
( סעיף ו, ס"ק יז-יח וביה"ל ד"ה לא; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 23, 26 ו-27)

Which sections of K'riyas Shema are M'doraisa
The mitzvah of K'riyas Shema is to read three parshiyos: Shema, Vehaya im shamo'a, and Vayomer. The poskim disagree regarding the first two parshiyos as to which portions are m'doraisa. Some say that merely the first verse is m'doraisa, some say the entire first parshah, and others hold that both are m'doraisa. Even though saying the third parshah fulfills the mitzvah d'oraisa to mention yetziyas Mitzrayim, its establishment as a portion of K'riyas Shema is definitely m'drabonon. The addition of Boruch Sheim is also m'drabonon.
( ס"ק טז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 22)

  • K'riyas Shema may be recited sitting, standing, or walking, but not lying on one's back or stomach. Some say that it may only be recited walking while traveling. According to the Mechaber it may be recited while lying entirely on one's side, but the Rama only permits it if standing entails difficulty.
  • One may not change positions from sitting to standing when reciting K'riyas Shema. At night, it is also forbidden to change from standing to sitting.
  • During the verses Shema Yisroel and Boruch Sheim one must stand (or sit) still in order to concentrate properly.

  • Reciting K'riyas Shema out of order

  • How to reread a skipped word of K'riyas Shema

  • Losing one's place during 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.