1 678
Hilchos Berachos 58 (page 180)
מתחילת סימן נח עד סעיף ב

The Earliest Time for Reciting Shema in the Morning
The Latest Time for Reciting Shema
Davening Close to Sunrise

The earliest time for reciting Shema in the morning 
The morning Shema and its accompanying berachos may be recited only once the day has dawned and it is bright enough to recognize a causal friend from a distance of four amos. This time is commonly referred to as ' misheyakir.' The poskim discuss exactly when in the morning this time falls. The choices range between six minutes after alos to thirty minutes before sunrise. It is permissible to begin reciting pesukei d'zimra before misheyakir, starting as early as alos.  This is permitted only under extenuating circumstances, however, since one may not don his tefillin (and, according to some, recite the beracha on his talis) prior to that time.
( סעיף א, ס"ק א, וביה"ל ד"ה זמן; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 1)
The latest time for reciting Shema
Ideally, Shema should be recited before sunrise, but it may be recited until three "hours" into the day (1/4 of the day). Kriyas Shema cannot be recited after this time.  The length of a halachic hour varies with the changing of the seasons; it is reckoned by dividing the time from morning until night into twelve segments. The poskim discuss whether the hours are reckoned from alos until tzeis (known as the Magen Avrohom's opinion) or from sunrise until sunset (known as the Gra and Ba'al Hatanya's opinion). The latest time for kriyas Shema according to the Gra and Ba'al Hatanya falls after the latest time according to the Magen Avrohom. There is an opinion that holds like the Gra but recommends acting according to the Magen Avrohom's opinion so as to accept the yoke of Heaven in the most preferred way.
( סעיף א וס"ק ג-ה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 3-4)
Davening close to sunrise
Ideally, Shema and its accompanying berachos should be recited just before sunrise and Shemone Esrei should be recited at sunrise. Davening in this manner is known as vasikin. The poskim debate whether the time of sunrise in this case is measured by the visible sunrise (i.e. once the sun clears obstructions and mountains) or whether it is the time of sunrise at sea level. According to the Chazon Ish, it is not necessary to begin Shemone Esrei precisely at the strike of sunrise; the benefits of davening k'vasikin may be obtained even when starting a minute or so beforehand or afterwards.
( סעיף א, ס"ק ז, וביה"ל ד"ה כמו; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 9)

  • According to one opinion, after the chazan says baruch Hashem hamevorach, etc., the congregation should answer Amen. Most poskim hold that it is unnecessary for people to respond Amen since they already recited that verse themselves.
  • The tzibur should stand when the chazan says barechu and when they respond.
  • According to some poskim, when responding to yehei sheme rabbah one should continue reciting the kaddish until the words da'amiran b'olma v'imru Amen. According to this opinion, it is also forbidden to pause between the words olmaya and yisbarach. A second opinion stops the response before the word yisbarach.

  • Reciting Shema after alos

  • Donning tefillin after alos

  • DaveningShacharis as early as possible



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.