Thursday, March 13, 2014

parshas zachor: kavanah for the brachos on krias haTorah

A short while back I did a post discussing the chiyuv to learn hilchos hachag b’chag, which the Rambam lumps together with the halachos of krias hatorah on the moadim.  The simple pshat in Rambam is that krias hatorah, which itself is a kiyum of talmud torah, is a way to fulfill the chiyuv of learning hilchos hachag b’chag.  However, as we discussed in that post, the M”B does not accept that reading of the Rambam.  We suggested that the Rambam understood that both the chiyuv to learn hilchos hachag and the chiyuv of kriah share the common denominator of helping define the kedushas hayom of the day.

In light of that post, I think you can better appreciate a chiddush of R’ Shternbruch in his Shu”T (link) as to why you need to have in mind to be yotzei hearing the bracha before reading parshas zachor as well as the kriah itself.  On a regular shabbos, b’pashtus there is no such requirement (see R’ Yosef Engel in Tziyunim laTorah) because Chazal did not create a new bracha for what simply is a public kiyum of talmud torah.  However, in addition to talmud torah, the kriah of the four parshiyos and the kriah on the moadim fulfills an added requirement to recite these parshiyos as part of a requirement of the day.  Proof to the distinction: on the four parshiyos we need to invoke the rule of shome’a k’oneh so it is as if the listener himself recited the pesukim that he is hearing – there is no need for shome’a k’oneh if all we are talking about is a kiyum of talmud torah.  Therefore, R’ Shternbruch feels that kavanah to be yotzei the brachos is required.

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