Insights into Halacha

For the week ending 7 March 2020 / 11 Adar II 5780

Understanding Shnayim Mikra V'Echad Targum

by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
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There is a well known Gemara in Brachos[1] that states “A person should always complete his [study of the] parasha with the congregation[2] - [by studying] shnayim mikra v’echad targum. Anyone who does this will have extended days and years.” Learning the text of the weekly parasha twice along with the targum once (keep reading for explanation) is a segulah for long life.[3]

What many do not know is that this statement of Chazal is actually codified in halacha.[4]

The Baal HaTurim[5] famously comments that this halacha can be gleaned from the first verse in Parashas Shemos: The parasha begins “V’aileh shemos Bnei Yisrael” - “And these are the names of Bnei Yisrael”. The Baal HaTurim remarks that this passage stands for (roshei teivos) -‘V’adam asher lomed haseder shnayim mikra v’echad targum b’kol naim yashir, yichyeh shanim rabos aruchim l’olam’ or “And the person who learns (or sings) the weekly parasha shnayim mikra v’echad targum in a sweet straight voice, will live many long years (have an extremely long life).

Translating ‘Targum’

Now that we have seen that that such a great reward[6] awaits those who strictly adhere this, there is only one thing left to ascertain: What precisely is the Mitzvah? Obviously, it means to recite the weekly Torah portion twice, plus targum once; but what exactly does targum refer to, and what is its purpose?

This is actually a dispute among the Rishonim. Several are of the opinion that the purpose of targum is that it is not just a simple translation, but also adds layers of explanation to every word.[7] Consequently, according to this opinion, the purpose of reading the parasha with targum is to learn the Torah in a way that allows us to understand it better. Practically, according to the Tur and Shulchan Aruch, this means that targum here would mean learning the parasha with Rashi’s commentary, as it is the best commentary to unlock the pshat of the Chumash.[8]

Others maintain that the halacha is referring to the targum as we know it: Targum Onkelus, as the Gemara in Megillah[9] states that this translation of the Torah was actually given to us by Moshe Rabbeinu.[10] The Rema[11] held that therefore reading Targum Onkelus is like reading from the Torah itself, and hence is preferable for performing this Mitzvah. Accordingly, by reading the parasha with its original targum, we are re-presenting the Torah weekly in the same manner as it was given at Har Sinai.

Some opine that this is Rashi’s own shittah when it comes to shnayim mikra v’echad targum. The result of this machlokes is that Rashi would maintain that Targum Onkelus is preferable while the Rosh was of the opinion that Rashi’s commentary is preferable. That means according to Rashi, ironically, it’s possible that one might not even fulfill his obligation of targum if he learns Rashi’s own commentary![12]

The Shulchan Aruch[13] cites both opinions and rules that one can fulfill his obligation with either one, Targum Onkelus or Rashi. However he concludes that it is preferable to do both, as that way one can satisfy both interpretations.[14]

The Taz explains that if someone does not understand either one, he can read the original Tzennah U’Renna in German (presumably Yiddish) to enable his understanding, and with this he fulfills his targum obligation. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and Mishnah Berurah rule this way as well. In this vein, several contemporary authorities, including Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Moshe Sternbuch, ruled that nowadays one may perform his targum obligation by reading an English translation of Rashi’s commentary, if that is the way one best understands it.[15]

Shnayim Mikra before the Seudah

The Shulchan Aruch[16] rules that the proper time to fulfill this Mitzvah is from the Sunday of the week when a given parasha is read (although some, including the Mishnah Berurah, maintain that one may already start on Shabbos afternoon after Mincha),[17] over the course of the whole week and preferably finishing before the Shabbos day meal.[18] However, it is important to note that this is only Mitzva Min Hamuvchar. The Mishnah Berurah rules that one should not push off his Seudas Shabbos past Chatzos HaYom just to finish shnayim mikra before the seudah.[19] Likewise, if one is having guests over for the seudah, he should not make them wait just so he can finish shnayim mikra before the seudah.[20]

However, there are many authorities who hold that optimally, it is preferable to complete shnayim mikra on, or at least finish, by Erev Shabbos.[21]

What time is Mincha?

The Shulchan Aruch adds that if one has not yet finished shnayim mikra before the seudah, then he has “until Mincha” to finish, and if not, the Wednesday of the next week, and concluding that b’dieved one has until Shmini Atzeres / Simchas Torah to catch up for the whole year.[22]

The Shulchan Aruch’s enigmatic choice of words led to an interesting dispute among authorities: What did the Shulchan Aruch mean by “until Mincha”? Some posit that he was referring to a personal Mincha, meaning that a person can finish this Mitzvah up until he himself actually davens Mincha.[23] Others maintain that his intent was until the time of Mincha, meaning Mincha Gedolah, the earliest time that one may daven Mincha.[24] A third approach is that it refers to the time when Mincha is davened in the local shul.[25] A fourth opinion is that it is referring to Mincha Ketana,[26] two and a half halachic hours before shkiyah, the optimal time for davening Mincha.[27] Interestingly, there does not seem to be any clear cut consensus on this issue.[28]

One Small Step For Man…

Another issue that raises much debate among the halachic decisors is what the proper order and way to fulfill shnayim mikra v’echad targum is, and at which points one may stop; whether pasuk by pasuk, section by section, parasha by parasha, or all at once. There does not seem to be a clear consensus on this either.[29] Although for many, to clear a time block to do shnayim mikra at once may be difficult, it might be a good idea to follow the Mishnah Berurah’s[30] advice and employ the Vilna Gaon’s method of immediately after one’s dailyShacharis, doing a small part every day (i.e. on Sunday do up to Sheini; on Monday up to Shlishi, etc.). By following this technique one will have finished this Mitzvah by Shabbos, every week.

Just Do It!

Many contemporary authorities are at a loss to explain the perceived lackadaisicalness that many have concerning this Mitzvah. These Gedolim, including Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, and Rav Ovadia Yosef, zichronam l’vracha, as well as did yblch”t Rav Moshe Sternbuch, and, stressed its significance,[31] and decried the fact that it seems to have fallen into disuse, with several averring that there is even a Mitzvah of chinuch for a parent to teach shnayim mikra’s importance to his children![32] So, although there is halachic discussion as to what constitutes the proper order and way to fulfill this Mitzvah, nonetheless, one shouldn’t lose sight of the forest for the trees; the most essential point is that one should actually make the effort to do it. Who would willingly want to turn down a promise by the Gemara for an extremely long life?!

This article was written L’Iluy Nishmas R’ Yaakov Eliezer ben Avrohom Yitzchok, Malka Rivka bas Yaakov, Moshe ben Yaakov Tzvi, R’ Chaim Baruch Yehuda ben Dovid Tzvi, L’Refuah Sheleimah for Boruch Leib ben Basya Chaya and Rochel Miriam bas Dreiza Liba, and l’zechus Shira Yaffa bas Rochel Miriam v’chol yotzei chalatzeha for a yeshua sheleimah teikif u’miyad!

For any questions, comments or for the full Mareh Mekomos / sources, please email the author:

Rabbi Yehuda Spitz, author of M’Shulchan Yehuda on Inyanei Halacha, serves as the Sho’el U'Meishiv and Rosh Chabura of the Ohr Lagolah Halacha Kollel at Yeshivas Ohr Somayach in Yerushalayim. He also currently writes a contemporary halacha column for the Ohr Somayach website titled “Insights Into Halacha”.

[1] Brachos 8a - 8b, in the statement by Rav Huna ben Rabbi Yehuda in the name of Rabbi Ami.

[2] The Sha’arim Metzuyanim B’Halacha (vol. 2, 72, 25), citing Sefer HaPardes L’Rashi (99) and Rav Yosef Engel’s Gilyonei HaShas (Brachos 8a), explains that the reason the Gemara adds to complete shnayim mikraim haTzibbur’, is that the minhag in the times of the Rishonim, and possibly dating back to the Amoraim, was that after davening, the entire congregation would stay in shul and recite shnayim mikra v’echad targum.

[3] Interestingly, and although it is not the actual halacha [see Shulchan Aruch and Rema (Orach Chaim 285, 7) who conclude that even so there are those who are noheg to do so; citing the Mordechai on Brachos (Halachos Ketanos 968), and Terumas HaDeshen (vol. 1, 23 and vol. 2, 170), Aruch Hashulchan (ad loc. 13), Taamei HaMinhagim (pg. 180, 346), Shu”t Igros Moshe (Orach Chaim vol. 3, 40), and Orchos Rabbeinu (new print vol. 1, pg. 233 - 234, 35 and 38; citing the Chazon Ish who did not read the haftara shnayim mikra, and the Steipler Gaon who did)], nonetheless, there are decisors who extend the obligation of shnayim mikra to include the weekly haftarah [see Magen Avraham (ad loc. 12; citing the Knesses HaGedolah), Shlah (Maseches Shabbos, Perek Torah Ohr, 22; cited in Pischei Teshuva ad loc. 9), Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (72, 11), and Ben Ish Chai (Year 2, Parashas Lech Lecha 11)] and the special maftir of the Shabbos, for example the Arbah Parshiyos - Shekalim,Zachor,Parah,andHachodesh [Magen Avraham (ibid.), Ben Ish Chai (ibid.); see also Shu”t Divrei Moshe (Orach Chaim 12), quoting several earlier authorities; this was known to be the Terumas Hadeshen’s personal minhag as well - see Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 685, par. Parashas Hachodesh 9).]. However, [as per Magen Avraham ibid. and Mishnah Berurah ad loc. 19] as the reason for reciting the haftarah shnayim mikra is so each individual should be at least somewhat familiar with that week’s haftarah in case he gets called up to read it, it seems that if the shul has an appointed Baal Koreh to read the haftarah, then it is not necessary for each individual to perform shnayim mikra on the haftarah. On the other hand, as mentioned before, the Steipler Gaon was makpid to do so, even though in his shul (the famous Lederman Shul in Bnei Brak) there was a set Baal Koreh who read the haftarah from a Navi (klaf).

[4] Rambam (Hilchos Tefilla Ch. 13, 25), Tur & Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 285, 1). The Aruch Hashulchan (ad loc. 2) posits that this is a takkanah from Moshe Rabbeinu. See Shu”t Maharsham (vol.1, 213 s.v. ulam) who states that although it is not technically a “chiyuv gamur” like reading the Torah, it has since been equated to the status of “chiyuv”. The Maharal M’Prague (Nesivos Olam, Nesiv HaAvodah Ch. 13; see also Pri Megadim, Orach Chaim 285, Mishbetzos Zahav 2, citing the Matteh Moshe), expounding the significance of shnayim mikra, explains that it is meant as a weekly commemoration of the giving of the Torah, which was first given over to Klal Yisrael at Har Sinai, repeated over at the Ohel Moed, and a third time at Arvos Moav. At Arvos Moav the Torah was explained in 70 languages to ensure that each person understood the Torah in his own language. At the time, the language most of Klal Yisrael spoke then was Targum.Therefore, the enactment of shnayim mikra v’echad targum, as the targum is meant to serve as a ‘Biur HaTorah’.

[5] Ba’al HaTurim in his commentary to Shemos (Ch. 1, 1). Interestingly, this comment is only found in certain versions of the Baal HaTurim’s commentary, such as those printed in most five-volume Mikraos Gedolos Chumashim (including Hamo’or, Oz VeHadar etc.), as they use the full text of the Baal HaTurim’sPirush Al HaTorah’ (also known as ‘Baal HaTurim Hashalem’), first published in 5566, as opposed to his more commonly used but much shorter and less comprehensive ‘Pirush HaTorah’ which was published much earlier, in 5274. [See the introduction to the recent Oz VeHadar Mikraos Gedolos Chumash, par. Baal HaTurim. Thanks are due to Stephen Posen for pointing this out.] The Levush (Orach Chaim 285, 1) and Pri Megadim (ad loc Mishbetzos Zahav 1) write similarly (with slight variations) that this passage alludes to this Mitzvah,V’chayev Adam likros (or lehashleem)haparasha shnayim mikra v’echad targum”, and conclude “v’zeh chayavim kol Bnei Yisrael”. See also the Chida’s Chomas Anoch (beginning of Parashas Shemos, brought in Toras HaChida to Parashas Shemos, 8) who credits this allusion to Rabbeinu Efraim, and gives a Kabbalistic explanation to its meaning, and its relevance to Parashas Shemos. [Thanks are due to Rabbi Yitzchak Botton for pointing out this invaluable source.] It is also cited by Rav Chaim Palaji in his Kaf Hachaim (27). See also Rabbi Elchanan Shoff’s recent sefer Birchasa V’Shirasa (on Maseches Brachos pg. 73, s.v. shnayim) who cites a variation of this statement found in Midrash Rebbi David HaNaggid (a grandson of the Rambam).

[6] See Kaf Hachaim (Orach Chaim 285, 32), who cites many other rewards for those who perform shnayim mikra v’echad targum faithfully.

[7] See commentaries of Rashi, Tosafos, Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah, and the Rosh on this Gemara, as well as the Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 285, 2). See also Magen Avraham (ad loc. 2) and Taz (ad loc. 1).

[8] Tur, Beis Yosef, Shulchan Aruch, Taz (Orach Chaim 285, 2), Shlah (Maseches Shabbos, Ner Mitzva 15); see also the Chafetz Chaim’s Likutei Ma’amrim (Ch. 5). The Chasam Sofer (Shu”t vol. 6, 61) also stressed the importance of additionally learning the parasha with the Ramban’s commentary

[9] Gemara Megillah 3a. See there further on the importance of Targum Onkelus and Targum Yonason. Tosafos (Brachos 8a-b s.v. shnayim and v’afilu; see also Tamidei Rabbeinu Yonah ad loc. and Maharshal) is very makpid that ‘targum’ is referring to actual Targum and not any other language; citing proof from the Gemara’s stating “V’afilu Ataros V’Divon [need shnayim mikra],” even though (according to Tosafos’ understanding) these words only have an obscure Targum Yerushalmi translation. However, other commentaries [i.e., Maharsha, Rav Elazar Landau, and Rav Elazar Moshe Halevi Horowitz, et al. ad loc.] do give alternate interpretations to this statement, which accordingly would not prove that this means exclusively Targum. See Rosh (Brachos Ch. 1, 8) and Tur (Orach Chaim 285) and later commentaries, who cite both sides of this debate. The Bach (ad loc.) maintains that this machlokes may actually be based on two different versions of Rashi’s commentary. An additional fascinating approach is given by Rabbeinu Bachaye (Mattos Ch. 32:3), who explains that Ataros and Divon were places of Emori Avodah Zarah. As such, one may think that he should not recite Targum on this passuk, as it alludes to Avodah Zarah. Therefore Chazal stressed these words to teach us that even so, one still needs to fulfill his shnayim mikra v’echad targum obligation, even on these type of pesukim.

[10] Beis Yosef (ibid), quoting the SMaG in the name of Rav Nitranoi Gaon. See also Biur HaGr”a (ad loc. 2), Pri Megadim (ad loc. Mishbetzos Zahav 1 s.v. hataam, who explains this based on the words Ba’er Heitiv), and Biur Halacha (ad loc s.v. targum).

[11] Shu”t Rema (126 - 130), based on Tosafos in Bava Kamma (83a s.v. lashon). This is a famous dispute the Rema had with his cousin, Rav Shmuel Yehuda Katzenellenbogen, as to Tosafos’s intent with his statement that ‘The Torah spoke in Aramaic’, as well as other related issues regarding how to classify Aramaic. Accordingly, the Rema preferred Targum to Rashi, since it was given at Har Sinai. This debate and its ramifications are discussed at length in Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein’s recent excellent book, “Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, and Hebrew” (Ch. 8, pg. 175 - 186).

[12] See Rabbi Yosef Meir Radner’s recent sefer Nachlas Mayim (vol. 3, Al Sugyos HaShas B’Inyanei HaMoadim, Ch. 34) at length.

[13] Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 285, 2), as does the Tur (ad loc.). Explained at length in Biur Halacha (ad loc. s.v. targum).

[14] Regarding whether one can fulfill his Targum obligation with Targum Yonason, Rav Asher Weiss (Shu”t Minchas Asher vol. 1, 13, 4) maintains that indeed one does (even though it is probable that Targum Yonason al haTorah is not really the one referred to in the Gemara - see the Chida’s Sheim Gedolim, Maareches HaSeforim 96), as it would be considered similar to reading Rashi’s pshat, as it explains the pesukim as well as adds chiddushim. Nevertheless, he concludes that is still preferable to stick to Targum Onkelus, as Chazal intended. However, others, including Rav Chaim Kanievsky, are quoted (see Rabbi Yaakov Skoczylas’s recent Kuntress Ohel Yaakov on Shnayim Mikra pg. 17 - 18, footnote 36) as holding that one is not yotzei shnayim mikra with Targum Yonason.

[15] Taz (Orach Chaim 285, 2), Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (72, 11), Mishnah Berurah (285, 5). Rav Moshe Feinstein’s opinion is cited in sefer Yagel Yaakov (Dardak; pg. 208, quoting his son Rav Dovid Feinstein); Rav Moshe Sternbuch’s is found in Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos (vol. 1, 261, s.v. v’hiskamti). Interestingly, the Beis Lechem Yehuda on Hilchos Aveilus (Yoreh Deah 400, 1) writes that although an avel is allowed to perform his chiyuv of shnayim mikra v’echad targum on Shabbos itself [as per Rashal (Hagahos on the Tur ad loc.), as cited in the Derishah (ad loc. 1), Shach (ad loc. 4), and Ba’er Heitiv (ad loc. 3)], nevertheless, in his opinion, this is only referring to reading either Targum or a translation that aids understanding basic pshat, such as the Tzennah U’Renna. Yet, he posits, it would be assur for an avel to fulfill his obligation (that Shabbos) with learning Rashi’s commentary, as since it includes drush, would also constitute Talmud Torah, which is prohibited for a mourner. Thanks are due to R’ Dovid Shapiro for pointing out this invaluable source.

[16] Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 285, 3 and 4), based on Tosafos and the Rosh (ibid).

[17] Although the Rema in Darchei Moshe (ibid, based on the Kol Bo 37) mentions that this truly means Sunday [see also Pri Megadim (ad loc Eshel Avraham 5)], nevertheless, the Mishnah Berurah (ad loc 7, and Shaar Hatziyun 12) and Kaf Hachaim (ad loc 24), citing many Rishonim, rule that this really means the preceding Shabbos after Mincha, when the next week’s parasha is already read. However, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Orach Chaim 285, 5) and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (72, 11) rule that optimally one should wait until Sunday to start the next week’s shnayim mikra. Additionally, the Birur Halacha (Orach Chaim 285, 25) cites many other Rishonim who hold that one may not start until Sunday. See also Shu”t Minchas Chein (vol. 2, Orach Chaim 17), who concludes that lechatchila one should wait until Sunday to start shnayim mikra, however, b’dieved if one already started on Shabbos after Mincha, he would certainly be yotzei. On the other hand, Rav Yisrael Yaakov Fischer zt”l (Halichos Even Yisrael, Shabbos vol. 1, pg. 13, 1) maintains that one may lechatchila start the next week’s Shnayim Mikra after Mincha Gedolah on Shabbos, regardless of whether or not he davened Mincha and actually heard the next week’s kriyah.

[18] Indeed, Tosafos (Brachos 8b s.v. yashleem) and the Rosh (ad loc. 8) quote a Midrash (Mechilta, Parashas Bo; Chupas Eliyahu Rabba, Shaar 6), that on his deathbed Rabbeinu Hakadosh (Rebbi) commanded his children “not to eat bread on Shabbos until they finish the whole parasha.” Tosafos concludes that this is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar, and one still fulfills his obligation if he completes the parasha after he eats on Shabbos. See also Ohr Zarua (vol. 1, Hilchos Krias Shema 12) and Biur Halacha (Orach Chaim 285 s.v. yashlim). Most authorities understand this to mean the Shabbos Lunch meal (Chayei Adam, vol. 2, 7, 9; Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Orach Chaim 285, 5; Aruch Hashulchan ad loc. 8; Mishnah Berurah, ad loc. 9 and Biur Halacha s.v. yashlim); however the Chazon Ish (cited in Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 3, pg. 234; new print vol. 1, pg. 234, 39) held that this was referring to Seudas Shlishis.

[19] Mishnah Berurah (285, 9). This is because one may not fast on Shabbos past Chatzos (see Orach Chaim 288, 1). On the other hand, he cites the Ohr Zarua (vol. 2, Shabbos 42) and Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah (Brachos 4b in the Rif’s pagination s.v. l’olam) as maintaining that optimally, if one did not complete shnayim mikra before going to sleep on Friday night, it would behoove him to wake up early and recite it before davening.

[20] Shaar Hatziyun (ad loc. 14).

[21] See Magen Avraham (Orach Chaim 285, 5 and 6; quoting the Shlah), Shaarei Teshuva (ad loc. 1; quoting the Arizal and Rav Chaim Vital), Maggid Meisharim (Mishlei Ch. 23, 6, end s.v. achar kach), Machzik Bracha (ad loc. Kuntress Acharon 2), Ben Ish Chai (Year 2, Parashas Lech Lecha 11), Mishnah Berurah (ibid. 8 and 9 and Biur Halacha s.v. kodem), and Kaf Hachaim (ad loc. 24; citing “minhag Chassidim V’Anshei Maaseh” to recite shnayim mikra on Friday, right after Shacharis, while still wearing their Tallis and Tefillin.

[22] Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 285, 4). Interestingly, the Abudraham (Hilchos Hoshana Rabba s.v. b’leil; cited by the Rema in his Darchei Moshe ad loc. 3) writes that it is commendable to finish one’s shnayim mikra for the year during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva, in order to be an additional zechus before Yom Kippur. He cites and explains the Gemara’s story (Brachos 8b) regarding Rav Bibi bar Abaye of wanting to finish all of shnayim mikra on Erev Yom Kippur, as meaning accomplishing this – making sure to finish the year’s shnayim mikra obligation prior to Yom Kippur.

[23] Including Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo, Tefilla Ch. 12, 35) and Rav Chaim Kanievsky (cited in Halichos Chaim vol. 1, pg. 95, 278).

[24] Including the Shmiras Shabbos K’hilchasa (vol. 2, 42, footnote 218) and possibly Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (see Shgiyos Mi Yavin vol. 2, 40, footnote 9; although some report his opinion as Mincha Ketana). This is also the mashma’os of the Mishnah Berurah (ibid. 10).

[25] This is the opinion of Rav Chaim Na’eh (Ketzos Hashulchan 72, Badei Hashulchan 7).

[26] Halichos Even Yisrael (Shabbos vol. 1, pg. 13, 2).

[27] See Gemara Brachos (26) and Pesachim (58) and Tur, Beis Yosef, Shulchan Aruch, and Mishnah Berurah (Orach Chaim 233, 1).

[28] See Mv”R Rav Yosef Yitzchak Lerner’s award-winning sefer Shgiyos Mi Yavin (vol. 2, 40, 2& 3).

[29] See the major commentaries to the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 285), including the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Aruch Hashulchan, Mishnah Berurah (who concludes that ‘d’avid k’mar avid u’d’avid k’mar avid’) and Kaf Hachaim(3, 6, and 15), as well as Emes L’Yaakov on Tur and Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 285), and his introduction to Emes L’Yaakov al HaTorah.See also Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer (vol. 16, 18), Shu”t Ba’er Moshe (vol. 8, 3), Shu”t Rivevos Efraim (vol. 5, 216), Shu”t Shevet Halevi (vol. 7, 33, 1), Chut Shani (Shabbos vol. 4, pg. 115, 2), Orchos Rabbeinu (vol. 1, pg. 123; new print vol. 1, pg. 233 - 234, 35 - 37), andHalichos Even Yisrael (Shabbos vol. 1, pg. 14, 4). Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is quoted (Maadanei Shlomo on Dalet Chelkei Shulchan Aruch, pg. 78:14) as maintaining that although Rav Chaim Na’eh (Ketzos Hashulchan 72, Badei Hashulchan 1) seems unsure of this, nevertheless, practically, the order one fulfills his shnayim mikra obligation is irrelevant, as it cannot be any more stringent than Birchos Krias Shma, where “ain sidran me’akev” (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 60, 3).

[30] Mishnah Berurah (ad loc 8), citing Maaseh Rav (59). Although the Aruch Hashulchan (ad loc 4) writes that there is no reason to separate shnayim mikra by aliyos, nonetheless, see Derech Sicha (from Rav Chaim Kanievsky, page 2) who commends this mehalech. It is well known that Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l would use this method of performing shnayim mikra, daily prior to the 6:30 A.M. Shacharis in his shul (see Gadol HaDor [Hebrew] pg. 48).

[31] Rav Moshe Feinstein (Shu”t Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 5, 17), Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo on Tefillah Ch. 12, 36 7 footnote 106), Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner (Shu”t Shevet HaLevi vol. 8, 46) and Rav Moshe Sternbuch (Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos vol. 1, 261). See also Shu”t Kinyan Torah B’Halacha (vol. 6, 22). Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l, aside for what he wrote in Shu”t Yechaveh Daas (vol. 2, 37), dedicated his broadcasted weekly shiur several years ago to exhort the masses to perform this weekly Mitzvah. See also Rav Chaim Palaji’s Kaf Hachaim (27, 3) and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasah (Ch. 42, 57). In fact, around a century ago, the Minchas Elazar (Shu”t vol. 1, 26, in the footnote), in a quite telling comment addressing the Rema’s statement (Yoreh Deah 361, 1) that generally speaking everyone nowadays is in the category of someone who ‘reads and learns (Torah)’, remarked that in his day this was certainly true; as ‘who doesn’t sit in shul over Shabbos and recite shnayim mikra v’echad targum?!”

[32] Including Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner (Shu”t Shevet HaLevi ibid, s.v. pshita), Rav Moshe Sternbuch (Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos ibid, s.v. ulinyan), and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo, Tefilla Ch. 12, 36).Conversely, Rav Yisrael Yaakov Fischer (Halichos Even Yisrael ibid. pg. 15, 6) maintains that there is no outright Chinuch obligation regarding Shnayim Mikra, yet, nevertheless stresses its importance, concluding ‘tov lechancham k’dei sheyisraglu b’davar’. Rav Ovadia Yosef (Shu”t Yechaveh Daas ibid, s.v. u’v’siyum) exhorts schools to teach children the Taamei HaMikra (trop); that way when they do the Mitzvah of shnayim mikra they will be able to fulfill it in the optimal manner. Chinuch for shnayim mikra would not include a daughter, as a woman is technically exempt from the Mitzvah of Torah study, and therefore also from this Mitzvah [see Shu”t Ba’er Sarim (vol. 7, 52, 10), Shu”t Mishnah Halachos (vol. 6, 60), Shu”t Rivevos Efraim (vol. 6, 115, 35), Shu”t Mishnas Yosef (vol. 6, 15), Chut Shani on Hilchos Shabbos (vol. 4, pg. 215), Shmiras Shabbos K’hilchasah (Ch. 42, 60), and Yalkut Yosef (Otzar Dinim L’Isha U’lvas Ch. 5, 3)]. On the topic of women being exempt from targum in general, see Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chaim 282, 11). However, since shnayim mikra is part of the Mitzvah of Torah study, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky (Emes L’Yaakov on Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 285, footnote 308) ruled that a boy who becomes Bar Mitzvah in the middle of the year does not have to repeat the Parshiyos that he read shnayim mikra as a kattan, as even a kattan still has a Mitzvah of Talmud Torah (as explained in his Emes L’Yaakov on Kiddushin 29b - 30a).

Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive guide, rather a brief summary to raise awareness of the issues. In any real case one should ask a competent Halachic authority.

L'iluy Nishmas the Rosh HaYeshiva - Rav Chonoh Menachem Mendel ben R' Yechezkel Shraga, Rav Yaakov Yeshaya ben R' Boruch Yehuda.

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