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Davening in School


I am unclear about the general way we say Shema in UK Schools: Boys daven long past sof zman (part of the year). Many are up before sof zman. So, what does that mean? Do we paken like Rashi or Rabbenu Tam in Siman 70? If they are chayav (which seems in fact the MB`s opinion sk 9), then surely we should ensure they daven before sof zman, even if that means they daven before School (and it wont help to daven after – its too late – it might even be `bad` chinuch).
And if they are pattur, then what is the point of doing it at all? We generally dont encourage Mitzvos before they chiyuv, especially if their kiyum is questionable.
Many thanks for clarifying this.




The issue is not only in UK schools, rather in schools all over the world, especially if they start at 9 AM, by the time they get to Kriyas shema often it will be after the zman. We pasken like Rashi that even for children that are over chinuch age, they don’t have to say kriyas shema, (at least b’zman) since they aren’t usually near their fathers at that time. The Shulchan Aruch does say that there is a preference to try to say it with them before the zman.

From a practical angle, it is very hard to implement, because if the kids will say it at home, they won’t say it correctly, and when they say it in class they will feel that they already said it. The result might be that they will have less respect for saying kriyas shema. This could be why the schools don’t try to be makpid like Rabbeinu Tam.

Even if they are technically patur, however it is still a central part of emuna and davening. Therefore, the schools do keep it as part of their davening, because after all, the main idea of their chinuch is that they should grow up with an appreciation for Torah, davening and mitzvos. Therefore, even if it is after the zman they still say it.

Best wishes


שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות קריאת שמע סימן ע סעיף ב “קטנים פטורים, לר”ת כשלא הגיעו לחינוך; ולרש”י אפילו הגיעו לחינוך, מפני שאינו מצוי אצלו בזמן ק”ש בערב וישן הוא בבוקר, וראוי לנהוג כר”ת.”


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