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What Is Shenayim mikra v’echad targum?

The Daily Halacha Moment - Shenayim Mikra V’echad Targum 📙

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן ‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


What is the obligation of Shenayim mikra v’echad targum?


Shenayim mikra v’echad targum” is the obligation of reading the weekly parashah portion twice along with the Targum Onkelos or Rashi. [1] The Gemara (Berachot 8a) states that one who reads shenayim mikra v’echad targum along with the tzibbur is granted long life. [2]

Even though one hears the Torah reading every Shabbat morning in the synagogue, there is still an obligation for one to review it himself. [3]

B'ezrat Hashem over the next couple of Halacha Moments we will continue discussing the Halachot of Shenayim Mikra V’echad Targum


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 285:1. The poskim point out that the whole obligation is a rabbinical establishment (See Sefer HaChinuch, in the intro., Aruch HaShulchan 285:2; Igrot Moshe O.C. 5:17 and Shevet HaLevi 8:46). The Levush and the Bet Yosef explain that the requirement for one to recite shenayim mikra was instituted in order to strengthen and widen one’s knowledge of Torah. However, the Levush does not explain the reason

for reciting the pasuk twice followed by the targum once. The Lechem Chamudot explains that the Chachamim established a three party system concerning the keriat haTorah of the tzibbur. There is: 1. the person being called up for the aliyah (who, in the times of the Gemara, would also act as a ba’al koreh), 2. the person who stands alongside the person who was called up for the aliyah to make sure that he does not make any mistakes while reading from the Torah, and 3. the meturgaman - the translator. The Lechem Chamudot goes on to explain that the system of shenayim mikra v’echad targum reflects this three party system. The Aruch HaShulchan writes that the three recitals during this mitzvah symbolizes the three times the Torah was expounded upon: once in the Ohel Moed, once on Har Sinai, and once in Arvot Moav. The Aruch HaShulchan 285:2 notes that Moshe Rabbenu instituted this mitzvah. Many commentators point out (see Ba’al HaTurim Shemot 1:1; Levush 285:1; Pri Megdim M.Z. 285:1; Kaf HaChaim, Palagi 27:7; Kaf HaChaim, Sofer, 285:1) that we find that the acronym of “V’eleh Shemot” is “V’Chayav Adam Lehashlim Haparashah Shenayim Mikra V’echad Targum.”

[2]. See also in Ben Yehoyadah, Berachot 13b who adds that not only is one granted long life, but it is also a blessing for a good quality of life as well. See also in Rashi, Shabbat 105b, “Yamim Ya’richu” and in the Ma’adanei Yom Tov, Berachot, 1:8:5. The Kinyan Torah Ba’Halachah 6:146 brings from the Bnei Yissachar in sefer Magid Taalumot who states that the blessing of long life includes all of the time that one has spent reciting shenayim mikra v’echad targum as well.

[3]. Shulchan Aruch 285:1. See also in Chessed L’Avraham 285:3; Teshuvot Ve’Hanhagot 1:261; Shevet HaLevi 7:33:1; Igrot Moshe, O.C, vol. 5, siman 17 who point out that even though some people are lax with this mitzvah, one should not ignore his obligation as it is a very valuable and special mitzvah. - Rabbi Yonatan Nacson

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