Stopping in the middle of a Pasuk

Stopping in the middle of a Pasuk:[1]

All the verses [written in the five books of Moshe] are a Halacha [i.e. tradition] from Moshe from Sinai as to where they begin and end, and it is forbidden to stop in an area that Moshe did not make a stop in accordance to his tradition from Sinai.[2] It is thus forbidden for one who is reading a verse to make a complete[3] stop in the middle of the verse, and he is rather required to stop at the end of the verse in accordance to the tradition of Moshe.[4] This applies even if one is reading the verse in private, [and not as part of Kerias Hatorah].[5] [This applies for both Torah and Nevi’im.[6] However, some Poskim[7] rule one may stop in middle of a verse in Kesuvim. Others[8], however, are stringent even by Kesuvim.] Nonetheless, the following cases of exception apply:

  1. One is planning to finish the verse and is just making a momentary[9] stop [without talking in-between].[10]
  2. One is unable to read the entire verse at one time, such as if one is teaching a child and he cannot learn the entire verse at once.[11]
  3. Some Poskim[12] rule one may stop by an Asnachta or Zakeif Katan. Other Poskim[13], however, rule one may not stop by an Asnachta or Zakeif Katan.
  4. One is intending to read the verse as a prayer and supplication.[14]
  5. One is not intending to read the verse but is simply borrowing its words for one’s sentence.[15]
  6. The verse itself was said by two people.[16]
  7. The verse was originally said a little bit at a time.[17]
  8. One is reading less than three words in the verse.[18]
  9. The verse is being said together with the congregation.[19]
  10. The remaining part of the verse contains a negative matter which one does not want to mention.[20]

Q&A

Is it permitted to begin reading a Pasuk from the middle of the Pasuk?

Some Poskim[21] rule it is forbidden to begin a verse in an area that Moshe did not begin. Others[22], however, seem to learn that it is only forbidden to end in middle of a verse and not to begin in middle of a verse.

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[1] Admur 494:11; M”A 51:9; 282:1; 422:8; Taanis 27b; Megillah 22a; Brachos 12b regarding a Parsha [See M”A 51:9]; Nedarim 37b; Tosafus Sukkah 38b; Rokeiach 319; Chasam Sofer 10; Rav Poalim 1:11; M”B 289:2 ; Siddur of Rav Raskin Miluim 14

[2] Rav in Taanis ibid “Any verse that Moshe did not stop for us we cannot stop”; Megillah 22a; Nedarim 37

[3] Admur ibid; See M”A 282:1 “If he wants to read the verse and no more”

The novelty: Seemingly, this statement is coming to exclude a mere break in middle of the verse, if one intends to immediately continue. [See Sukkah 39a “Asukei Milsa Les Lan Ba” and Rashi ibid “Since he plans to finish we don’t care”] Thus, from the letter of the law, there is no prohibition to read the Aseres Hadibros in a way that one stops at the end of each command [i.e. Lo Sirtzach-stop-Lo Sinaf etc] even though it is all one verse, as one plans to immediately continue to finish the verse. [See Admur ibid] However, Tzaruch Iyun from Tosafus Sukkah 38b “Vehu Omer Ela” in explanation of why we say Ana Hashem Hoshia Na by Halel, and stop and then say Ana Hashem Hatzlicha Nah, and he does not answer like Admur that we do so because it is not a complete stop.

[4] Admur and all Poskim ibid;

Contradiction: Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol from Admur 32:47, M”A 32:45 and Kiddushin 30a who write that we are not expert anymore in the areas that Moshe received from Sinai to end the verses and thus one is not to make spaces in Stam between the Pesukim. Accordingly, we don’t know at all where the end of the verses are, and why then must we stop in the areas that we today consider the end of the verse. See M”A 282:1! Perhaps, however, one can answer that while not all of our end of Pesukim are accurate, most are. Vetzaruch Iyun!

[5] Admur ibid; Evident from Taanis and Megilah ibid regarding teaching children that it was only allowed due to an impossibility to teach them whole verses.

[6] M”A 422:8 in name of Kol Bo

[7] M”A 422:8 in name of Kol Bo

[8] See Siddur of Rav Raskin Miluim ibid

[9] See Tosafus Sukkah 38b regarding Ana Hashem Hoshia Na by Halel that even though the next statement is said right away, it is considered a stop, hence implying that one must right away finish the verse.

[10] Implication of Admur ibid

[11] Taanis ibid; Megilah ibid; Tosafus Sukkah 38b

[12] Yachin Boaz 2:2; Chasam Sofer 10 in name of Magen Giborim; Rav Poalim 1:11 regarding Asnachta

[13] Chasam Sofer 10

[14] M”A 282:1; Shaareiy Efraim 10:5; Nishmas Adam 5:2; Rav Poalim 1:11; Kuntrus Hasiddur 28

[15] Maharam Shick 124; Igros Kodesh 12:3; See M”A 282; Michaber Y.D. 284

[16] Tosafus Sukkah 38b “Vehu Omer Ela” in explanation of why we say Ana Hashem Hoshia Na by Halel, and stop

[17] M”A 51:9;

[18] Rav Poalim 1:11

[19] M”A 422:8 [however see M”A 51:9]; Rokeiach 319; Mateh Moshe 256

[20] Chasam Sofer 10; Igros Kodesh 12:3

[21] M”B 289:2; Kuntrus Hashulchan 28

[22] See Siddur of Rav Raskin Miluim ibid

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