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# The Sephardim start the bracha with the words “Ahavat Olam” and Ashkenazim with the words “Ahava Rabba”. <Ref> Zohar(Vayakel og 202b, Pekudei 260b), Rif ([[Brachot]] 12a), Rambam ([[Kriyat Shema]] 1:6), Shiltei Giborim ([[Brachot]] 11b) in name of Bahag, Arizal (Shaar Kavanot 19a), and S”A 60:1 record the name of the Bracha as Ahavat Olam. However, Roke’ach (Siman 320), Shiltei Giborim ([[Brachot]] 11b) in name of many Geonim, Tosfot ([[Brachot]] 11b s.v. VeRabanan), Ravyah([[Brachot]] 34), Or Zaruh 1:25, Smag Assin 19, Rosh 1:12, and Rama 60:1. </ref>
# The bracha doesn’t begin with the words “Baruch Atta Hashem” because it’s a bracha connected to a previous bracha. <ref>[[Brachot]] 46a writes that [[Brachot]] that follow a previous one don’t begin with Baruch. Talmedei Rabbenu Yonah 1a say that Ahavat Olam is a bracha connected with the previous bracha and even if it’s said out of order one doesn’t being with Baruch since it’s established as a connected bracha. Orchot Chaim ([[Barchu]] 2), Kol Bo 8, Tur and S”A 60:1 agree. However, Sh”t Rashba 317-8 argues that it’s not a bracha connected to the earlier one since it can be said out of order but it doesn’t begin with Baruch since it’s a short bracha and just ends with Baruch. Interestingly, Meiri ([[Brachot]] 11b) says since it’s a connected bracha only when it’s said together with the previous bracha do you not being with Baruch but if it’s said alone one must begin with Baruch. Magan Avraham 60:2 rules like Talmedei Rabbenu Yonah that even if the bracha is said alone it’s said without Baruch. Sh”t Igrot Moshe O”C 3:81 says that since one is allowed to interrupt between the [[Brachot]] for [[amen]] and even to greet someone who deserves respect, clearly Ahavat Olam is considered a connected bracha even when said alone. Sh”t Yabia Omer E”H 4:7 and Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 6:2 discuss the dispute in the Achronim whether there’s an issue of interruption in the [[sheva Brachot]] at a wedding since the Minhag is for a different person to say each bracha and still some of the [[Brachot]] are considered connected [[Brachot]] for which we don’t being with Baruch. </ref>
==Gaal Yisrael==# Some ashkenazim have the practice that the chazan says gaal yisrael quietly. <ref> see Sh”t Rivivot Ephraim 1:71 who says the reason that some do this is because there is debate as to whether or not one should recite amen after the bracha of gaal yisrael since we do not want to interrupt between the bracha and the beginning of the shemoneh esrei (semichut geula litefilla). He adds that an ashkenazi who hears the conclusion of the bracha should in fact answer amen. </ref> Others disagree and say it should be said aloud. <ref> Rav Herschel Schachter quoting Rabbi Soloveitchik (Nefesh Harav pg. 130) </ref>
==Whether the Brachot are Me’akev ==
# Lechatchila, one must say Shema together with the [[Brachot]]. However, the [[Brachot]] aren’t Me’akev (necessary and prevent one from fulfilling the mitzvah) and so one fulfills his mitzvah even if he read Shema without [[Brachot]]. <Ref> Rosh ([[Brachot]] 2:1) writes one fulfills Shema without the [[Brachot]] and that Rabbenu Chananel ([[Brachot]] 13a; not like our version of Rabbenu Chananel) concurs. Bahag (end of first perek of [[Brachot]]), Rashba ([[Brachot]] 12a s.v. UShma Minah), Sh”t HaRashba 1:47, 69, 319 in name of the Rambam, Piekei Rid ([[Brachot]] 13a), and Meiri ([[Brachot]] 11b) hold that the [[Brachot]] aren’t Me’akev. However, he quotes Rav Hai Goan (based on [[Brachot]] 12a) who holds that they are Me’akev but the order isn’t Me’akev. However, the Yerushlami which says the [[Brachot]] aren’t Me’akev is referring to an individual, but in a Tzibbur the [[Brachot]] are Me’akev. Tosfot ([[Brachot]] 13a s.v. Haya Koreh) and Sefer Eshkol 1:6 pg 12 hold like Rav Hai Goan. S”A 60:3 rules that the [[Brachot]] aren’t Me’akev not like Rav Hai Goan. The Gra (Shenot Eliyahu) asks why is it different from any other mitzvah which the [[Brachot]] aren’t Me’akev. Halacha Brurah (Birur Halacha 60:3) and Sh”t Mishkenot Yacov O”C 81 explain that since most of [[Kriyat Shema]] is derabanan (only the first pasuk is deoraitta according to many Rishonim) that part of the mitzvah was instituted in a larger structure with [[Brachot]] and not saying [[Brachot]] ruins one’s fulfillment of that part of the mitzvah. Bet Yosef asks on the Tur who doesn’t differentiate between an individual and a Tzibbur. [See Perisha and Bach who argue on the Bet Yosef.] </ref>

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