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This is the first episode in the #MondayMishnah series!
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Text: Mishnah Brachot 1:1
From when may one recite Shema in the evening? From the time when the Kohanim go in to eat their Terumah [produce consecrated for priestly consumption], until the end of the first watch – so says Rabbi Eliezer. And the Sages say: Until midnight. Rabban Gamliel says: Until the break of dawn. It once happened that his [Rabban Gamliel’s] sons came from a house of feasting. They said to him: We have not recited Shema. He said to them: If dawn has not broken, you are obligated to recite it. And [this is true] not only in this case; rather, in all cases where the Sages said that [some precept can be performed only] until midnight — their precepts are [still in force] until the break of dawn. [For example:] Burning the fats and limbs [of the sacrifices, on the Temple altar] — their precepts [can be performed] until the break of dawn. And [another example:] all [sacrifices] which may be eaten for one day — their precepts [of eating them can be performed] until the break of dawn. If that is so, why did the Sages say, "until midnight"? To distance a person from transgression.