Monday, July 5, 2010
Ahava Rabba - Igrot Moshe Orach Chaim 1:21
In this teshuva from 1944, Rav Moshe Feinstein addresses the issue of using the bracha that precedes Shema, namely Ahava Rabba, as a substitute for Birchat HaTorah. While both Rashi and Tosafot have an issue with this substitution (which would only be b'diavad), Rav Feinstein rules that there is no such issue, even though Ahava Rabba is worded as a bakasha - a request - rather than as a praise or an outright thanks of God. Even the fact that the word וצונו, indicating a bracha on a mitzva, is missing does not both Rav Moshe, as there is a view that one could say simply the bracha of אשר בחר בנו in order to fulfill ברכות התורה, and that one bracha also does not include the word וצונו.