Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik
by R. Aharon Ziegler
Many people coming to Yerushalayim are surprised and taken off guard when Friday night in Shul immediately after the beracha of “Hashkiveinu,” the shali’ach tzibbur begins Kaddish—a entirely omitting the pesukim of “Vesham’ru.”
The fact of the matter is that Rav Soloveitchik himself followed this minhag. The Rav explained that this practice is based on the fact that the Gemara in Berachot (9b) indicates that the beracha of Hashkiveinu is considered a “Ge’ulah Arichta,” an extension of the theme of redemption highlighted in the previous beracha of “Ga’al Yisrael,” “Who redeemed Israel.” Therefore, the recitation of Hashkiveinu does not constitute a hefseik, an interruption between the beracha of Ga’al Yisrael and the Shemoneh Esrei, which should be next to each other. Any other insertion prior to the Shemoneh Esrei, however, would be considered a hefseik and thus should not be said at all.
This of course would be true for the recitation of “Va’yedaber Moshe Et Mo’adei HaShem” on Pesach, Shavu’ot and Sukkot, as well as “Tik’u Bachodesh Shofar” on Rosh HaShanah and “Ki Bayom HaZeh” on Yom Kippur.
Although the common practice is to recite those pesukim, and this practice is indeed justified by Tosafot in Berachot (4b) arguing that since the Rabbanim decreed them to be said they are therefore considered as an extension of Ge’ulah Arichta. Nevertheless, the Rav did not say them and in Yerushalayim, also in communities that follow Minhag-Yerushalayim, they are NOT said.