The Shema refers to a couple lines from the book of Deuteronomythat became a daily prayer in Ancient Israelite tradition. This prayer has been one of the most influential traditions in Jewish history, and functioned both as the Jewish pledge of allegiance and a hymn of praise. The Shema appears in the opening section of Deuteronomy, which is a collection of speeches attributed to Moses before the next generation of Israel entered the Promised Land.
The Shema Series
The book is designed to have three large sections, as you can see in our video on Deuteronomy see above. Bible geeks, you will find this part really interesting. From ancient times, there has been much debate on how exactly to translate and interpret the Shema, due to ambiguity in the grammar of the main sentences. Rather, they used this grammar tool of simply placing two words together Hebrew grammar nerds call these nominal clauses. Is the point that the Lord God is one and not many 1 or 3or is the emphasis on the fact that only the Lord is our God 2?
Rather, the Shema is a pledge of allegiance to the Lord God of Israel that excludes allegiance to any other gods. As you read further in Deuteronomy, this will make perfect sense. The Israelites have been steeped in polytheistic cultures for generations. From their roots in Canaan, to the long years in Egypt, to their travelling through Canaanite territory in the wilderness, they have been surrounded by people worshipping many different gods.
Moses clearly believes that loyalty, obedience, and love to their one true God is the only way to life. In the Bible, love is action. You love someone when you act in loyalty and faithfulness. And so for Israel, to love meant faithful obedience to the terms of their covenant relationship. Those terms are the laws and commands that will make up the body of the book Deut. Obedience in the Old Testament is about love and listening. If an Israelite loves God, it will make it easier to listen and absorb his teachings and guidance.
As we mentioned above, the Shema became a twice-daily prayer within Judaism. It was so widely practiced in the second-temple period, Jesus himself grew up praying it. This prayer was formative for Jesus, and he drew upon it in his teachings.
He was once asked which command in the Torah was the greatest:. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.
Your eyes are the place where you see and you use your hands for almost everything you do. This prayer was to guide the vision and action of every moment of life. This is in contrast to people who reject the way of Jesus. John the visionary also drew upon the Shema to depict a human life on the path of destruction:. For John, the choice is a stark one.
You either give your allegiance to Jesus and allow it influence how you see and act, or your allegiance will belong to destructive powers that will also govern how you see and what you do in life. One path leads to life, the other to death.
The Shema is a beautiful prayer. They are simple words with the capacity to reshape the course of an entire life. The words of Jesus in the Gospel of John are obviously derived from the Shema:.
And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and I will reveal myself to him. And remember whose love started this whole chain reaction of love leading to obedience. At the end of the day, following Jesus is about love.The Shema in English is provided here for you to learn and pray.
Though the whole Shema in English is printed here you can find a copy to download and print out here:. You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources. Let these matters that I command you today be upon your heart. Teach them thoroughly to your children and speak of them while you sit in your home, while you walk on the way, when you retire and when you arise.
The Shema Prayer Hebrew Poster (“Hear O’ Israel…”)
Bind them as a sign upon your arm and let them be tefillin between your eyes. And write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates. And it will come to pass that if you continually hearken to My mitzvot that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him, with all your heart and with all your soul — then I will provide rain for your land in its proper time, the early and late rains, that you may gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil.
I will provide grass in your field for your cattle and you will eat and be satisfied. Beware lest your heart be seduced and you turn astray and serve gods of others and bow to them. Then the wrath of God will blaze against you. He will restrain the heaven so there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its produce. And you will swiftly be banished from the goodly land which God gives you.
Place these words of Mine upon your heart and upon your soul; bind them for a sign upon your arm and let them be tefillin between your eyes. Teach them to your children, to discuss them, while you sit in your home, while you walk on your way, when you retire and when you arise. In order to prolong your days and the days of your children upon the ground that God has sworn to your ancestors to give them, like the days of the heaven on the earth.
And God said to Moses saying: Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them that they are to make themselves tzitzit on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations. And they are to place upon the tzitzit of each corner a thread of blue techelet. And it shall constitute tzitzit for you, that you may see it and remember all the mitzvot of God and perform them; and not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray.
So that you may remember and perform all My mitzvot; and be holy to your God. I am God your God… it is true. Prayer Shawl Jewish Prayers in English.Whisper: Ba-ruch sheim k'vod mal-chu-to l'o-lam va-ed. Listen to the recitation of Shema. V'a-hav-ta eit A-do-nai E-lo-he-cha, B'chawl l'va-v'cha, u-v'chawl naf-sh'cha, u-v'chawl m'o-de-cha. V'ha-yu ha-d'va-rim ha-ei-leh, A-sher a-no-chi m'tsa-v'cha ha-yom, al l'va-ve-cha.
V'shi-nan-tam l'-va-ne-cha, v'di-bar-ta bam b'shiv-t'cha b'vei-te-cha, uv-lech-t'cha va-de-rech, u-v'shawch-b'cha uv-ku-me-cha. Uk-shar-tam l' ot al ya-de-cha, v'ha-yu l'to-ta-fot bein ei-ne-cha. Uch-tav-tam, al m'zu-zot bei-te-cha, u-vish-a-re-cha.
Listen to the recitation of V'ahavta. V'ha-yaim sha-mo-a tish-m'u el mits-vo-tai a-sher a-no-chi m'tsa-veh et-chem ha-yom l'a-ha-va et A-do-nai E-lo-hei-chem ul-awv-do b'chawl l'vav-chem, u-v'chawl naf-sh'chem, V'na-ta-ti m'tar ar-ts'chem b'i-to, yo-reh u-mal-kosh, v'a-saf-ta d'ga-ne-cha, v'ti-ro-sh'cha v'yits-ha-re-cha.
V'na-ta-ti ei-sev b'sa-d'cha liv-hem-te-cha, v'a-chal-ta v'sa-va-'ta. Hi-sha-m'ru la-chem pen yif-te l'vav-chem, v'sar-tem, va-a-vad-tem E-lo-him a-chei-rim, v'hish-ta-cha-vi-tem la-hem. V'cha-rah af A-do-nai ba-chem, v'a-tsar et ha-sha-ma-yim, v'lo yi-h'yeh ma-tar, v'ha-a-da-ma lo ti-tein et y'vu-la, va-a-vad-tem m'hei-ra mei-al ha-a-rets ha-to-va a-sher A-do-nai no-tein la-chem.
V'sam-tem et d'varai ei-leh, al l'vav-chem v'al naf-sh'chem, uk-shar-tem o-tam l'ot al yed-chem, v'ha-yu l'to-ta-fot bein ei-nei-chem. V'li-mad-tem o-tam et b'nei-chem, l'da-beir bam b'shiv-t'cha b'vei-te-cha, uv-lech-t'cha va-de-rech u-v'shawch-b'cha uv-ku-me-cha. L'ma-an yir-bu y'mei-chem, vi-mei v'nei-chem, al ha-a-da-ma a-sher nish-ba A-do-nai la-a-vo-tei-chem, la-teit la-hem ki-mei ha-sha-ma-yim al ha-a-rets. Listen to the recitation of V'haya.
Va-yo-meir A-do-nai el Mo-she lei-mor: Da-beir el b'nei Yis-ra-eil, v'a-mar-ta a-lei-hem v'a-su la-hem tsi-tsit, al kan-fei vig-dei-hem l'do-ro-tam, v'na-t' nu al tsi-tsit ha-ka-naf p'til t'chei-let. V'ha-ya la-chem l'tsi-tsit, ur-i-tem o-to uz-char-tem et kawl mits-vot A-do-nai, va-a-si-tem o-tam, v'lo ta-tu-ru a-cha-rei l'vav-chem, v'a-cha-rei ei-nei-chem a-sher a-tem zo-nim a-cha-rei-hem, L'ma-an tiz-k'ru, va-a-si-tem et kawl mits-vo-tai vi-h'yi-tem k'do-shim lei-lo-hei-chem.
A-ni A-do-nai E-lo-hei-chem, a-sher ho-tsei-ti et-chem mei-e-rets Mits-ra-yim li-h'yot la-chem lei-lo-him; A-ni A-do-nai E-lo-hei-chem… Emet Listen to the recitation of Vayomer. Instead of et they say es? Chabad and other Non Chabad Jews use the Ashkenazic pronunciation, while others us Speharadic or Israeli pronunciation. If women are not time bound by the Shema when is the latest a woman can recite the morning Shema? Women can recite the Shema at anytime, but the blessings preceding the Shema should be recited before the first third of the day and if this is not possible, until midday, according to some opinions.
After this point, the Shema should be recited without the blessings. Thank you very much! Do you have to say it right before you go to sleep, or can you stay up?Full Shema Hebrew/English
I think it's best to do it just before bed, having it be the last thing on your mind or that you listened to and agreeed with.The Moral-Commands are built into the very fabric of the universe, and They are even spoken to mankind via the conscience Scripture tells us. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. The second part of the Shema is from Deuteronomybeginning with the word vehaya. And He will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.
You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. One tzitzit is attached to each corner of the tallit. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And no man after that durst ask Him any question.
Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility help. Join or log in to Facebook. Email or phone. Forgotten account? Sign Up. William Ben-Carl. Notes by William Ben-Carl. Embed Post.The Shema is an important biblical prayer shared by Jews and Christians throughout history. Read on to learn more about its meaning and significance. One of the most famous and important prayers contained in the Bible is one we see the Hebrew people repeat over and over again throughout the Old Testament.
It is a powerful prayer and one with a lot of meaning packed into just a few words. The Shema, which is the Hebrew word for "listen," is the centerpiece of the last speech Moses gave to the Israelites before they went down into the promised land. After entering the promised land, the Shema became a prayer the Israelites prayed twice daily. But biblically speaking, love is more than sentiment—it is also action.
In the Shema, Israel is supposed to respond to God's love by showing love to him in return. And just like God's love, human love is to show itself through action. We show our love for God by how we treat the people around us. We are to love God and one another with our whole heart. They thought of the heart as the organ that gives physical life and the place where you think and make sense of the world, where you feel emotions and make choices.
In the Shema, God's people are called to devote their whole body, mind, and feelings and desires, as well as their future and failures, to God. In English, a soul usually refers to the non-material essence of a human that survives after death, but that concept would be entirely foreign to the authors of the Old Testament.
Biblically, people don't have a soul; they are a soul, or in this case "Nephesh"—a living, breathing, physical being. In the Shema, to love the Lord with your soul is to offer your entire being, with all its capabilities and limitations, in an effort to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.
Everywhere else, it means "very" or "much. While it may sound funny, to love God with all your strength "Me'od" is to love him with all your "Muchness. Stay connected amidst social distancing — receive weekly Scripture encouragement to share with family and friends. Hear, oh Israel! Discover how sound entering your ear-drums isn't synonymous with "listening," at least from a biblical perspective.
Is hearing and listening the same thing? God seems to have a lot of names, what exactly am I supposed to call Him? We invite you into the fascinating journey behind all the different names Jews and Christians have referred to their creator throughout the centuries, and more importantly, why! Video Details. Love with all your heart "Ahavah. In this video, we'll explore the various ways the Hebrew authors used the word "love," and how they depicted God as the ultimate source and goal of all human love.
Let's talk about love, Old Testament style! In this video we'll explore the ancient Hebrew words for "heart" as well as the different ideas of what our hearts represent. There is no biblical word that captures better the essence of human thought, feeling, and desire, than this rich and wonderful word.
Different cultures have different conceptions of the human heart, what it is and what it does, and the biblical authors are no exception.The Shema is the centerpiece of the daily morning and evening prayer services and is considered by some the most essential prayer in all of Judaism. The first verse of the Shema, from the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, is among the best-known in all of Jewish liturgy.
It is recited at the climactic moment of the final prayer of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, and traditionally as the last words before death. Traditionally, it is recited with the hand placed over the eyes.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up.
Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead, inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. If, then, you obey the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day, loving the LORD your God and serving Him with all your heart and soul, I will grant the rain for your land in season, the early rain and the late.
You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil— I will also provide grass in the fields for your cattle—and thus you shall eat your fill.
Take care not to be lured away to serve other gods and bow to them. Therefore impress these My words upon your very heart: bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead, and teach them to your children—reciting them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up; and inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates— to the end that you and your children may endure, in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to assign to them, as long as there is a heaven over the earth.
The LORD said to Moses as follows: Speak to the Israelite people and instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the ages; let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. That shall be your fringe; look at it and recall all the commandments of the LORD and observe them, so that you do not follow your heart and eyes in your lustful urge.
Thus you shall be reminded to observe all My commandments and to be holy to your God. The first verse of the Shema is considered the most essential declaration of the Jewish faith — the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. The passage that follows details the particular ways in which that faith should be lived: Love God with all of your being, teach it to your children, recite it when you wake and lie down, bind it as a symbol on your body.
The first verse of the Shema is also recited at the conclusion of Yom Kippur and is included in the Kedusha service on Shabbat. When reciting the Shema during the regular morning prayer serviceit is surrounded by three long blessings. The first two, which precede the Shema, thank God for creation and revelation. The third, which follows the Shema, thanks God for redemption. Most synagogues provide prayer books for use during services. Praised are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, creating light and fashioning darkness, ordaining the order of all creation.
You illumine the world and its creatures with mercy; in Your goodness, day after day You renew Creation. How manifold Your works, O Lord; with wisdom You fashioned them all. The earth abounds with Your creations. Uniquely exalted since earliest time, enthroned on praise and prominence since the world began, eternal God, with Your praise and prominence since the world began, eternal God, with Your manifold mercies continue to love us, our Pillar of strength, protective Rock, sheltering Shield, sustaining Stronghold.
Our praiseworthy God with vast understanding fashioned the rays of the sun. The good light He created reflects His splendor; radiant lights surround His throne.Learn Hebrew. Learn Torah. Printer-Friendly PDF. During its recitation in the synagogue, Orthodox Jews pronounce each word very carefully and cover their eyes with their right hand. Many Jews recite the Shema at least twice daily: once in the morning and once in the evening. Parts of the Shema are written on a small scroll which is then rolled up and put inside a mezuzah.
The Shema is actually more than just the famous six words Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad, but is composed of three parts linked together into a unity:.
The First Part:. Interestingly, the word echad in Hebrew can imply a unity in diversity the word for one and only one, i.
For example, in Exodus the various parts of the Tabernacle mishkan are to be constructed so that "it shall be one echad tabernacle," and Ezekiel spoke of two "sticks" representing fragmented Israel as being reunited into one: "and they shall be one echad stick in My hand" Ezek.
Moses also used echad in Genesis when he wrote, "And they husband and wife will become one flesh basar echad. The Second Part:. The Third Part:. The Shema in Liturgy Liturgically, the Shema refers to a section of the service that includes the following components:. Parsons All rights reserved. The Shema.
Hear it Sung by Paul Wilbur. The Complete Shema. Special emphasis is given to the first six Hebrew words of this passage Shema Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad and a six-word response is said in an undertone barukh shem kevod malkhuto le'olam va'ed. After a pause, Deuteronomy is then recited, which stresses the commandment to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and might.
Click here to hear the first part for a flash presentation, click here. Enlarged Letters? Click here to hear the second part. One tzitzit is attached to each corner of the tallit.
The reason for wearing the tzitzit is to remind oneself to observe all of the commandments of the Lord. Click here to hear the third part.