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Shema Israel

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד
בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

Sh'ma Y'israel Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Hear, Israel; the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

© Rabbi Shlomo Nachman*

Shema Israel: Recorded live on Facebook

The Shema is the central, most instructive, and most important declaration in all of Judaism and biblical religion and spirituality. It is the first thing we say upon awakening, the last thing we say before sleep, and, if possible, our final words and thoughts before we return our bodies to the earth in death.

The first line:

As Rashi explains:



Both the Shema and the expression, "Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity," contain six words in Hebrew. Thus, Jacob and his sons together recited twelve words [Genesis 49:1], corresponding precisely to the number of Jacob's sons and the number of the future tribes of Israel. Together, Shema and "Blessed is the name" are comprised of forty-nine letters, corresponding precisely to the number of letters in the names of the twelve tribes!

Adonai Elohaynu

Deuteronomy 10:12. Now, O Israel, what does Adonai, your God, demand of you? Only that you have awe or fear of Adonai, your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to worship Adonai, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul,
13. to keep the commandments of Adonai and observe His statutes, which I command you this day, for your good.

Adonai Echad

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Exodus 19:6 You will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation unto me. You are to speak these words to the children of Israel.

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* Rabbi Shlomo Nachman © January 20,2013 (last updated August 4,2023)

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