The Shema Israel
"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One"
The Shema Israel - The Most Important of all Jewish Prayers
The most important of all Jewish prayers, "Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad" are the first words of the Jewish prayer known as the Shema Israel (also known as the Shema Yisrael, Shema Yisroel, Sh'ma Yisrael, Shema and Sh'ma). It is a declaration of faith and a pledge of allegiance to God. Twice daily, recitation of the Shema Israel is a mitzvah for the Jewish people -- it is said upon rising in the morning and going to sleep at night. It is said when praising God and when beseeching Him. The Shema Israel is the first prayer taught to Jewish children and it is the last words Jew says before death. It is a prayer of praise to God and it is a prayer of beseechment, as well. The Shema is recited in preparation for the reading of the Torah on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays and at the end of the holiest day, Yom Kippur. Judaism teaches that the name of God is not read aloud in the Shema; it is replaced with Adonai ("my Lord"):
In the Torah, Moses gives The Shema to his people in his last words to them. In the book of Deuteronomy 6:4-9, God dictates that the Shema Israel be contained in the mezuzah that we affix to our doorposts. God also dictates that the Shema be worn close to the head and heart.
At Jewish Gift Place, we carry a gorgeous line of Shema Jewelry and Shema Israel Judaica that is a lovely reminder of this important Jewish prayer. Whether it be a Shema necklace or a mezuzah for your doorpost, you will know that the Shema is close to your home, heart and mind with our lovely line of Shema Israel Judaica.
The Shema Israel
The Shema is recited aloud as follows:
Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.
Hear, O Israel, the Eternal is our God, the Eternal is One.
The next verse following the Shema is called the V'ahavta. The English translation is:Blessed be God’s Name and glorious kingdom forever and ever. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words, which I [God] teach you this day, shall be upon your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder before your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.
The Shema is the prayer written on a scroll placed inside the mezuzah and in the tefillin that is bound to the arm and head.
If you enjoyed this article about the Shema Israel, you may also be interested in:
- What is a Mezuzah?
- Symbolism of Shabbat Candlesticks
- Symbolism of the Tallit
- See our collection of handmade Shema necklaces and mezuzahs necklaces