The centerpiece of the daily morning and evening prayer services and is considered by some
the most essential prayer in all of Judaism. An affirmation of God’s singularity and kingship, its daily recitation
is regarded by traditionally observant Jews as a biblical commandment.
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.
יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה
eloheinu, adonai echad
Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד
kavod malchuto l’olam va-ed
is the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever
remainder of the Shema prayer is taken from three biblical sources:
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. For the LORD’s anger will
flare up against you, and He will shut up the skies so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its produce;
and you will soon perish from the good land that the LORD is assigning to you. 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.