Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sh'ma Yisrael

"Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." Deut. 6:4 

In Judaism, the Sh'ma is an important part of daily prayers, and it includes reciting Deut. 6:4-9.

 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates."

The photo above is a charming necklace John gave to me for my birthday while we were in Israel. It was handmade in Jerusalem in the Old City. Its unusual shape is a pomegranate, one of the delicious fruits cultivated in Israel. The ruby red stones are garnets. The engraving is the Sh'ma in Hebrew--Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. I love the beauty of this necklace and its powerful message.  

Love God with all your heart, soul and strength.  Simple. And yet hard. 

Impress them on your children. This strikes me as especially significant in light of our trip last weekend to visit Megan at college. Although children grow up, and sometimes even move away, while they learn to live out their faith in their own lives, parents should never stop impressing God's commands on their children. I thank God my parents have never stopped impressing on me God's love, truth, grace, and forgiveness.

Sh'ma Yisrael: Adonai Elohenu Adonai ehad.

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