I n the Jewish religion, one of the most important prayers is taken from Deuteronomy 6. It is known as ‚Äúthe Shema,‚ÄĚ based on the first Hebrew word of the prayer, from the root, shama‚Äô, which means ‚Äúto listen,‚ÄĚ or even ‚Äúto obey‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒa word that appears again and again, not just in Deuteronomy but all through the Old Testament.
The first line of the Shema reads like this:
Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai echad.
It means: ‚Äú ‚ÄėHear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!‚Äô ‚ÄĚ (Deut. 6:4, NKJV). Many times when Jews pray it, they cover their eyes, the idea being to let nothing distract them from thinking about God. This first line of the Shema is deemed an affirmation of the monotheistic nature of Adonai Elohenu, ‚Äúthe Lord our God,‚ÄĚ and Israel‚Äôs loyalty to Him alone and to no other ‚Äúgod.‚ÄĚ In fact, it also could be read as ‚Äúthe Lord is our God.‚ÄĚ
This one line is part of the first speech that Moses gave to the children of Israel as they were about to enter the Promised Land. What follows that opening line, however, is a powerful expression of truth that remains as crucial now as it was then.
Hosted by: Mark Larman
Aired: Saturday 23 October 2021 9am-11am