The Shema: The Jewish National Anthem

The Shema is undoubtedly the most well known prayer in Judaism. You might call the Shema our “national anthem,” since it so fully encapsulates essential principles of Judaism. It is the first Jewish concept a child learns and the last words a person expresses on his deathbed.  When we recite the Shema, we declare our acceptance of God as our Creator and King and our recognition that He directly rules the world and watches over us. Consequently, many educators not only prioritize teaching the Shema to newcomers, they also suggest that this prayer be among the first mitzvot for them to begin observing. is proud to present two new NLE Morasha shiurim to assist rabbis and educators to teach both the importance, content, and themes of the Shema as well as the proper intentions when reciting the prayer. The first class on the Shema, entitled The Jewish National Anthem, discusses the importance and centrality of the Shema in Judaism, and provides an overview of the significance of its text. A special section addresses how to teach Kabbalat Ohl Malchut Shemayim – accepting the Yoke of Heaven.

The second class on the Shema, entitled Say It Like You Really Mean It, focuses on when and how to say Shema, with particular emphasis on the importance of concentrating on the first verse of the Shema. This shiur also explores some of the deeper meaning expressed by the Shema. Finally, the class discusses why the words of the first two sections of the Shema are written on parchment and placed inside the mezuzah and tefillin.

These two shiurim provide a fundamental, yet deep, study of the Shema. Even students already familiar with the Shema will gain a much greater attachment to this most significant prayer, with the new insights these shiurim offer.

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