The Shema: Hear Yisrael

Recited by Moses and King David, the Shema prayer is the most ancient prayer in Judaism. This prayer is also one of the only two prayers commanded in the Torah, together with Birkat Hamzon. The prayer consists of three parts, taken from 2 different books: Deuteronomy and Numbers.          

The Shema prayer has been the base for Jewish Mitzvot and Jewish item, used to fulfilling these Mitzvot; Tallit and Tzitzit, Tefillin, Mezuzah, Jewish Jewelry and home décor pieces. Let’s examine and discover how the prayer translates to beautiful Judaica, guiding us in our life and traditions. The prayer is to be recited morning and evening, its opening words are the most famous words in Judaism ‘Hear Israel’, in English ‘Shema Israel’. These words are taken from the first passage comprising this prayer: Book of Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

This line expresses the idea of God’s unity and singularity. Simple and straightforward, the verse has inspired many Judaica artists, especially Jewelry designers to create pieces that one can wear and carry God close to their heart.  Shema Necklace to be a beautiful reminder to God’s presence and your faith

Shema ring 

Shema bracelet

And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.

This verse has translated to the form of Tefillin we done on a daily basis. The tefillin are two boxes, one for the head and another for the arm, connected to black leather straps wrapped to each body part and inserted with the prayer on parchment.

And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Adorning many mezuzahs, this verse is also inscribed on Kosher parchments by hand, inserted into Mezuzah cases and hung on Jewish doorsteps and gates as symbol to our faith and God’s protection. Shema Mezuzah

Wall Hanging

Part 2:

This part also includes passages from book of Deuteronomy. It speaks of the many rewards to those who diligently follow God’s word and Shema and punishments to those who don’t. In addition, the passages are concluded with repetition of the ideas in part 1, tefillin and mezuzah as signs to this prayer and Jewish faith.

Part 3:

Taken from book of Numbers, 15:37-41, these four verses relate to the Tallit and strings, hanging as reminders to the commandements.

and give the tzitzit of each corner a thread of blue. And they shall be tzitzit for you, and when you look at them you will remember all of the Lord's commandments< and do them and not follow after your heart and after your eyes which lead you astray.  

Tallit clips to secure and hold the tallit on your shoulders as you pray. Adorned with Shema Israel in Hebrew so God’s commandments are always and everywhere remembered

The prayer concludes with reference to Exodus, with the prayer and Jewish articles mentioned above to be as constant reminders that G-D is one, the only one, who has saved us, protected us and therefore we must obey and fulfill His plan for us, through keeping Mitzvot and Shema prayer.

Shema jewelry, tefillin and tallitot make for outstanding and meaningful pieces one purchases for his loved ones on special occasions: Jewish wedding, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, birthdays and Jewish holidays, as well as for themselves to emphasize the significance of God and faith in their life, home and heart.

Wish to learn more about the articles mentioned above? Visit our Jewish blog to learn more about the tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl, the mezuzah in the Jewish home and tefillin