If any one statement in the Jew's daily life is his religious credo, it is the Shema.
He recites it every morning and every night, he recites it when the Day
of Atonement ends, and when death draws new; it is the Jew's
declaration of unshakeable faith in the Oneness of the Creator. When he
goes to sleep it is the highlight of his prayers for a peaceful slumber
and a rejuvenated tomorrow.
The Talmud finds the Ten Commandments in the Shema; the classic commentators extol it as the supreme expression of Jewish belief. Through the Jew's mezuzah and in his tefillin, the Shema sanctifies his home, heart, mind, and strength.
The chapters of the Shema
contain principles of belief and lessons for everyday life, because
Judaism does not differentiate between faith and action. The Shema
calls upon us not only to believe, but to live our faith throughout the
day, to teach it to our children, and to maintain the integrity of our
A study of these chapters as understood by the great
minds of the Jewish past is an education in what it means to be a Jew,
to think as a Jew, to live as a Jew. This slim volume is such an
education. It weaves together countless strands of inspirational and
exegetical thought to create a tapestry of depth and beauty.
book is important reading for scholar and layman. It expands the mind
and warms the heart - and it is a significant contribution to Jewish