Every night when I lay down in bed to sleep, my mommy and daddy sit with me and we say the Shema together because I am a Jew. I hope all kids do the same with their families too.
This gift is just so simple to use. Say the Shema in your own language if you are not comfortable with the Hebrew. Cover your eyes with your right hand while you say the entire verse, blocking out all distracting external stimuli. Recite the verse out loud with the full happiness of knowing that you are standing in front of God, your father.
We inhabit a cosmic mirage. We perceive a myriad of creations, all beings that are seemingly self-sufficient and independent. But as Jews, we believe that in fact there is only one true entity. All of existence is just part of one God who is the essence of everything. One God, and his one truth that is manifest for our own good throughout all of our life. The only real power that was, is, and always will be.
Engraving this counterintuitive idea into our psyches is our greatest challenge, but it is also the key to developing a true appreciation for, and a relationship with, our creator, your father. Towards this end, every morning and night we recite the entire Shema prayer stemming from three biblical paragraphs (Deuteronomy 6:4–9; 11:13–21; Numbers 15:37–41), which starts with Judaism’s defining statement:
שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד
Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad
Reciting the Shema is also a tool available to you at all times. It allows each Jew to access the infinity hidden within their soul. Contemplating the words of the Shema enables us to see beyond the physical limitations of this world and live that truth accordingly. By connecting to God and striving for unity within all of Am Yisrael, the Jewish People, we can achieve our highest potentials. The Shema reminds each of us that as a Jew, we have the power to stand up to any challenge, accomplish any dream, having gratitude for being created and for being a partner in the creation.
My time saying the Shema each day is my magic moment when I am able to soar beyond my own ego. No matter what is happening around me, I can have real perspective on life.
IDF Captain Asaf Cohen
I love saying the Shema. The words constantly remind me that I am not alone in the universe and that I have the ability to tap into an infinite strength beyond my own.