Newsletter #26, 2015

Parshah Vaethannan ואתחנן (Deut. 3:23-7:11)

The book of Devarim is a deeply traditional text, and has given us the basis of Judaism, more so than any other of the books of the Torah. Many things related to our rituals come from Devarim, such as the mezuzah, the tefilín and the tzitzit, as does our most important prayer, the Shema. And the Shema, which is much more than a prayer, is an act which binds us every time to our commitment to the Torah. By reciting it in the synagogue, the community brings the history of Devarim over and over again to the present and renews our loyalty to God.vaetjanan 5775 Deborah
In Vaethannan, Moshe repeats the Ten Commandments, and afterwards, in what seems to be a sermon on the first commandment, he recites the words which became our daily declaration of faith:

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהֹוָה אֶחָד

The verses from Devarin 6.4-9 form the first paragraph of the most important prayer in Judaism, the Shema, and it is called so because of the first Word in Hebrew, which means “Hear!”
The following lines have been interpreted in our tradition as the reason for which we recite the Shema twice each day: “Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Dev. 6.7)
Shabbat Shalom! ~~~~~~~ Ahuvah

Beth Peor and Mt. Pisgah

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Read the June/July 2015 newsletter from the European Union for Progressive Judaism. Click here to read and download.

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Lee Torah from Around the World #283: Parashat Vaethanan (Nachamu) 3:23-7:11 By: Rabbi Roberto Graetz, Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles, USA


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