This prayer that has kept the Jewish people strong over the centuries. It is called Shema, and it is a prayer straight from the Bible – a Biblical prayer.
A Biblical prayer
Some prayers that have been recited by the Jewish people for centuries were written by great sages. And some come directly from the Bible. The prayer in this song is a Biblical prayer. It is the Shema, and it is one of the first prayers that a Jewish child is taught.
The Jewish people say this prayer multiple times a day. It is a declaration of faith in G-d; a declaration that G-d is one.
When there is a crisis in the world or in the Jewish community at large, this is one of those prayers that is said in a unified way to beseech G-d to bring comfort and clarity. If one does not have much time to pray for a certain reason in the morning, the Shema is one of those prayers that is still said.
The Words of This Special Prayer
Here are the words to this special prayer. (These words are just from the opening line and the first paragraph).
“Hear, O Israel, the L-rd is our G‑d, the L-rd is One.
Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.
You shall love the L-rd your G‑d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be upon your heart. You shall teach them thoroughly to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates” (Chabad.org).
It is such a beautiful thing that Shema has connected the Jewish people all over the world, throughout all of time.