The Heart of the Shema

It has been a very rough week. I’ve been fighting some internal and external battles.  I was tempted to skip Shabbat services but I knew that I couldn’t because going always lifts my spirits and puts me in a much better mood; no matter what has gone on the previous week and it helps me get mentally prepared for the next week ahead.

You know how it is. Every congregation has a few members who are ecstatic about G-d and sing as loud as they please but, unfortunately, being in the right key signature is something that is a minor thing for them to keep in mind.

When it is time to chant the Shema, traditionally entire congregation faces east (the direction of Israel), and sings the prayer (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). The basics of the Shema is 1) Love G-d and 2) Love people. It does not matter what synagogue you attend, there is always that ONE person who sings the prayer loudly but pitch wise is just a tad off. At Shabbat, it made me think about those who do this. Just like how there is something missing for those who are not on pitch when singing, sometimes we get into the motions of the Christian life, but forget about Yeshua. Almost all of G-d’s followers are guilty of this at some time or another. It can be easy to attend church, listen to Christian radio stations, feed the hungry, and teach Shabbat school without remembering the real reason why you do it. When you do this it’s just like being the one person who sings the Shema using completely different notes. We are doing the right things to be a good Christian, but without having a personal relationship with Christ.

I encourage all to put a Mezuzah on the doorpost of their house, the way it instructs us to in the prayer. Traditionally, a Mezuzah has the Shema in it and is to be touched every time you pass it, to remind you to love G-d and love people. Having one on the door post of your house is wonderful reminder

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to go and do just that.

Shabbat Shalom. Love G-d and love people but don’t just live through the motions.

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