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26-May-2016 13:43

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Shema: "How-To" We are commanded to say the Shema twice each day: once in the morning and again in the evening. The Talmud explains that when you "lie down and when you get up" does not refer to the literal position of one's body, but rather designates the time of day to say the Shema (Brachot 10b).

This requirement is derived from the verse: "And you should speak about them when you... In technical terms, the time for reciting the evening Shema starts at nightfall (about 40 minutes after sundown) and continues until midnight (or if necessary, until dawn the next day).

When a Jew says Shema, it is customary to close and cover one's eyes.

The other time in Jewish tradition that one's eyes are specifically closed is upon death.

This is derived from the numerical value of the word tzitzit (600), plus the five knots and eight strings on each corner, totaling 613. Is it possible that the same God who gives us so much goodness one day, can make everything go wrong the next?

God's Unity A primary theme of the first verse is the Oneness of God: "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One" (Deut. Further, as written in a Torah scroll, the letters "Ayin" and "Daled" of the first verse are enlarged – encoded to spell out the Hebrew word Aid – "witness." When we say the Shema, we are testifying to the Oneness of God. Does it really matter whether God is one and not three? We know that God is good, so how could there be so much pain? The Shema is a declaration that all events are from the One, the only One.

The time for the morning Shema starts about an hour before sunrise (from when you can recognize a friend from four cubits away), and continues until about 8 a.m. The full Shema is comprised of 3 paragraphs from the Torah. 6:4-9, contains the concepts of loving God, learning Torah, and passing on Jewish tradition to our children.

One way of understanding God's oneness is to imagine light shining through a prism.It is said upon arising in the morning and upon going to sleep at night.