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What is the Jewish concept of the Shema?

The Shema is a central prayer in Judaism that declares the oneness of God and is considered the most important prayer in the Jewish liturgy. It comes from the Hebrew word "Shema," which means "hear" or "listen."

The prayer begins with the words "Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad" ("Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One") and is followed by several verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41). The Shema is recited twice daily, in the morning and evening, as well as during Jewish holidays and lifecycle events.

The Shema is a declaration of the monotheistic faith of Judaism and emphasizes the belief in the oneness and unity of God. It also serves as a reminder to the Jewish people of their commitment to love and serve God with all their heart, soul, and might.

In addition to its theological significance, the Shema has a deep spiritual and emotional resonance for Jewish people. It represents the core of Jewish identity and the covenantal relationship between God and the Jewish people. It is also a source of comfort and strength during times of joy and sorrow.

Overall, the Shema is a powerful expression of the Jewish faith that affirms the belief in the oneness of God and serves as a constant reminder of the Jewish people's spiritual and ethical obligations to love, serve, and follow God.
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