Notes on the Shema, Daily D'var

I have an email service known as the Daily D’var with notes on the daily Torah (Chumash) readings and readings from the Gospels and Acts. A community of about 120 people receive them at present. If we pass 200, I’ll have to use some type of email service and quit using Apple Mail.

But I believe very much in the value of reading daily. Chumash (the five books of Moses, Torah) is the obvious choice from the Hebrew Bible. It is the foundation of the Bible (all biblical ideas are tied to something in the Chumash), of Judaism, and in ways that few recognize, of Christianity. The Gospels and Acts are the logical choice from the New Testament. Paul’s letters have gotten inordinate attention to the detriment of the gospel. The apostles used the term besorah or the Greek evangelion (good news, later English coined the term gospel from “God spell”) for the life of Yeshua. The stories of his life are good news, light, and life for us.

Today’s Chumash notes are about the central text of the Chumash, Judaism, and Christianity: the Shema and V’Ahavta (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). If you’d like to sign up to receive the Daily D’var by email, contact me at

Shema (4), V

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4 Responses to Notes on the Shema, Daily D'var

  1. We were talking about just this subject in our Hebrew class last week. Thank you for once again verifying some of my own conclusions.

    As a side note, my understanding of the Hebrew is that you can’t separate out v. 4 from v. 5, that they’re one sentence with the equivalent of a comma rather than a period in between (the “v” in “v’havta,” as opposed to having a “vay”). Is that your reading of it too?


  2. My weekly bracha and your Daily D’var. Ha, I love it. Sign me up, you have my email.

  3. Return of Benjamin:

    Rather detailed grammatical point you are asking about. A quick peek at Waltke-O’Connor suggests that with a suffix form (Perfect), the Vav and Shewa (Vuh-) is normal and not VAH or VEY.

    So, it can be a conjunction (“and”) but all conjunctions in Hebrew are soft and ambiguous anyway.

    All that to say, I think the “and” belongs there and there is no strong evidence that this is a comma.

    But, if you have a grammar that suggests otherwise, I’d be interested and maybe I have something to learn here.


    • I can’t say that I do. I’m still learning my Hebrew grammar and looking for confirmation and/or denial of what I think I’m seeing as I go along.

      “All that to say, I think the

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