Quote of the Day: The Shema and its Blessings

“At the heart of the Jewish liturgy, recited twice daily, stands the Shema. The opening line of the Shema consists of an acknowledgement of Hashem as One. In the blessing that precedes and prepares for the recitation of the Shema, the divine unity serves as the basis and goal for a corresponding unity among those who confess it – initially, in the heart of each Jew (“Unify our hearts to love and fear Your Name”), and then in the community of dispersed Jews throughout the world whom Hashem will gather together as one (“Bring us in peace from the four corners of the earth, and lead us upright to our land”). As a result of Hashem’s action to establish Israel in spiritual and physical unity, Israel will be able to acknowledge in eschatological fullness the unity of the divine Name (“Draw us near to Your great Name in truth, to acknowledge You and Your unity in love”).”

-Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer – from his recent paper, “Messianic Jewish Community: Standing and Serving as a Priestly Remnant,” delivered at the 2011 Hashivenu Theological Forum.

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Simchat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue in West Haven, CT, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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