The deeper the secrets, the more important they are. The Shema Israel prayer is the most well known and widely recited Jewish prayer, yet most people recite it without a clue to its many secrets. When I completed The Genesis Prayer on the Ana B’koach (42-Letter Name), my teacher advised me to write about the Shema, but I never did get around to it, besides a lengthy comment here and there in the blog, so here is part I in a series about the Shema, which we will, bli neder, complete over time.
Today, I’d like to reveal a few secrets about the initial 6 word refrain that begins the prayer in order to give us all the kavanot (or directed consciousness) when we do recite it, and to reveal why it is recited so often.
But first, I’ll let Aisha Torah give a brief introduction, and by all means please read the rest of their article on the Shema Yisrael — “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” — is perhaps the most famous of all Jewish sayings.
“The Shema is a declaration of faith, a pledge of allegiance to One God. It is said upon arising in the morning and upon going to sleep at night. It is said when praising God and when beseeching Him. It is the first prayer that a Jewish child is taught to say. It is the last words a Jew says prior to death.
“The Talmud says that when Jacob was about to reveal the end of days to his children, he was concerned that one of them might be a non-believer. His sons reassured him immediately and cried out, “Shema Yisrael.”
“The Torah records Moses including the Shema in his farewell address to the Jewish people.
“We recite Shema when preparing to read the Torah on Sabbaths and festivals. And we recite Shema at the end of the holiest day of Yom Kippur when we reach the level of angels.
“Shema is contained in the mezuzah we affix to the doorpost of our home, and in the tefillin that we bind to our arm and head.”
Now, as for those six words:
Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One
As you may have noticed there is a large letter Ayin and Dalet in the first and last of the 6 words, which should have made all of us take notice of these 2 words in particular, but as my teacher’s teacher often said, what is least noticed is most important.
The first and last word of the famous verse, the words with enlarged final letters, Shema – Echad (ShMA – EchD), connect to Moshiach Ben David as will be explained shortly, and the enlarged letters, Ayin and Dalet, spell “witness” as the sages have told us, but they also have the numerical values 70 and 4 respectively.
The significance of this lies in the Zohar’s explanation of the coming of Moshiach and the end of the 4th exile at the end of the 70 years. And 70 years from Israel’s statehood in 1948 is also the end of the 4th exile that began 1948 years earlier in 70 CE with the destruction of the Second Holy Temple, giving us 2018 (5778 HC), the date Rav Yehuda Halevi Ashlag also gave us. Pay close attention to what the verse says:
Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
And pay close attention to where the verse is found: (Deuteronomy) Devarim 6:4 because the ordinal value of the name Israel (YShREL) is also 64. The verse is all about Israel.
The Shema is about Israel
We will save the real meaning of the word AD produced by these 2 large letters (Ayin and Dalet) for another article we’re preparing that deals with the final redemption and concentrate instead on the two words themselves today.
The first word is Shema (ShMA), of numerical value 410, the same as the word Kadosh, Holy) and the last word is Echad (EChD) of numerical value 13, the same as the word Ahava (love) and connected to the 13 attributes of G-d. So together we can take them to mean, “Hear One,” as in one voice, or “Hear Love” or “Holy One” or even, “Holy Love.” Nevertheless and regardless of how we take them, they add up together, including the kolel of 1, to 424, the numerical value of Mashiach Ben David, the Messiah.
The Shema is about bringing Mashiach Ben David
The Shema Israel comes from the Torah (Devarim 6:4) and all the technology of the Torah is designed to help us bring about Moshiach consciousness and prepare is to receive the Tree-of-Life reality when the window of opportunity (gates) opens in the next few years, which is why it is so important we understand what we are praying and why my teacher wanted me to reveal this now.
But don’t forget that we have to play our part too. Being aware of the encoded technology is very important, but keeping our thoughts pure and focused on the elevation, on the unification and Oneness with G-d (YHVH), and on the divine and unconditional love is even more important.
End of Part I. Part II to follow shortly.