July 22, 2013

The greatest commandment?: The Shema

Devarim 6:4

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
Shema Yisroel Adonoi Eloheinu Adonoi Echad.

The Greatest commandment

Greater or lesser commandments? I would not think this to be so, but when asked which is the first commandment of all, this was the response:

Mark 12:29-31

King James Version (KJV)
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

No other commandment greater than these says Jesus.

"No other commandment greater than these."

Deuteronomy 6:4-

King James Version (KJV)
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Deuteronomy 6:4

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord].

"The passages are Deuteronomy 6:4-8 and 11:13-22 and Numbers15:37-42. The first of these begins with one of the most famous and resonant statements in all of Jewish literature. During the service, the pray-er recites it with eyes closed and in a moment of great concentration:Hear, O Israel              Shema Yisra'elThe Lord is our God    Adonai EloheinuThe Lord is one!          Adonai ehad!The context for this verse in Deuteronomy reveals that it is uttered in a dramatic, interactive situation. The first phrase ("Hear, O Israel") is spoken by God to Israel; it carries no message, only the fact of being addressed by God, the experience of divine attention. Israel responds to being addressed by proclaiming that "the Lord is our God!" In English this sounds like a redundancy, but Hebrew differentiates between Adonai, which is the particular and proper name of God in the Bible (itself already an avoidance of the unpronounceable sacred name), and Elo­heinu, which is the generic term for gods or divine beings." - fromMy Jewish learning

Today's Prayer:
Today we seek thy face O God, great and mighty Jehovah, the one and only. We reverence your greatness and your uniqueness, in that there is none  like you, none but you. Forgive us if we have failed in upholding the greatest commandment- acknowledging and loving you with all the heart, and all the soul, and all the might. If we have not loved with all, show us where we have fallen short. Thank you Jesus for your grace. Help us to walk from this moment on, acknowledging this undying truth, in everything we think, and do, and say. In Jesus name, Amen.

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