Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A liturgical prayer consisting of three Scriptural passages (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37-41) recited twice daily by adult Jewish males to affirm their faith.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The central creed of Judaism, recited daily by some religious Jews.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Jewish ritual, a name for the first word of the verse, Deut. vi. 4, and also for the verse itself, “Shem'a Yisrael,” etc., “Hear, O Israel, Jehovah is our God, Jehovah is one,” recited as the Jewish confession of faith.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a liturgical prayer (considered to be the essence of Jewish religion) that is recited at least twice daily by adult Jewish males to declare their faith

Etymologies

Hebrew šəma', hear (the first word of Deuteronomy 6:4), imperative of šāma', to hear; see šmʿ in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • And with the last syllable of the "Shema" -- Hear,

    The Menorah Journal, Volume 1, 1915

  • At an early age He must have learned the so called Shema (Deut. 6: 4), and the Hallel, or Psalms 113-118 (Hebr.); He must have been familiar with the other parts of the Scriptures too, especially the Psalms and the Prophetic Books, as He constantly refers to them in His public life.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • This is the Shema, which is still heard in every synagogue service to this day.

    AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

  • Deuteronomy, also known as the Shema; the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, a manuscript originated from the Monastery of Mt.St. Catherine that was home to the earliest near-complete copy of the Bible, and the first volume of a Complutensian Polyglot Bible that was used for the comparative study of the text of Scripture.

    NYT > Home Page

  • He recited the "Shema" with a peaceful smile on his face.

    The Menorah Journal, Volume 1, 1915

  • The "Shema" recurs constantly in the daily ritual, and is informally repeated on every occasion of distress, or as a charm to ward off evil influences.

    The Promised Land

  • By this time he had forgotten his mother's face, and of his prayers perhaps only the "Shema" remained in his memory; but he was a Jew, and nothing would make him change.

    The Promised Land

  • The other practical observances like prayer, the reading of "Shema," and so on.

    A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy

  • It is called the "Shema": "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One."

    redding.com Stories

  • And his life's work was inspired by the awareness, embedded in the daily "Shema," of universal oneness.

    Articles

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