Prayers

Shema

שמע

(“Listen.”) Often called the watchword of the faith, the collection of verses from Torah that make up the Shema is recited twice a day, at morning and evening services, as directed in the first paragraph (‘‘You shall speak of them…when you lie down and when you rise up.”) Many recite the first line ( “Hear, Israel, Adonai your God, Adonai is One/ Adonai alone.”) at bedtime. The selections come from Deuteronomy (6:4-9, 11:13-21) and Numbers (15:37-41). The first paragraph is the most well known, telling us to love God with all our heart, soul and might, teach the commandments to our children, wear tefillin (phylacteries), and put a mezuzah on our doorpost.  The second paragraph reminds us that the observance of the mitzvot brings reward, while their neglect can bring punishment and hardship for the entire community and the land of Israel.  The final selection contains the instructions for the tzitzit, the fringe of blue we put on the corners of our garment to look at as a reminder not to let our eyes and our hearts lead us astray. 

Examples

Cantor Samuel Zimelman

Cantor Kurt Messerschmidt

Torah Service

A Song and a Prayer

Cantorial Music in Maine​