Religion Past and Present

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(879 words)

[German Version]

I. Antiquity

The Shema (שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) is named from the initial words of Deut 6:4–9 (“Hear, O Israel: The Lord your God is one”). Together with the ‘Amida (Prayer: XI, 1), it is one of the cornerstones of Jewish worship (II, 3.a; Liturgy: VII), being recited during morning prayers (Shacharit) and evening prayers (Ma‘ariv); on the basis of Deut 6:7, reciting the Shema is understood as a biblical commandment (cf. also Deut 11:19: “Teach [these words of mine] to your children,…

Cite this page
Herrmann, Klaus, “Shema”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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