Shema
Hear O Israel the Lord your God is One

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Shema Yisrael

The first paragraph of the Shema seen in a Torah scroll

The first, pivotal, words of the Shema are (keep in mind Hebrew is read from right to left):

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד - Shema Yisra'el YHWH Eloheinu YHWH Echad

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad - Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One

The literal word meanings are roughly as follows:

Shema listen, or hear & do (according to the Targum, accept)
Yisrael Israel, in the sense of the people or congregation of Israel
Adonai often translated as "Lord", it is read in place of YHWH
Eloheinu our God, the word "El" or "Eloh" signifying God (see also: Elohim), and the plural possessive determiner suffix "-nu" or "-enu" signifying "our"
Echad the Hebrew word for the number 1, which has the dual meaning "one" and "alone", its root is also "united" and "unique", and "brotherhood" (Achdut).




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