Recently, I invited congregants to reflect on what it means to them to recite the Shema. Many spoke about their connections to the Holy One.
One involved young person – a Congregation Or Ami member, Madricha (Teaching assistant), and Camp Newman camper – offered some unique, thought-provoking ideas. For her, it seems, Shema connects her to the Jewish community.
Lisa Friedman writes:
When I hear or recite the Shema, I think about Camp Newman. At camp, we recite the Shema at least twice a day, during afternoon t’fillah and nightly siyum. We experiment with the prayer, keeping our eyes opened or sitting down sometimes. We talk about what this prayer means to us and what we think about when we recite it. When I recite the Shema, I think about how lucky I am to be a free Jew and be able to pray to G-d. I also think of the soldiers in the IDF, fighting for our freedom, reciting the same prayer as I am. I am very grateful to be able to pray and recite the Shema beside my family and friends here at Congregation Or Ami.
What does reciting the Shema lead you to think about? Do tell.