And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
The Eternal Is One
Topic: Prayer, Meditation, & Contemplation
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I [Moses] teach you shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The Book of Deuteronomy
Wilson, Andrew, editor. World Scripture - a Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. Paragon House, 1991, p. 567 [Deuteronomy 6.5-9, The Torah, The Hebrew Bible].
Copyright © 2017 – 2023 LuminaryQuotes.com About Us
Deuteronomy 6.5-9: For Jews, this central text of the Torah commands teaching and study. In addition, it is the basis for the ritual use of passages of the Torah wrapped inside the phylacteries worn on the forehead and the arm at times of prayer, and inside the mezuzzah affixed to the door frames of every home.
Rabbi Ted Falcon, A Jewish Contemplative Meditation Practice
I developed a personal Jewish practice of contemplative meditation that I later learned had a name, hitbon’nut, which refers to inviting deeper wisdom, usually through focusing on a text. I would randomly open a traditional Jewish prayer book and contemplate whatever I found. On one such day, the book fell open to the most well-known passage in Jewish worship, the Sh’ma: “Listen, Israel: The Eternal is our God, the Eternal is One.” (Deuteronomy 6:4). I came close to shutting the book to find something less familiar, but decided to trust the process–after all, Sh’ma means “listen.” [See Context above.] In the ancient biblical idiom, the heart was understood as the center of thought. So the injunction encouraged us to repeat the words of the Sh’ma in our mind while at home or away, when going to sleep and when awakening from sleep. That’s all the time. In truly listening to what the Sh’ma was saying, I found myself encountering this well-read text for the first time. I suddenly understood the words to be instructions for a focus for meditation, and it has been a secure foundation for my spiritual practice ever since. The meditative instructions had always been there, hidden in plain sight.
–Rabbi Ted Falcon [Finding Peace Through Spiritual Practice, The Interfaith Amigos].
“Listen, Israel: The Eternal is our God, the Eternal is One. And you will love the Eternal your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. Repeat them to your children, and speak them when you sit in your house, when you walk on the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.”