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Shema: Follow Through

The three paragraphs are followed by a blessing declaring God to be “true and certain, established, enduring, fair, faithful, beloved, cherished, delightful, present, awesome, powerful, correct, accepted, good, beautiful …”

In a human marriage, loving the other person is complicated. Love makes us to the vulnerable to hurt, and people generally don’t like to feel vulnerable. We don’t want to love someone if we are not sure that this person will love us in return. And even if we are sure of the other’s love, we may still hesitate because we cannot be certain how long this love will last. We all have—in one way or another—a problem with trusting others.

That is why the reading of the three paragraphs of the Shema is followed by a blessing which states that God is reliable, consistent and faithful—completely worthy of our love. (It begins, “the Lord, your God, is true” and ends, “Who redeems Israel.”)

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