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Congregation Brothers of Israel

L'dor Vador - From Generation to Generation since 1883 לדור ודור

Mrs. Hersch's message about the Shema

 

One of the first prayers we are taught as children is the Shema.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל היְ אֱלֹהֵינוּי היְ אֶחָֽד

She-ma yisrael, adonai eloheinu, adonai echad

Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One

The message of the Shema is the affirmation of Judaism and a declaration of faith in one God.

It tells us not only to listen, but also to hear.  It is important to connect with God, and each other, by hearing what is truly said, not just listening to the sound of a voice. It is difficult to hear what someone is saying, especially if we don't like what is being said. It is difficult to listen if we are questioned.

The first verse of the Shema is considered the most essential declaration of faith — the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.

The passage that follows details the particular ways in which that faith should be lived:

"Love God with all of your being, teach it to your children, recite it when you wake and lie down, bind it as a symbol on your arm."

The Shema speaks of loving God and passing Jewish traditions to our children.

Every Jew is instrumental in fulfilling this important commandment. Each of us affirms the importance of tradition and the deep roots of our faith, when we are actively involved in Jewish living.

We recently had a School Mitzvah Day at the JRA (Jewish Relief Agency) in Philadelphia, packing and delivering food to those in need.  It was a wonderful day of caring and reaching out to others. The mitzvot in the Torah command us to do this. It is the example set by the parents, working along side their children, that make the commandments have real meaning. This is how we teach it to our children

We must hear the words of God , listen to the commandment and let our actions "speak" of them!     

Joan

                  For a great video about the Shema, click here.

 

Being Jewish has been the greatest gift my parents gave me!

I was a religious school nerd—I loved it! This is my mission—to instill this same joy in the students of our school.

Professionally, I spent over 35 years as a Teacher of the Gifted in the public school system and served as director of the Abrams Day Camp of the JCC for many years. I have a B.A. from Queens College in NY and an M. Ed. from the College of New Jersey. I have a certificate in Jewish Educational Leadership from the combined Leadership Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College.

I am a past President of Congregation Brothers of Israel, former chair of the Board of Education, Past President of B’nai Brith Women New Jersey Region, former Board member of the Anti-Defamation League, and proudly served many other community organizations.

 

My greatest joy has been serving as Education Director of this congregation. There are few more important and lasting gifts we can give our children than a quality education and the knowledge of who and what they are and where they come from. Perpetuating our knowledge, heritage, values and culture is an integral part of the Jewish tradition. It is what has kept us alive over these thousands of years.

As a congregation, we remain committed to the future of our people by nurturing the school and enabling our students to develop the skills needed to participate knowledgeably in religious life, to present positive examples of Jewish values and to be active participants in Jewish living.

                                                                              E-mail: morahj@cboi.org

Sun, November 18 2018 10 Kislev 5779