Review step-by-step the evidence which Urbach uses to build his proof about
when and why the Shema' was incorporated into the liturgy.
Discuss this questios with your study-partner, and then mail in the answers.
How does Steinsaltz's presentation
of the topic help to bridge the gap between the simple meaning of the Torah
text and the halakhic practice which based itself on the same verses?
The passages in Deuteronomy 6:8-9 and 11:18-19 that command Jews to "bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and...for frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them uponthe door-posts of thy house and upon thy gates" became the basis for the Jewish practices of wearing tefillin on the arm and forehead, and affixing a muzuzah upon a doorpost.
Compare the development of those practices to that of the recitation of the Shema'.
Can Steinsaltz's explanation of the signficance of the Shema' be applied to tefillin and mezuzah as well?
First try these multiple-choice questions for self-review
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Question #1: Which of the following themes is not mentioned in the Biblical passages that make up the Shema'?
A) Belief in one God alone.
B) Faith in the final redemption and the coming of the Messiah
C) The commitment to observe God's commandments.
Question #2: According to Urbach, the recitation of the Decalogue as part of the Temple service had the objective of:
A) symbolically renewing the covenant made by the Lord with His people.
B) reminding the priests that sacrifices are not included among the "Ten Commandments."
C) declaring that the Decalogue has a special status among the laws of the Torah.
Question #3: A "Tanna" is a scholar whose opinion is recorded in the:
Question #4: According to Jewish understanding of the Torah obligation, how many times must the Shema' be recited each day?
Question #5: According to Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra the Torah's command to "Recite them..when you lie down and when you get up" is referring to:
A) all the commandments of the Torah.
B) the Shema'.
C) the blessing and the curse that accompanied the covenant ceremony.
Question #6: The Hebrew term used to designage Jewish law is: