Q-1.1: QUESTIONS

  1. On the basis of what we have read so far, explain how the Rabbis could have reached the conclusion that the specified passages must be recited twice a day.

  2. Do you believe that this is the real meaning of the Biblical passages in question?
    Explain your answer.

Discuss these questions with your study-partner, and then mail in the answers.

When you have done so, proceed to read some additional comments about the Biblical passages.



Q-1.3: QUESTION

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.

When you have done so, proceed to read an other text.



Q-1.4: QUESTION

  1. 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?
  2. 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?


Discuss these questions with your study-partner, and then mail in the answers.

When you have done so, proceed to read our next source.



Q-1.5: QUESTIONS

First try these multiple-choice questions for self-review


Answers are entered by clicking the option button that corresponds to your selection. The test is scored by clicking "Grade Test" at end of the exam. Your score will appear in the "status bar" at the bottom of the window.

Correct answers are found through hypertext links located at the end of the exam.



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:

    A) Talmud.
    B) Shema'.
    C) Mishnah.


Question #4: According to Jewish understanding of the Torah obligation, how many times must the Shema' be recited each day?

    A) 1.
    B) 2.
    C) 3.


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:

    A) Midrash.
    B) Halakhah.
    C) Abayé.


Click on the appropriate number for full explanations of the Correct Answers to each question

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,


Now you can tackle these more demanding essay-style questions:

  1. What are the two stages of purification prescribed in Leviticus 22:6-8?
  2. In the light of this passage, how would you pin-point the time from which the evening Shema' may be recited according to the Mishnah?

Discuss these questions with your study-partner, and then mail in the answers.


After you have done so, click here to examine a new text.













































Themes of the Shema'


Question #1: Which of the following themes is not mentioned in the Biblical passages that make up the Shema'?

(B) The Shema' does state "the Lord is our God, the Lord alone" (Deuteronomy 6:4). It also urges to "hearken diligently unto my commandments" (Deuteronomy 11:13). It says nothing explicit about an ultimate redemption.
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The recitation of the Decalogue as part of the Temple service


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.

"The recitation of the content of the Sinaitic Revelation at the time when the sacrifice was being offered up constituted a renewal, as it were, of the covenant made by the Lord with His people. Now this section--unique in character and as a historic occurrence--is given prominence even in the Torah."

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The Term "Tanna"


Question #3: A "Tanna" is a scholar whose opinion is recorded in the::

(C) Mishnah.

Check the glossary entry for "
Tanna"

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The number of times that the Shema' must be recited daily


Question #4: According to Jewish understanding of the Torah obligation, how many times must the Shema' be recited each day?

(B) 2: In the evening and in the morning.

"...when you lie down and when you get up."

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Ibn Ezra's interpretation of Deuteronomy 6:6-9

	 

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.

	



Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra writes as follows: "The true meaning of `these words' is: All the
commandments."

The other answers are those of other commentators.

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The meaning of the term "halakhah"



Question #6: The Hebrew term used to designage Jewish law is: 



(B) Halakhah.



 

See 
the entry in the glossary

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