The Way of G-d
Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 4: "Shema Yisroel Its Blessings"
The very last item we'll consider in the whole panorama of things
associated with reciting "Shema Yisroel" will be the berachot
("blessings") we say with the nighttime reading of it.
As we said, all of creation is reactivated every day, and each day is
given its own mission. Now, that's both confirmed and summed up in the
heavens each night (much the way we might review the day we'd had each
night to plan for the next day accordingly). The berachot said before and
after the nighttime "Shema Yisroel" reflect that.
As such, we start off by praising G-d for changing day to night and for
manifesting His presence then, too. Then we reaffirm G-d's love of us as
well as our commitment to Him and His Torah, which we thank G-d for.
We then recite "Shema Yisroel", and end off by expressing gratitude to G-d
once again for having redeemed us in the past (with an implied trust in
the ultimate redemption) and by declaring that "G-d will reign forever!"
A fourth beracha was instituted later on as well in which we ask G-d for gu
idance, well-being, and surety; and some communities conclude with an
additional beracha that reaffirms G-d's sovereignty and lauds Him for it.
May G-d grant us the wherewithal to recite "Shema Yisroel" in earnest and
with true heartfelt conviction each and ever day; and may we realize the
truth of what it says as we say it.
Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.