Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Long Life

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

“If someone extends the recitation of the word ‘echad’ (one) while saying Shema, Hashem will extend his days and years” (Brachos 13b). Our Sages reveal that aside from protecting each individual limb, the recitation of Shema also extends one’s life. Why is the word “echad” so important? The most crucial part of the mitzva of Shema is the first line. Whilst saying it, a person must keep in mind that Hashem is the only power in the world, and that He is “echad,” One and Unified in His existence. Without this in mind, a person does not fulfill the mitzva of Krias Shema and must repeat it (Shulchan Aruch 60,5).

When the letter ches, the second letter of echad, is inscribed in a Torah scroll it has two humps which form its “roof.” This distinctive formation, which alludes to the heavens, symbolizes Hashem’s absolute sovereignty over all of the Creation (Elia Rabba). In order to instill this within our hearts, the halachic authorities rule that the letter ches of the word “echad” should be extended slightly to give us enough time to contemplate Hashem’s kingship.

The numerical value of the letter daled, the last letter of echad, is four. This symbolizes Hashem’s rule, which extends to the four corners of the world. The halacha says that a person should extend the letter daled slightly to give himself enough time to contemplate Hashem’s dominion throughout the world and beyond. However, practically this is difficult for Ashkenazim to do, and one should be careful not to mispronounce the word by doing so (Shulchan Aruch 61: 5,6).


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

It's All About Redemption Part II
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

A Place To Be
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Noach - A 'Standard' Tzaddik
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Perceptions - Noach
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Lesson of the Ravens
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Stealing: Not For The Taking
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Rainmaker
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Dissections and Connections
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

The Path to Serving God
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

ArtScroll

Make it a Habit
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Investing in the Land
Shlomo Katz - 5767

A Place To Be
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5775

> Parshas Noach
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Constant Taking is Self Destructing
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Drowning in a Lack of Heaven
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5775

Intellectual Beliefs
Shlomo Katz - 5758



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information