Prayer Light: 4.10 shema

“Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad” is the central summons of Judaism. It derives from Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear O, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” But shema means more than “hear.” It also gives the sense: “listen, understand, obey.” You can read more of Moses’ final injunction in verses 3–9. You can read more about the Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil here.

What does hear, listen, understand, obey look like in your world? To what are you called?

4.10 Shema

4.10 shema, June Steckler
As I went through my day today, these words of Dawn’s, in regard to shema, were on my mind: “How does hear, listen, understand, obey look in your world? To what are you called today?” I recently decided to change my painterly ways, which has also been indicative of other changes and renewals I am hoping for and pursuing. Because I am artsy and can be dramatic, (and redundant?) I fleshed out this changing by creating a kind of painting sculpture out of several ruined brushes that were casualties of my abandoning my studio mid-painting, awhile back, and a canvas that I used for practicing a certain kind of painting that I will no longer create. (I actually sledge-hammered the canvas before I drenched it all in white paint. Like I said, dramatic.) So, creating something new out of the wrecked pieces of the past as a means of never going back to that past. Pretty basic, really. Then, to remind myself of all this, I hung it on a wall of my house and I try to remember to remember (not a typo), every time I pass it, that to certain things, I will never go back. Again, pretty basic, but it’s hard to remember to remember amidst busyness. It all sounds quite positive and it was a good, artsy effort and nicely symbolic and all that, but it is all only that if I don’t do the actual work of (a kind of daily grind) hearing, listening, understanding and obeying. I fail woefully on all accounts and yet, thus far, keep being given another day, another chance. I think everyone else said this in only 17 syllables.

4.10 shema, Andrew Brimer

4.10 shema, Peggy Brimer

4.10 shema, Dawn Duncan Harrell

See Prayer Light.

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