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Religion Library: Judaism

Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

Written by: Allan Nadler

Title: men dressed in tallit and tefillin for morning prayerSource: invocation of the Shema is also ideally intended to be the last words that cross a Jew's lips before death. For many centuries, the Shema has been the cri-de-coeur of Jewish martyrs who willfully gave their lives rather than be coerced into accepting idolatry.

The most frequently recited of the many Hebrew benedictions of thanksgiving are associated with the consumption of food and drink, the most familiar of which are those thanking God before a meal for providing bread and wine and the Grace after Meals that is recited at the conclusion of each meal.

This very rich regimen of blessings altogether constitutes a constant affirmation of God's presence in every aspect of human life, from the holiest to the most mundane, and promotes a perennial consciousness of Divine Providence and grace at every moment of human life, from the joyous to the tragic.

Study Questions:
     1.     What blessings are associated with the start and the end of a Jew's day?
     2.     What are Berakhot? How are they used?
     3.     How will blessing God in times of despair strengthen one's devotion within daily life?


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