The Shema and Barucha

A couple of Hebrew prayers which have echoes in our Eucharistic Liturgy - do you know where?

Shema Yisrael

Deuteronmy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One

Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.

And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them

when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.

And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.

And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Observant Jews consider the Shema to be the most important part of the prayer service in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation as a mitzvah (religious commandment). It is traditional for Jews to say the Shema as their last words, and for parents to teach their children to say it before they go to sleep at night.


Praised be thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe

A prayer said many times at the celebration of Passover. A prayer said by Jesus at the Last Supper. These prayers are the basis of our Offertory prayers at Mass. In my opinion they should never be cut. A hint to musicians (keep the offertory hymn short!) and to priests (wait - don't say the prayers silently.) They are our last links to our Jewish heritage and should be acknowledged as such.