hebrew
1)

What is the difference between "Hashem" and "Elokim"?

1.

Hashem means 'the Omnipotent G-d', 1 whereas 'Elokim" means 'the G-d who judges and supervises our deeds, rewards and punishes us'. 2 (EC)


1

It hints to 'Hayah, Hoveh ve'Yih'eh' (was, is and will be - implying that He is above time (EC). The letters of these words comprise 'Yud Kei Vov Kei' three times. (PF)

2

See the first five 'Ani Ma'amins' of the Rambam.

2)

What are the implications of "Hashem Elokeinu"?

1.

Ramban: "Shema Yisrael ... " is actually an elaboration of the first of the Aseres ha'Dibros - the Mitzvah of "Anochi" (declaring the Oneness of G-d). 1

2.

Seforno: It implies that Hashem

3)

To whom does "Yisrael" refer?

1.

Rashi, Ramban, Rashbam, Seforno and Targum Onkelos: It refers to the nation of Yisrael.

2.

Targum Yonasan: 'When the time arrived for out father Ya'akov to be gathered in from thie world, he was afraid that, perhaps there was a (spiritual) defect among his children. When he queried them about that, they replied in unison "Listen Yisrael our father, Hashem is or G-d ... "!


1

Targum Yonasan: At whichj Ya'akov exclaimed 'Baruch Shem K'vodo Le'olam Va'ed!'

4)

What is the exact meaning of "Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad"? Why does the Pasuk insert the Name "Hashem" twice?

1.

Rashi: It means that Hashem, 1 who is currently our G-d (Elokeinu), but not of the Nochrim, will eventually become One (because also they will recognize Him). 2

2.

Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim (5:1): Had it said only Shma Yisrael Hashem Echad, every nation would have said that their idolatry is one. Now that it says "Hashem Elokeinu", it is known that it is discussing Elokei Yisrael. Had it said Hashem Elokeinu 3 Echad, this would imply that Elokeinu is one of the gods, and all the more so if it would say Elokeinu Echad. Now that it says twice "Hashem Elokeinu Hashem", it means that Hashem, who is our Master, is one in Lordship, and there is none other than Him.


1

Havayah

5)

Why did Moshe use the term "Hashem Elokeinu" and not "Hashem Elokecha" as we find throughout the Torah and especially in Sefer Devarim (See the following Pasuk)?

1.

Ramban: It is because Hashem performed with Moshe wondrous deeds in order to elevate him in order to enhance his name. 1

2.

Targum Yonasan: This was first said in a dialogue between Ya'akov and his sons, where, in reply to his query as to whether their Emunah was complete, they exclaimed in unison 'Shema Yisrael Avinu, Hashem Elokeinu ... !' 2


1

It is proper that Moshe not leave any doubt that he excludes himself from declaring His unity. I do not know why this depends on the wonders He did with Moshe, nor why we find "Hashem Elokeinu" about another 20 times in Sefer Devarim, and "Hashem Elokecha" about 200 times! (PF) See Rav Chavel's footnotes.

2

Targum Yonasan: To which Ya'akov responded 'Baruch Shem Kevodo...!'

6)

What are the implication of "Hashem Echad"?

1.

Rashi (in Berachos, 13b): Hashem is One 1 in Heaven, on earth and in all directions. 2

2.

Seforno: It means that there is nothing that can compare to the existence of Hashem, who created existence when there was nothingness. Consequently, He is detached from this (finite) world, from the world of the planets, from the world of angels, and He exists Alone in the fourth world. 3

3.

Rashbam: We will serve Hashem, who alone is our G-d. 4 And under no circumstances will we combine any other deity with Him, even to divine whilst still believing that there is no G-d other than Hashem. 5


1

'And there is no Oneness like Him in any form or fashion (Rambam, in the second 'Ani Ma'amin').

2

'The world of the Kisei ha'Kavod'.

3

See Peninim mi'Shulchan ha'Vilna Gaon in 32:39.

4

Rashbam: As the Pasuk states in Divrei ha'Yamim 2, 13:10.

5

Refer to 5:7:1:3.

7)

What is the difference between the Mitzvah of "Anochi" (in the Aseres ha'Dibros) and that of "Shema Yisrael"?

1.

Ramban #1: "Shema" is coming to elaborate on the Mitzvah of "Anochi", which is the unification of Hashem's holy Name.

2.

Ramban #2 (in Yisro) 1 : "Anochi" is the Mitzvah of Kabalas Ol Malchus Shamayim, whereas "Shema" is that of the unification of Hashem's holy Name.


1

Refer to Shemos, 20:3:1:1* and see R. Chavel's footnotes.

8)

Why is the 'Ayin' in "Shema" big?

1.

Seforno: To hint that we should open our eyes and think deeply about the Oneness of Hashem. 1

2.

Ba'al ha'Turim #1: Because Hashem gave the Torah which has seventy names and can be explained in seventy ways to Yisrael, who have seventy names. 2

3.

Ba'al ha'Turim #2: Refer to 6:4:8:5.

4.

Perhaps this is lest people confuse the Ayin like an Alef 3 , and it will sound like Shema (perhaps), Heaven forbid. (PF)


1

Refer to 6:4:5:2.

2

See Ba'al ha'Turim, Bamidbar 11:16.

3

Ramban (Shabbos 103b): Rashi says that 'Ayin' and 'Alef' are pronounced similarly; others say that their forms are similar.

9)

Why is the 'Daled' in "Echad" big?

1.

Ramban (according to Kabalah): It hints at the great Name of Hashem. 1

2.

Seforno: Because Hashem exists alone in the fourth world. 2

3.

Ba'al ha'Turim #1: To teach us that we should declare Hashem King over Heaven and earth and over all four directions.

4.

Ba'al ha'Turim #2 (citing Shir ha'Shirim Rabah 5:11): To avoid confusing it with a 'Reish' (Chas v'Shalom). 3

5.

Ba'al ha'Turim #3: In conjunction with the large 'Ayin' in Echad, it spells 'Ed' - a hint that Yisrael testify to Hashem's Oneness. 4

6.

Rrefer to Shemos 32:7:3:2.


1

Ramban: See Yeshayah, 63:12. Corresponding to which the Chachamim inserted the Pasuk "Baruch Sheim ... " in the Shema - See Pesachim, 56a.

2

Refer to 6:4:5:2.

3

Ba'al ha'Turim: And by the same token the 'Reish' in "Lo Sishtachaveh l'Eil Acher" (Shemos 34:14) is written large to avoid confusing it with a 'Daled' (Chas v'Shalom).

4

Ba'al ha'Turim: As the Pasuk states in Yeshayah, 43:10. See Ba'al ha'Turim.

10)

Rashi (20:3) writes that even if you have only the merit of Keri'as Shma, you are worthy of Hashem's salvation. What is the reason?

1.

Da'as Zekenim, Rosh (4:2): There are 248 words in Keri'as Shma 1 . One who says it properly, Hashem guards his 248 limbs. Hadar Zekenim (5:1)


1

Da'as Zekenim, Rosh: Really, we need three more words to complete 248 (including Baruch Shem Kevod

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