The Shema

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The Shema
Text: Deuteronomy 6:4-5
Occasion: General
Audience: Adult
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: God
Author: D. Mackey


The Shema is the basis, the foundation of our faith

How to Get There

When asked what the greatest commandment, Jesus replies, referring to the Shema. Mark 12:28-33

The Shema rules out:

  • All polytheism: many gods
  • Dualism: there is a good and bad/light and dark balancing each other.
  • Pantheism: where all things are divine
  • The trinity: watch this one. To many religions our Father, Son and Spirit are three gods, not One in different forms.

The Shema teaches:

  • The brotherhood of man: there is one god and he created all things, including us humans. He is god of the universe.
  • The unity of the universe: this is the basis of modern science. Because there is one god and he created it all, there is unity in his creation.
  • The unity of history: there is a beginning and there will be an end to history. No Polytheistic system can arrive at one providence ruling the world with fixed laws.
  • The messianic kingdom. Some day time will run out and the messiah will rule

Things to Watch For

Walk a careful line on three gods vs. one god who manifests himself three ways. There are many resources to help

These concepts come mostly out of the Pentateuch published by Socino Publishing edited by the late Dr. Hertz.

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