We have reached the Barchu and Shema, key moments in any service. The Barchu is a communal call: Come, let us all bless God who blesses us. It is followed by two longer blessings that thank God for giving us each day and night, light and darkness, and for loving the Jewish people. Then comes the Shema, one of the pillars of Jewish liturgy and belief.

In the Shema we cover our eyes to aid in our concentration as we say, shema yisrael adonai eloheinu adonai echad, Listen O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One.

If you do not believe in God, use this time to reflect on what statements are the pillars of your beliefs.

Type of Custom: Barchu & Shema

Holiday/Event: Shabbat

Source: Tamar Fox