Shema! The six word (in Hebrew) Jewish perception of Who G-d is to us is openly revealed for the first time in this week's Torah reading of Va'etchanan, as Moshe continues to ready his people for their future in the land of Israel. What is the message behind Torah's inclusion of the Shema each year in the Torah portion read immediately after the 9th of Av? Va'etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:22 - 7:11)
What happens to prayers that appear to us to be unanswered? Where do they go? Are they scattered in the cosmic winds, never to be seen again? Do they fall back down to earth, like so many dried leaves? Or do they form an eternal bridge of human hope and longing, traversing time and space, bonded together in the service of all human aspiration?
In this week's Parasha the Torah is teaching us we must love G-d, but realistically how can that be done? how can I develop love to Hashem?