A moment in time….

Over Shabbat, one of the service leaders called our attention to the notion that when saying the shema, some have the custom of saying each word with one full breath. Taking hte time to fully devote oneself to the word, the meaning, the history, the covenant. Taking a moment in time to be lost in words of Torah, a mantra of sorts.
for me, this moment in time brings great meaning. The shema is supposed to be the last thing that a Jew says, the final words, the final affirmation of belief in God and our traditions. Most people never get the chance to have this final moment in time My papa had this chance. He took all of his strength, all of his last energy and put it into belting out the shema as his body shut down. As the morphine dripped into his system, a bit too late, he said the shema, and took his final breath.
28 days after this, I sat with my father, at his bedside as he took his final breaths. He wasn’t conscious, his strength had gone, but I sat with him, and said the Shema. I affirmed for him in me what our expression of faith is he had long ago told me that this is our expression of faith, we can’t change our destiny, we accept it and believe and trust in God. Another moment in time, each word led to the next, to that final space.
I don’t think I take enough time each day to take in the world around me, the moon, the sky, my friends, family, my smile. But, I try, each morning and evening to take a moment in time to say the Shema. It is the utterance of those 6 words that place me in a moment in time that I will forever cherish. It is these 6 words that reaffirm my belief in God, in man and in myself. I will understand it one day, I will hear the world around me, I will find God in my daily life.

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