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The words Shema Yisrael are usually translated as "Hear, Israel" or "Listen, Israel." However, the word appears with a different meaning elsewhere in Tanach: Shmuel 1 15:4: וַיְשַׁמַּע שָׁאוּל אֶת הָעָם, And Shaul gathered the nation Metzudas Tzion there: וישמע" - ענין אסיפה הבאה בשמיעת קול המאסף" Vayishama - gathering that happens ...


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The Sefer Hachinuch interprets this verb as the source that the commandment stated here is to believe in God, and not merely to profess belief in God. His piece on Commandment 417 begins: מצות אחדות השם - שנצטוינו להאמין כי השם יתברך הוא הפועל כל המציאות, אדון הכל, אחד בלי שום שתוף, שנאמר (דברים ו ד) שמע ישראל יי אלהינו יי אחד, וזה מצות עשה הוא, אינה ...


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In the first instance (hap-tip to Joseph for the list) of the use of "האל" in the Torah meaning "these," Bereishit 19:8, Rashi and Ibn Ezra comment on it, both indicating or implying that there's no special significance to this use. Skimming through the Mikraot Gedolot and R' Hirsch (commentaries I have at hand) on this and the other instances, I don't see ...


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The "hear" is critical to this verse, because this word lies in logical parallel to "the Lord our God." The Masoretic Text contains cantillation marks which serve not only to indicate the stress and accents on the Hebrew words, but to provide musical harmony to "sing" the Scripture, which aids in memorization. The way the words are pronounced (based on the ...


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The Idea in Brief In the margin of the Masoretic Text (which is called the "small Masorah") readers will find very important information concerning the word הָאֵל in Deut 4:42, which modifies the plural noun הֶעָרִים. The Masoretes (that is, the people who composed the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible) indicated that the word הָאֵל --with the definite ...



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