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Some say we are entering very dangerous and perilous times now. Looming in the future seem to be war, financial collapse, new strains of flu, and nations around the world in upheaval.
The following is a message from the "Shema Yisrael Now" committee, based in Chicago, regarding the 12th annual worldwide Shema Yisrael effort for Hoshana Rabba, scheduled for Motzoi Shabbos, October 6th at 9 p.m.
The effort is coordinated by the Shema Yisrael Now committee, which seeks to raise awareness of the importance and protective power of the Shema Yisrael prayer.
The holiday "Hoshana Rabba", which is the seventh and final night of the holiday of Succot, is a final chance to overturn difficult heavenly decrees that might have been written on Rosh Hashana. As such, Hoshana Rabba is marked by intense prayer and repentance. During these most difficult and volatile times we have the opportunity to help avert difficult heavenly decrees, please join with others to remove or soften the blow.
With all that is happening in the world today, Hashem is giving us a wake up call, an opportunity to fix what has been damaged through our sins and repair the world through teshuva [repentance]. Each and everyone of us can make a difference. The Talmud states [Kiddushin 40B] that the whole world as well as the individual , is judged by the majority of deeds. It only takes one person's one good deed to turn the judgment to the positive side for everyone. If each and every one of us would avoid the next sin that presents itself to them and actively seek out and do the next good deed, we could change the world for the better. The power of unity in doing a mitzvah is particularly effective in garnering merits. Let us join together on this significant date to state our firmest belief that He is the One and Only.
This year, Hoshana Rabba falls out on Motzoi Shabbos and Sunday October 6th- 7th. On this day dedicated to prayer, there will be a special unified effort centering on our most basic and powerful prayer, and declaration of faith, the Shema Yisrael prayer.
On Motzoi Shabbos, October 6th at 9 p.m, Jews in many communities will stop what they are doing and say the Shema prayer-- the Jewish basic declaration of faith, in unity with Jews around the globe.
The basic Shema prayer that many will recite on the Hoshana Rabba night is comprised of six words:
*Shema Yis-ra-el A-do-noi E-lo-hei-nu A-d-noi E-chad*
Translation: Hear, Israel, Hashem is (now) our G-d, Hashem is the One and Only.
This is followed by the whispered recital of the following six words:
*Ba-ruch Shem Kev-od Mal-chuso Le-Olam Va'ed*
Translation: Blessed is the Name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity.
This refers to our silent aspiration that the entire world should soon recognize Hashem's glory.
The Shema prayer is one of the 613 Commandments and our most basic, powerful declaration of our faith in One G-D
When saying the Shema prayer, concentrate intensely upon accepting G-D’s absolute sovereignty
All Jews are encouraged to join this special united effort by saying the Shema prayer at 9 p.m. Motzoi Shabbos, October 6th, with their families or whomever they are with at the time.
We strongly encourage all Jewish people to say the Shema prayer every morning and evening, every single day, as a way to unite the Jewish people and help bring peace to our world.