Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Long Life

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

“If someone extends the recitation of the word ‘echad’ (one) while saying Shema, Hashem will extend his days and years” (Brachos 13b). Our Sages reveal that aside from protecting each individual limb, the recitation of Shema also extends one’s life. Why is the word “echad” so important? The most crucial part of the mitzva of Shema is the first line. Whilst saying it, a person must keep in mind that Hashem is the only power in the world, and that He is “echad,” One and Unified in His existence. Without this in mind, a person does not fulfill the mitzva of Krias Shema and must repeat it (Shulchan Aruch 60,5).

When the letter ches, the second letter of echad, is inscribed in a Torah scroll it has two humps which form its “roof.” This distinctive formation, which alludes to the heavens, symbolizes Hashem’s absolute sovereignty over all of the Creation (Elia Rabba). In order to instill this within our hearts, the halachic authorities rule that the letter ches of the word “echad” should be extended slightly to give us enough time to contemplate Hashem’s kingship.

The numerical value of the letter daled, the last letter of echad, is four. This symbolizes Hashem’s rule, which extends to the four corners of the world. The halacha says that a person should extend the letter daled slightly to give himself enough time to contemplate Hashem’s dominion throughout the world and beyond. However, practically this is difficult for Ashkenazim to do, and one should be careful not to mispronounce the word by doing so (Shulchan Aruch 61: 5,6).


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Errant Deification
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

From Rags to Riches
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

When Dignity Really Counts
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

ArtScroll

Answering the Call
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Shabbat Precedes the Building of the Mishkan
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

The Ballad of Mayer
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

> Washing Hands
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Open for Business
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

How Could This Happen?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Of Prayer and Sleep
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Paying Our Debts
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Shabbos: A Time to Be…
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

In Defense of Haman
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Shabbos Has Kept the Children of Israel Holy
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Terrorist Threat
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

Celebrate With Your Whole Self
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information