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In the daily morning prayers the Shema, the essential declaration of Jewish faith, appears twice. The first, immediately following the morning blessings, is the truncated “Shema of Fear.” It is preceded by the Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19) and followed by the blessing “Atah hu” that defines God as sanctified by Jewish martyrs.

The second and primary Shema is preceded by “Ahavah rabah,” the passage expressing abundant and reciprocal love between God and the Jewish people. This “Shema of Love” is followed by further affirmations of our love for God climaxing in the Amidah, the 19 blessings we say as we stand directly in God’s presence.

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