On the first night of Chanukah, after lighting the Chanukah menorah and
followed by the Shabbat candles, Jews in many communities will stand with their
families and friends, and recite the Shema Yisrael prayer. It may also be
recited at the ensuing Shabbat dinner after the blessing on the wine (Kiddush).
The first night of Chanukah is Friday night, Dec. 15, 2006 (25 Kislev). The
effort is coordinated by the Chicago-based Shema Yisrael Now committee, after
consultation with rabbinic authorities and a Gadol Ba'Torah.
Joining in unity with Jews around the world is of paramount importance in
our turbulent times. The Chanukah night Shema effort is a statement of that
unity. As Jews in numerous communities confront anti-Semitism and threats, it is
all the more important to make a statement that we will stand together as a
The power of spiritual light which bursts forth on Chanukah, along with the
powerful unity of the Jewish people reciting our most basic prayer, the
Shema, can help bring protection for the Jewish people during these troubling
The basic Shema prayer that many will recite on the first night of Chanukah
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
This is followed by the whispered recital of the following six holy words:
Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso LeOlam Va'ed
Blessed is the Name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity.
This refers to our silent aspiration that the entire world should soon
recognize G-d's kingship over the world.
The Shema Yisrael Now committee's mission is to raise awareness of the Shema
Yisrael prayer and its protective power for the Jewish people. It encourages
all Jews to recite the Shema twice a day, on rising in the morning and on
retiring at night.
All members of the Jewish community are encouraged to increase their
concentration (kavana) when reciting the Shema prayer and to speak to co-workers,
neighbors, friends and extended family members about joining the Shema effort.
More information on the Shema Yisrael Now committee and its projects may be
found [link=http://www.skokiekollel.org/shema]by clicking here.[/link] .