Analysis of the first two paragraphs of Krias Shema

Shiur #66 in Rav Aharon Kahn’s Hashkafah Series Based on Mishlei with Biur HaGra.

Content Description: Differences between the 1st and 2nd paragraphs of Krias Shema. The relationship between reward/punishment and the acceptance of mitzvos. How does the acceptance of G-d’s sovereignty not already necessarily include the acceptance of His mitzvos? Our performance of mitzvos reflects beliefs; we don’t emphasize declarations of belief. 1st paragraph is a declaration of Hashem as King over the whole universe, therefore we don’t mention the special relationship of Jews to Him. 2nd paragraph emphasizes the special connection Jews have with Hashem. 2nd paragraph parallels the intimate connection we have when praying. Differences between ahavas Hashem and learning Torah related in the first paragraph versus the second paragraph.

Citations: The following sources are referenced in this shiur: Talmud Yerushalmi Maseches Brachos 2:1, found in the source packets on page 1, and Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 63:6, found in the source packets on page 1.

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