I grew up learning that the Sh’ma is ‘the watchbird of our faith’ but to this day- I’m not sure what that means.
When I visit a community, I typically want to use the tune of Sh’ma that the congregation knows (which is most of Pik or Sulzer) but I use this song and activity to frame that tradition in a way that educates and engages everyone- no matter the age.
One of the fun facts I uncovered doing research for my doctoral dissertation about ‘Tot Shabbat’ is that the Sh’ma is the most commonly recited prayer at ‘Tot Shabbat’ services, with 98% of ‘tot shabbat’ leaders including this prayer, I hope this tune will offer a complimentary addition to the integration of this prayer concept with will increase understanding for all the participants- but also simply ‘awaken’ the participants so that their movement and joy can be associated with this critical Jewish concept.
Lyrics and Movements for Sh’ma song:
(in recording, I skip when singing it IRL): SH-M-A Listen SH-M-A- Listen
Teach, model, and invite participants to join you with movements- see video below for demo.
These were crafted to enhance engagement, understanding, and to build relationships amongst the participants in the service or program. I always model with a ‘volunteer’ (who is a ‘seed’ that I asked before the service begins to review the moves)
Is Your G*D
And Your G*D
Is my G*D
Echad means one
Point to self
Point to partner
Maintain point to partner
Point to self
High 5, two hands
Put one hand behind back, show one finger
Put finger high in the air, shout that lyric