Bedtime Shema songs by Jordan Franzel and Lisa Tzur. Adapted from the Sh’ma for Bedtime in the Siddur, the Jewish Prayer Book, this composition was written in Jerusalem for the URJ Eisner Camp of Great Barrington, MA. It was published in the Shireinu series, the songbook for the Reform Movement.
The Shema prayer, the Jewish declaration of witnessing faith in one God, is traditionally recited each evening and morning. It is one of the first prayers children learn, often as a bedtime prayer, and can be a beloved family ritual including bedtime stories, hugs and kisses. At bedtime, adults traditionally say the Shema, too, accompanied by various bedtime prayers. My teacher Reb Zalman emphasized the importance of a daily review at bedtime. It is traditional to look back over the day, considering what we did right and might improve, and to forgive others who may have offended us during the day.
I like to keep a gratitude journal next to my bed to record what I’m grateful for that day, and another dream journal to catch my dream memories in the morning.