For Jewish people, the Covenant is an ever present and main belief that helps guide them into a harmonious life with God. It involves an agreement between God’s promise and human’s commitment. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 contains a daily prayer called the ‘Shema,’ which calls adherents to answer to God’s love with faithfulness, through human love and effort. It states for Jews to love God, “alone… with all your heart… soul and with all your might.” It can be used to interpret how the Covenant is important to the dedicated lives of Jewish people.
Judaism’s Covenant involves an agreement between one single God and its adherents. As a result, a main part of the Covenant belief revolves around monotheism. Jews believe in the existence of a single transcendent God and that all prayer should be devoted specifically towards God. The 613 mitzvot provide an ethical and moral framework for a Jew’s life, in which the second mitzvah instructs Jews, “not to entertain the idea that there is any God but the Eternal (Ex. 20:3).” This emphasises the idea of monotheism, which refers to the prayer of Shema in, “Lord is One.” It symbolises that living a faithful Jewish life involves committing oneself into whole heartedly loving a single monotheistic God.
Circumcision is another part of God’s Covenant and is important in portraying that devotion requires human effort. It is an initiation rite for male Jewish babies and signifies the becoming of a Jew. Orthodox Rabbi Shalom Debo is a Mohel and a 48-year-old father of seven. He says it is crucial to perform the brises, “just like Abraham gave his son Isaac on the eighth day.” As a result, all male descendants must partake in circumcision to continue the fulfillment of the Covenant. It also symbolises body and spirit binding to God. Again, linking to the Shema, it reminds Jews that the completion of the covenant consists of a human act; that Jews must devote with “all your might.” It teaches that it takes human effort to achieve spiritual and moral perfection by circumcising Jew’s sons and descendants. Thus, circumcision depicts the importance of committing to an unbreakable covenant through human act.
In conclusion, with constant referral to Judaism’s Shema, it is evident that the Covenant not only teaches Jews to love their single God. However, it reminds adherents that achieving a strong individual and personal relationship with God also requires human effort.