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Sacrificing One's Life

When Rabbi Akiva was being murdered, reciting the Shema prayer, he told his students that all his life he waited to die with the Shema on his lips. In Jewish law there is a requirement to be prepared to sacrifice one's life as part of the intent of the Shema prayer.

In this world, we consider our life to be precious and are sad when someone loses their life. On a high spiritual level, we become aware that our life is a gift and does not belong to us. We also are aware of the unity of ou soul with G-d, and how our bodies separate us.

By reciting the Shema every day with the prescribed intentions, we increase our awareness of our ability to sacrifice ourselves.

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