Shema Israel is one of the two most important prayers in Judaism. In contrast to the other one, Shemone Esre, it was not composed by the Sages but comprises of three quotes from the Torah (Pentateuch). The most famous is the first verse of this prayer: Shema Israel, Adonai Elo-heinu, Adonai Echad, “Listen, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai alone”. If you are interested in art dedicated to this verse alone, please jump over to this post.
The first paragraph of Shema is usually the first prayer a child learns. It describes the obligation to read the Shema and to educate the next generations. It also proclaims the commandment to love God with all we have and are.