Translation of Shema 2nd Paragraph Updated in Light of Today’s Problems
Here are two adaptive translations of the 2nd Paragraph of the Shema.
Read aloud during prayer or study in hevrutah.
Shema 2nd Paragraph As Translate By Rabbi Arthur Version
"Listen, you Godwrestlers! — YHWH, Yahh, the Interbreathing of all life, is the Name of our God — and the Breath of Life is ONE.
"If you listen, REALLY listen to the teachings of YHWH, the Breath of Life, especially the teaching that there is Unity in the world and inter-connection among all its parts, then the rains will fall as they should, the rivers will run, the heavens will smile, and the good earth and all its creatures will feed you and each other.
"BUT if you shatter the harmony of life, if you chop the world up into parts and choose one or a few to worship —- like gods of wealth and power, greed, the addiction to Do and Make and Produce without pausing to Be and make Shabbat —- then the Breath of Life will come as a hurricane to shatter your harmony.
For if you pour poison into earth and air and water, then it will be poison that you eat and drink and breathe. The rain won't fall [or, it will turn to acid], the rivers won't run [or, they will overflow because you have left no earth where the rain can soak in], and the heavens themselves will become your enemy [the ozone layer will cease shielding you, the Carbon Dioxide you pour into the air will scorch your planet], and you will perish from the good earth that the Breath of Life gives you.
So, therefore, set these words/deeds in your heart and in every breath, carry them in every act toward which you put your hands, and make them the pattern through which you see the world. Teach them to your children, to repeat them to their children; stay aware of them when you sit in your houses, when you travel on your roads, when you lie down to dream and when you rise up to act. Write them on the thresholds where you cross from world to world —- the doorposts of your houses and your city-gates.
"So that your days and the days of your children grow more, grow deeper, grow higher, upon the earth that the BREATH OF LIFE swore to your forebears to give them —
"So that as Shamayyim, Heaven, is where Eysh and Mayyim, Fire and Water, can live in harmony together, you can make the earth a harmonious haven, can live upon the Earth days as filled with harmony as Heaven."
Shema 2nd Paragraph As Translated By Noam Dolgin
And if you listen, really listen to the commandments I grant you this day, to love and served Hashem your G*d and all G*d’s creations, with all your heart and all your soul. Then Hashem will provide rain in its proper seasons, the former rain and the latter rain and you, and all G*d’s creations will have food and be satisfied. But be careful, lest your heart be turned away and you worship other G*d’s, G*d’s of money and consumerism, fashion and sport at the expense of G*d’s world. Then the wrath of Hashem will be turned against you, and global temperature will begin to rise. The climate will not behave like it used to, with freak floods and hurricanes displacing millions of people on national TV. Polar Bears will become extinct as ice caps melt, sea levels will rise, displacing billions of people in Asia. Areas which once grew food will become desert and unusable including large portions of Israel. And our species will find ourselves speedily evicted from this good land that G*d has given us.
Place these words upon your heart and bind them as a sign between your eyes. See G*d’s wonder in all that surrounds you, and speak G*d’s truths in all that you say. Teach them to your family in your home and on your way, when you go sleep and when you wake up. And if we follow these commandments then we can again live in harmony and the days of our children will be like the days of the heaven upon the earth.