Sh'ma and Her Blessings
After "warming up" with the introductory prayers, the service gets down to business: the Sh'ma is the centerpiece of this section, with blessings before and after.
After calling each other to worship with the Bar'chu, we remember God's act of creation with Yotzer Or (in the morning) or Ma'ariv Aravim (in the evening). The Sh'ma reminds us of God's Oneness and leads immediately into the V'ahavta, which reminds us how to show our love for God and God's Torah. This section ends with the Mi Chamocha, reminding us of when God took us out of Egypt to freedom. (That's a lot of reminding in a few short minutes of the service!)