Greco-Roman Period
This talmudic aggadah serves to explain Jewish liturgy which requires that after the reading of the first line of the Shema (Deut. 6-5), in which God’s oneness is proclaimed, the worshipper recites, ((Blessed be the Name of His Royal Glory….” This line is understood here to represent a response of the worshipper to the realization that all the Jewish people have accepted monotheism, and hence, God as ruler of the universe.

Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish said- “And Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Come together
that I may tell you [what is to befall you in days to come]’’’ (Gen. 49-1). Jacob wanted to
reveal to his sons the end of days, but the divine presence departed from him.

[Jacob] said. “Perhaps, God forbid, there is a blemish in my progeny, like Abraham,
from whom Ishmael came forth, or my father Isaac from whom Esau came forth,”

His sons said to him… “‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One’ (Deut. 6-5).
Just as in your heart there is only One, so too in our heart there is only One,”

At that moment, Jacob our father opened (his mouth and) said,

“Blessed be the name of His royal Glory for ever and ever.”

1. Trans. S. Berrin