Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Vayechi: Maharsham - Shema Yisroel Is Our Advantage Over Malachim

The Medrash asks, "From where were we zocheh to Krias Shema?" It answers that when Yaakov was about to depart this world, he questioned whether all his children were loyal to Hashem, and they answered, "Shema Yisrael." Why does the medrash ask this about this particular mitzva?

The Maharsham answers with the Gemara in Chulin (98b). The Gemara says that Bnei Yisrael are greater than Malachei HaShares. Malachim say Hashem's name after saying, "Kadosh," three times. Bnei Yisrael say Hashem's name after two words, "Shema Yisrael," and then, "Hashem." 

"Why?" asks the Medrash, "What are they, greater than Malachim?"

The Medrash answers that we got this from Yaakov who fought with a Malach and proved to be superior. This is why we say. "Shema Yisrael." With the name Yisrael that was given to Yaakov by the Malach to commemorate his superiority, we say Hashem's name with greater access than the Malachim.