Learn Emunah:
Section One, Lesson Three:
HaShem is Unique


By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman © October 11, 2018

2. I believe with perfect emunah
    that the Creator,
    blessed be His Name, is not physical,
    that no physical attributes can apply to Him,
    and that there is nothing whatsoever to compare to Him.
The Holy One is utterly transcendent and beyond comprehension. There is no being and no thing that is in any way like the Eternal Being.

Through Infinite Love and Mercy the Supreme Being enables limited comprehension to humanity. A much fuller understanding will be revealed in the Olam Haba (the World to Come). In our more hidden Traditions we conceive of the Eternal One as Ain Soph (literally No-Thing). We need not go into this here, but in order to enable our comprehension Ain Soph reveals the Divine Self as HaShem (Sacred Name) within material existence. HaTorah conceives of HaShem as our King, our Lord, our Master, our Healer, our Father, and so on. Understand however that such are but conceptions, true, but incomplete. We do know from Eternal Wisdom that the Eternal Being is echad, utterly and completely One without any division whatsoever. As declared in the Shema, the declaration of our emunah:

Sh'ma Y'israel Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Listen Israel, HaShem is our God, HaShem is One - Deuteronomy 6:4.

There is no oneness like the echad nature of the Holy One, Who alone is Blessed and Whom we bless. All conceptions are but similes, conceptions intended to draw the soul towards its Source, towards devekut (attachment) to Ain Soph, our time and space transcending Source.

To aid our conceptualization the Holy One sets limitations on our notions with Torah Truth lest our minds leave the derech or Path of Truth. Among these is the Shema.

Shema is the central, most instructive and most important declaration in all of Judaism and biblical religion. It is the first thing we say upon awakening, after the Modeh Anee* and bodily purifications, the last thing we say before sleep and, if possible, our final words and thoughts before we return our bodies to the dust.

Our great sage Rashi aids our understanding:
"The Lord is our God; the Lord is one" teaches us that The Lord, who is now our God and not the God of the other nations - He will be [declared] in the future [to be] "the one God," as it is said: "For then I will convert the peoples to a pure language that all of them call on the name of the Lord" (Zephaniah 3:9), and it is [also] said: "On that day will the Lord be one and His name one" (Zechariah 14:9).

Shema:

Y'israel:

Adonai Elohaynu

Adonai Echad

When we say the Shema we are referring to Deuteronomy 6:4. In Jewish liturgy however it is a bit more ("Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity"). The complete Shema is Deuteronomy 6:4-8, 11:13-22 and Numbers 15:37-42. We wont look at it all here, but consider:

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

BECAUSE HaShem is echad (One), we are called to be the people of blessing without fear. Because HaShem is echad we partake in the blessings of His holiness. When we bless others we bless ourselves, which blesses others and so on and on throughout time and space through His Oneness! Blessings upon blessings multiplied throughout time, space and beyond! We recognize His Oneness in all areas of life and we therefore honor all life as being sacred because all life comes from Ain Soph alone.

May we all become one in Him as directed in Torah.

Footnote:

Modeh Anee: I Thank You!

AND Israel the Beautiful


Modeh anee levanter
melech chai vekayam,
she-he-chezarta bee nishmatee b’chemla,
raba emunatecha


I thank You, living and eternal King,
for giving me back my soul in mercy.
Great is Your faithfulness.

Go to Lesson Four

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Be the Blessing you were created to be
And
Don't let the perfect defeat the good

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