Shema Yisrael!


This week’s Torah portion contains the central declaration of the Jewish faith —

Shema Yisrael: Hashem Eloheinu, Hashem echad. 

Hear O Israel: Hashem is our Gd, Hashem is one.  

Over the centuries, commentators have found multiple ways to interpret that declaration.   The command to hear could be to the entire community collectively or to individuals.    One could mean “our Gd is unique among the gods that are worshipped” or “there is only one Gd in all of creation.” 

Yet perhaps the most interesting word in the Shema is Eloheinu, which is translated “our Gd,” but is derived from eloheim — a plural noun meaning gods, such that the Shema could be interpreted to mean “Hashem is all our gods and is one.”  

And at this time in the history of human civilization, that seems to be an important lesson that humanity needs — whatever names we call, whatever language we speak, whatever our religious rituals… whether as individuals we most easily connect to The Sacred through music, art, prayer, study, acts of kindness, the beauty of nature, or relationship with others… we are all reaching for, and hopefully connecting with, the singular Unity that is the One mighty and awesome Gd of creation!

This weekend, through all of our experiences, in every moment, may we allow ourselves to connect to the One who hides behind the many.
Shabbat shalom, jen 

18 thoughts on “Shema Yisrael!

  1. Dear Jen,

    I believe and I am convinced too that there is only One God but that there are also Gods and Goddessess, Angels, Avatares, Antiforces etc.. The latter they received super-power as they were dealing with magic and other okkult powers (they have to wander between so-called “heaven and hell” ) – and only when they receive the human body then they have the chance to go home again. But here in our physical world – how many are really serious? how many have a really pure heart? How many can really go home? With dirty clothes we cannot enter the kingdom of God – I would say only a few… ONE wanted to become Many – but nothing is separated then – it means that the whole creation is part of God , we are all drops in Him – as the single water drop is united with the water of the Ocean – we are like fish swimming in the ocean and search for water…

    Another thing which I consider as interesting is: you use the word “Shabbat ” – shabads in Hindi and Punshabi means: songs of honour towards God, songs of love for God. – and “Shabd” is the “God-power, the Guru-power, the Master power (working power in competent Masters), Christ-power – Shabd is God.

    There are two aspects of God: light and sound – outwardly we use candles and bells or gongs churches, synagogues and temples and inwardly this light can be seen to and the inner music of the divine sphere too and this requires a special “Surat Shabd Yoga” – it leads to the inner light and inner sound (can only be seen with the inner eye and heard with the inner ears) – when the mind is absolutely still, when we forget our body, the whole outer world then we can knock at the !0th door…

    Here an excerpt from the text of Unity of Man:
    ” The third eye

    The Third Eye, Shiv Netra, Divya Chakshu, Tisra Til, Brahmrendra, or Single Eye must be opened to see the Light of God.
    It opens when the sensory currents are withdrawn and gathered up to the seat of the soul at the eye focus behind and between the two eyebrows. Then one experiences the mysteries of the Beyond into which a Master-soul initiates a disciple during his lifetime. He gives a first-hand inner experience of conscious contact with the holy Naam -the Divine Light and the holy Sound-Current (Holy Ghost), as the lowest expression of the Divinity within. The light of the body is the eye, if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

    Sant Kirpal Singh

    The problem is that nobody really knows where the Single Eye is

    The problem is, that nowadays all people say: “Here is the seat of the soul, meditate over here!” – between and behind the two eye-brows. But it is a big problem that nobody really knows where the seat of the soul or the Single Eye is. What happens at the time of death? Our attention, the outer expression of the soul or consciousness, withdraws from the lower extremities, and transcending the throat ganglion, it goes to the root of the two eye-brows. From there it takes upward-trend, then it takes inward-trend, and where the eyes are crossing, there is the seat of the soul. To say, “Here is the seat of the soul” is easy, but to reach there and to locate it there is very difficult, because just very close to the seat of the soul, a little bit below, there is the seat of the mind and below there is the seat of the intellect.

    What do most people do when they meditate? First, they have to overcome the intellect. Maybe they can overcome it, but they cannot overcome the mind. When we create a wish, our mind at once identifies with it. Mind in this physical body is astral.

    Everyone has wishes upon wishes, and our mind identifies with them. So when we create a wish to see something, at once our mind identifies with it and will give us the light over there. Mind will show the light at once, whereas the experience taught by Christ and all the competent Masters starts from the darkness and then leads to the holy light.

    Dr. Harbhajan Singh”

    Shabbat shalom, dear Jen

    • Thank you, dear Didi, for your thoughts about my post. Once again you have given me much to absorb and consider. I look forward to having time late today to respond more fully. Al the best to you, my friend, jen

    • Dear Didi,
      Thank you for sharing with me about Shabd and shabads!! I love learning of these “coincidences” that can give us an opportunity to consider deep, ancient connections between cultures and languages.
      My faith in the One God precludes my belief in Gods and Goddesses who could be any more than “faces of” that One God. So while I might speak of God as Father, Mother, Judge, Merciful, Compassionate, Mighty… these are all, for me, in reference to The One God. But again, this is my faith, my path to The One, and I joyfully accept that there are many paths that can lead to The One. The “details” of the differences between paths are less important than the knowledge that if any of us digs deeply enough into our tradition, we arrive at a place where we become aware of the Unity from which we cannot be separated — and that awareness, if we can train ourselves to hold onto it, can make us more humble, compassionate, and honest, so that we might strive for justice and peace, within ourselves and with others.
      I also think of God being accessible through both light and sound, through waves that can create vibration. And I know of the inner eye. And I agree that no one can really point the way. We must simply sit in meditation and “dig” more deeply into ourselves until we arrive at a place where we are no longer the digger or one being excavated. We must be filled with awe at the Unity’s grandeur and beauty, humble beyond imagination, and unafraid of losing our ego’s definition of “self” . . . I’m not sure we find the third eye… perhaps it just appears when we are ready?
      All what’s best for your soul, jen

      • My dear Jen,

        Thank you very much for your detailed comment which I fully appreciate. It requires some time to answer it – tomorow I will have more time to let you have my response. In the essence we both represent the same meaning 🙂

        For the time
        Shalom and greet God in you.
        Thank you dear friend.

      • Dear Jen,

        I believe that in ancient times our religions were even closer than today, maybe there was even one culture, one religion – in the Bible when the tower of Babylon was built it is mentioned that there before this time man had “one language” all over the world – after it all languages went apart…

        In our today’s religions most of them speak also of the “third eye”, in the Bible of the “single eye” in the Hindu terminology: Ajna, Shiv Netra, Divya Chakshu, Tisra Til, Brahmrendra. It was also known with the Sufi competent Masters like Rumi, Shamez Taprez, Hafiz and it was known in a certain group of Buddhism and Taoism.

        When I mentioned Gods and Goddesses – they function in the vast realm of the ONE God, they are not outside of the ONE God but are part of it too – There is indeed only ONE God and this God can even be contacted not just by only prayers (when God has heard our prayers) but it is also possible to get the direct contact with Him and you can even speak with Him – this happens when we leave the outer world, close it, all outward going senses and listen to the inner divine music or see the worlds and different planes/levels/dimensions and even God within. This happens through the Third Eye or Single Eye – Christ said: “I am the light of the world.” Can you see the light? Jesus said: “The eye is the light of the body. When your eye is single, then your whole body will be full of light.”

        How can the two eyes become one? This is a practical question that can be answered through practice, for this happens when the inner eye is opened, which is in every human being.

        Even a blind person whose eyes cannot see the physical world has this inner eye, but it is closed. We can only see Him, the active God power, the light which is called Christ, when we close the doors of our body temple, and make our eye (the inner eye) single.

        As you know I respect all religions and my Master said: No new religions has to come into the world – everyone can stay in his or her religion according to their traditions and where people live – important is that we develop ourselves in our religion and become a real human being and as you wrote: with humbleness, respect and love. If I know that God is One and there is no other God, nothing outside God, then in each creature is God too, means the man-body is the temple of God and when He resides in us, in the breath of our breath in the soul of our soul – we should respect God in all human beings – then how can we even think bad of a person, or say bad words, or even do something bad??? Holy persons said: “God loves the sinner, but not his sins… – the soul is pure but it is our mind that drags us here and there, it controls us. With the grace of God and with a disciplined life we are able to control our mind which is the mediator between body and soul. Once we have our mind under control then slowly our heart gets very pure. “Matthaeus 5:8 “Blessed are those whose heart is pure, for they will see God” – yes, they will see God (not just words) – With deep and strong longing for the truth God will make arrangements to meet such a person with such a pure heart.

        Then faith will become knowledge and knowledge certainty.

        Only when knowing our mind in all corners, we can control our mind and the thousand-headed hydra has no power more over us. This is really spirituality: “Man know thyself…”

        No book can really give us the practical steps, otherwise all remains in grey theory. However, once we know the theoretical aspect of the ancient teaching – (as in the beginning I said that our religions and culture seemed to have been closer in ancient times) – ancient teaching that was taught by Jesus Christ, by Kabir, by Guru Nanak, by Sant Kirpal Singh and many more (the essence of all religions in one word: LOVE) – our practical aspect must follow. So only when we make our own experience on this path, then we do not remain in theory but also have proved it made by own experiences…to meet God. (seeing is believing)

        Our purpose of life: To return HOME

        Dear Jen, sorry that the answer got so long, but I think to reduce it would not have been possible and even now there are hundreds of pages unspoken…

        I am thankful for your detailed comment. Thank you very much, dear Jen.
        We all have a hidden treasure in us and we have to find it
        From heart to heart

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