"The Way of G-d"
Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 4: "Shema Yisroel and Its Blessings"
What's perhaps most monumental about reciting "Sh'ma Yisroel" is that each
time we do, *we bring the entire universe that much closer to perfection*.
as we learned earlier on (1:5:4 and 2:8:2), everything we do here on earth
affects the entire universe (both the earthly and the celestial realms).
Accordingly, when we reiterate these fundamental truths of the cosmos we
bolster all of
creation in the process and grant it more G-dliness.
We also authorize the forces of goodness, abundance, and peace to express
themselves; and stymie the forces of evil, privation, and conflict along
Those who *deny* those things, on the other hand, and reject G-d's
sovereignty withhold all the good. And that's rooted in the following two
principles of metaphysics.
First, that all sorts of goodness and abundance manifests itself in the
universe when G-d exhibits His sovereignty in the universe -- which is to
we sense for ourselves that He alone rules. Fresh and rich new instances
holiness, pure Illumination, and goodness pour forth, while the forces of
are subjugated and not allowed to undermine any of that. And secondly,
the forces of evil become prolific and begin to prevail when G-d's
is hidden; and all misfortune, havoc, sorrow, and other instances of wrong
So, what are we to do to encourage the good and deter the evil, as well as
bring the universe nearer yet to perfection (as we said at the beginning)?
that by affirming our belief in G-d's sovereignty day after day by
"Sh'ma Yisroel" wholeheartedly and in full faith.
And based on the mystical principle that "every spur from below evokes a
(corresponding) spur from Above", when we recite it in that spirit, G-d
reciprocates by manifesting His sovereignty in fact, and He furthers
perfection. But understand that the ultimate universal perfection we're
speaking of --
which has always been G-d's intention -- will come about in the course of
myriad everyday events we ourselves engage in that are all ultimately
bring it about (including, but not restricted to our reciting "Sh'ma
All this serves a single purpose: to demonstrate the fact that it's our
in concert with G-d's great goodness that will rectify the world -- it
couldn't happen otherwise. Indeed, every sequence of events will
in that ultimate perfection. The other point to be made is that when we
contribute to the perfection of everything else, we perfect ourselves in
and draw as close to G-d as is possible, as G-d had likewise planned (see
Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.