Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Duties of the Heart

Gate One. “The Wholehearted Acceptance of the Oneness of G-d”

Chapter One

At bottom, the pursuit of spiritual excellence comes down to searching for G-d, making a commitment to Him once you’ve “found” Him, and following through on that commitment the rest of your life. Obviously, then, we’d have to know just who and what He is-- aside from being the Creator. For while many accept the idea that there was a Creator, not everyone knows or acknowledges G-d’s other “roles”, if you will.

That’s obviously a heady and endless subject which we couldn’t ever hope to plumb the depths of. But as we’ll find in the course of this work, there are indeed many things we can say about G-d Almighty-- as well as many things we simply can’t. We’ll now begin the discussion.

The most fundamental thing to be said about G-d aside from His being the C reator is that He’s “One”. In fact, we say it day after day, at least twice a day, when we recite the “Sh’ma Yisrael”, i.e., the Torah verse that reads, “Hear O Israel! G-d is our L-rd; G-d is One!” (Deuteronomy 6:4) in our prayers. The statement doesn’t only imply that He’s the only G-d, which is of course true. It goes far deeper than that, as we’ll see later on in this gate.

Ironically, though, many of us don’t really know what we’re declaring when we say that “G-d is One”! Still and all we’re taught that we’re obliged to accept the reality of His Oneness “wholeheartedly”-- once we determine what it’s all about after all.

The obvious question is, then, how do we accept G-d’s Oneness “wholeheartedly” rather than perfunctorily? By declaring Him to be One and actually believing it after having explained it to ourselves.

After all, there are people who just declare that G-d is One without knowing what they’re saying simply because everyone else around them does.

Others say it and actually feel it in their hearts. But only because they trust the traditions handed down to us attesting to how true it is. They don’t really know what they’re saying, though.

And yet others say and feel it after having thought about what it means. But they’re confused about the true implications of what they’re saying; and thus while they have the best of intentions, and have done a lot of their “homework”, they’re nonetheless off the mark.

The ideal way to declare G-d One and to actually mean it is to delve into the true implications of G-d’s Oneness after having proven G-d’s very existence to yourself. As Ibn Pakudah adds, “that’s why I define the wholehearted acceptance of G-d's Oneness as the act of having both your heart and your lips accept G-d's Oneness equally, after knowing how to prove it, and after coming to know all the aspects of G-d's actual Oneness on your own.”

Subscribe to Spiritual Excellence and receive the class via e-mail.


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Collateral Damage
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

Listen to the Mussar
- 5767

On the Road Again (to Repentance)
Shlomo Katz - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Lesson About Our Psyche
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Vows: The Power of Speech
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Cities of Refuge: Sanctuary for Survival
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

ArtScroll

Mourning on the 9th of Av: The Reasons
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Creatures of Our Environment
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

In the Eye of the Beholder
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

> Chazak
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

The Accidental Murderer
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

A Hopeful Mourning
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Kinder and Gentler Killers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

True Wealth
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Confronting "I"
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Our Father, Our Light
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information