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 Two

As we said last time, we declare G-d’s “oneness” day in and day out in our prayers without really knowing what we’re saying. We might even be implying that He’s more than one, unknowingly, or at least “downgrading” His oneness.

Some of us understand it to mean that G-d is “one of a kind” or “intense”-- much the way we’d describe a special event or gadget (though there’s certainly no comparison!). Others of us take “one” to mean “not-two”, “not-three”, etc. and thus settle for a rather limited, even banal and ordinary view of G-d. And yet others declare Him to be one without knowing the difference between real oneness and what we’ll term "circumstantial" oneness later on in this Gate.

But take heart. Because, truth be known, few believers know anything at all about this-- or about G-d Himself-- on a rational level. Because while we might have warm, even ardent feelings and convictions about G-d, few of us though know what we’re talking about in relation to G-d.

The case has been made, however, that simple, unalloyed faith in Him is fine-- and even better than a rational understanding of His Being (which is, after all, beyond us since G-d’s Being is so surpassing of our own). But that’s not Ibn Pakudah’s view of things. As he’ll argue later on, anyone who can analyze G-d’s make-up to whatever degree, must.

(The advice most others would give is to believe that G-d is the Creator, that He oversees it all both sweepingly and intimately, and that He functions in the universe much the way our soul functions in our bodies: fundamentally, vitally, invisibly, and utterly undeniably.)

Again, though, it’s important to point out that few of us know anything about all this. As such, it’s been said that we really don’t worship G-d so much as what we misunderstand about Him!

As we indicated before, there are four ways to express G-d’s “oneness”. By just declaring it, the way kids and simple folks do; by believing it after having been taught about it (which can turn out to be a case of the “blind leading the blind” if the people you learned it from didn’t really know what they were saying); by believing it to a limited extent (the aforementioned “circumstantial” way and thus being “so close, and yet so far”); or by proving G-d’s Oneness to yourself and believing it firmly, thus following through on the verse that commends us to "know today and reflect upon it in (our) heart that G-d is the L­rd" (Deuteronomy 4:39).

The latter form is the best of all, so the rest of this Gate will center on it.

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


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

Nourishment for the Soul
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Before It Rains
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Generation to Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

> Did The Animals Come Or Did Noach Have To Bring Them?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Lesson of the Ravens
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

The Purpose of Creation Part III
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Beyond Youth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Making Something of Nothing
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Noach
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

ArtScroll

In His Generation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

A Second Chance
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Delight Amidst Devastation
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Taking the Initiative
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

One for the Birds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Unity and Conformity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

From Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773



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