I had the pleasure of spending the first day of Sukkot by the Schloss family in the Old City on Thursday, and it was a great time with an amazing view from their rooftop sukkah overlooking the Western Wall. Rabbi Schloss is an extremely intelligent man, and very good at making seemingly unrelated concepts essentially intertwined with each other. So based on a “Dvar Torah” (Word of Torah) by Rabbi Schloss, here is a quick thought of the day:
At least twice a day, Jews around the world say the Shema prayer. Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad… Hear Israel, the L-rd is G-d, the L-rd is One.
What do we mean when we say that the L-rd is One?
Interesting discoveries have been made in relatively recent times about the concept of being “one”. There are no two people exactly alike; there are no two snowflakes alike; there are billions and billions of grains of sand and no two grains of sand are alike. You could build machines to produce identical items and there will still be nothing produced that is exactly the same as anything else. It is inherent in the very nature of the world that there are no two things can be identical. What does this mean for us?
Everything in this world is unique for a reason; because Hashem, our Creator, is so unique that it is against His nature to create things that are identical.
When we declare in the Shema that Hashem is One, we are recognizing that not only is He unique, but all of His creations are unique as well, including us! So Rabbi Schloss summed up this entire concept into a few brief words:
When we say Hashem is One, He looks at us and says, “You know what…It takes One to know One.“