by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
Ein Ode Milvado - there is nothing else besides Him. A great chassidic and kabbalistic statement, there is nothing else besides G-d.
Since G-d creates all, maintains all, directs all, then all is literally godliness itself, or more simply, all is, in the end, G-d. Shema Yisroel, Hear O Israel, Hashem Elokaynu, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem Echad. G-d is one, the ultimate one, the oneness of everything.
More and more we hear this refrain. Recently I've seen it quite often on bumper stickers (in Israel), on trucks, even as a motto. But the danger is in improperly contemplating upon what this means.
G-d is one, G-d is all, G-d is the ultimate all. But what of evil? Judaism doesn't hold by separate powers in the universe, for G-d is One. Evil is a creation with a purpose to serve. (Not a nice one, nor one we may understand, but a purpose.) So are bad events. And neutral ones.
So, when evil comes, are we praying to G-d that G-d's planned negative event not occur. But, Ein Ode Milvado, there's only G-d. So is part of G-d praying that the plan of G-d not negatively affect a part of G-d?
This is where this lofty concept comes apart. As we move to higher and higher levels of holiness, closer and closer to HaKodesh Baruch Hu, the Holy One, Blessed be He, as we reach toward the Ein Sof, the Infinite without End, the concept that all of creation and beyond is only G-d makes sense.
But when we translate it down to the physical world, to the performance of mitvot and the dealing with the positive and negative circumstances of life and this world, to impact upon US, there IS good and there is evil, there is holiness and there is it's opposite, there are positive choices and negative choices.
We may strive to reach a little higher and say that all that comes upon us is for the good. That all that G-d has planned is good, though we may not be able to easily understand it as such. But what we can't do is stand there and say it's all G-d, the good and the bad, the kosher and the treif, the positive act and the negative evil act.
For in this world, it's the differentiation that brings the choice, the free will, which G-d has granted us to have the opportunity to do good, choose life, and follow His ways. For even though those negative choices were and are created by G-d, powered by G-d, and brought to us by G-d, and at the higher level indeed it's all G-d, we don't live in that realm. We live here on earth, where Torah separates between the sacred and the profane, and because of that separation (at this level), our choice has value.
Though truly Ein Ode Milvado, there is nothing else besides Him, that is a contemplation as we reach towards higher realms. In our day to day moments, choose life.
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BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא