Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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One and Many

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

One and Many


     How can something be entirely singular and at the same time be many? If we are referring to Hashem then certainly we would never say that Hashem is many. But He does have many names, and each name does represent a different aspect of Hashem. But again, we would never, never say that He is many. How can we understand this?

     Take today for instance. Today is 4 and it is also 5. It is 6 and it is 22. It is 24, 48, and it is also 143 and it is 28424, and on and on… yet we all know that today is one. Today is always only one day.

     To clarify: Today is the 4th day of the Hebrew month, the 5th day of the English week, the 6th day of the Hebrew week. It is the 22nd day of the English month, and it is 24 hours long. It is the 48th day of the counting of the Omer, the 143rd day of the English year, and it also happens to be the 28,424th day of my life… and on and on. But we never think that today is more than just one day.

     Can we apply this type of thinking to Hashem? Hashem is One and only One. This is a major, unchanging principle in the Torah. G-d is One. He is also called the Creator, the Merciful One, the Father, the Judge, the All, the Only, and on and on. But surely we never see Him to be two, G-d forbid. G-d is One, and He has many Names. Each Name represents a different way that Hashem is addressed by His creation.

     How then does this differ from the idolaters who say that each of their idols is just another aspect of their overall god? Not only do they call each of those aspects a different individual god, they invent and attribute forms to each of them, and then they worship that form. This is idolatry.

     Whether we worship the Father, or the G-d of Avraham, we direct our prayers to the Infinite One Who is everywhere. Whatever aspect of Hashem we are directing our prayers to might change the way we feel about, or relate to G-d at that moment, but it never changes the One we are praying to. 


1 comment:

  1. Because we don't have an image of G-d,because he is not physical, then each person's 'vision' or concept will be different from another's - there is no image to fixate our beliefs on. Some people find this difficult to grasp without 'someone' or some physical image to focus on, I think.


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