Awesome Ideas in Judaism - Session 10 Echad (Hear O Israel - There is Only One)

שְׁמַע יִשרָאֵל ה' אֱלהֵינוּ ה' אֶחָד:

Hear O Israel, Y-H-W-H is our God; Y-H-W-H is one!

"The only value of monotheism is to make you realize that all beings, every creature -- and that means the rock and the blade of grass as well as your pet lizard and your annoying neighbor next door -- are all one in origin. You come from the same place. You were created in the same great act of love, God bestowing God's own grace on every creature that would ever come to be. Therefore -- and this is the key line, the only one that really counts -- treat them that way! They are all God's creatures, just as you are. They exist only because of the divine presence, the same divine presence that makes you exist. Get to know them! Get to love them! Discover the unique divine gift within each of them as well as the common bond of existence that draws you all together. Live in amazement at the divine light strewn throughout the world. That's what it means to be a religious human being. Even if you do not take the story of creation literally -- and I, for one, do not -- seeing this amazement and wonder in all of existence is the beginning point of faith."

Rabbi Arthur Green, Judaism's 10 Best Ideas pg. 86

(לא) וַיִּקַּ֨ח תֶּ֜רַח אֶת־אַבְרָ֣ם בְּנ֗וֹ וְאֶת־ל֤וֹט בֶּן־הָרָן֙ בֶּן־בְּנ֔וֹ וְאֵת֙ שָׂרַ֣י כַּלָּת֔וֹ אֵ֖שֶׁת אַבְרָ֣ם בְּנ֑וֹ וַיֵּצְא֨וּ אִתָּ֜ם מֵא֣וּר כַּשְׂדִּ֗ים לָלֶ֙כֶת֙ אַ֣רְצָה כְּנַ֔עַן וַיָּבֹ֥אוּ עַד־חָרָ֖ן וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ שָֽׁם׃ (לב) וַיִּהְי֣וּ יְמֵי־תֶ֔רַח חָמֵ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים וּמָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיָּ֥מָת תֶּ֖רַח בְּחָרָֽן׃ (ס)

(א) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃

(31) Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan; but when they had come as far as Haran, they settled there. (32) The days of Terah came to 205 years; and Terah died in Haran.

(1) The LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

(יג) וַיָּמָת הָרָן עַל פְּנֵי תֶּרַח אָבִיו (בראשית יא, כח), רַבִּי חִיָּא בַּר בְּרֵיהּ דְּרַב אַדָא דְּיָפוֹ, תֶּרַח עוֹבֵד צְלָמִים הָיָה, חַד זְמַן נְפֵיק לַאֲתַר, הוֹשִׁיב לְאַבְרָהָם מוֹכֵר תַּחְתָּיו. הֲוָה אָתֵי בַּר אֵינַשׁ בָּעֵי דְּיִזְבַּן, וַהֲוָה אֲמַר לֵהּ בַּר כַּמָּה שְׁנִין אַתְּ, וַהֲוָה אֲמַר לֵיהּ בַּר חַמְשִׁין אוֹ שִׁתִּין, וַהֲוָה אֲמַר לֵיהּ וַי לֵיהּ לְהַהוּא גַבְרָא דַּהֲוָה בַּר שִׁתִּין וּבָעֵי לְמִסְגַּד לְבַר יוֹמֵי, וַהֲוָה מִתְבַּיֵּשׁ וְהוֹלֵךְ לוֹ. חַד זְמַן אֲתָא חַד אִתְּתָא טְעִינָא בִּידָהּ חָדָא פִּינָךְ דְּסֹלֶת, אֲמָרָהּ לֵיהּ הֵא לָךְ קָרֵב קֳדָמֵיהוֹן, קָם נְסֵיב בּוּקְלָסָא בִּידֵיהּ, וְתַבְרִינוּן לְכָלְהוֹן פְּסִילַיָא, וִיהַב בּוּקְלָסָא בִּידָא דְּרַבָּה דַּהֲוָה בֵּינֵיהוֹן. כֵּיוָן דַּאֲתָא אֲבוּהָ אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַאן עָבֵיד לְהוֹן כְּדֵין, אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַה נִּכְפּוּר מִינָךְ אֲתַת חָדָא אִתְּתָא טְעִינָא לָהּ חָדָא פִּינָךְ דְּסֹוֹלֶת, וַאֲמַרַת לִי הֵא לָךְ קָרֵיב קֳדָמֵיהון, קָרֵיבְתְּ לָקֳדָמֵיהוֹן הֲוָה דֵּין אֲמַר אֲנָא אֵיכוֹל קַדְמָאי, וְדֵין אֲמַר אֲנָא אֵיכוֹל קַדְמָאי, קָם הָדֵין רַבָּה דַּהֲוָה בֵּינֵיהוֹן נְסַב בּוּקְלָסָא וְתַבַּרִינוֹן. אֲמַר לֵיהּ מָה אַתָּה מַפְלֶה בִּי, וְיָדְעִין אִינוּן. אֲמַר לֵיהּ וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ אָזְנֶיךָ מַה שֶּׁפִּיךָ אוֹמֵר. נַסְבֵיהּ וּמְסָרֵיהּ לְנִמְרוֹד. אֲמַר לֵיהּ נִסְגוֹד לְנוּרָא, אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַבְרָהָם וְנִסְגּוֹד לְמַיָא דְּמַטְפִין נוּרָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ נִמְרוֹד נִסְגּוֹד לְמַיָא, אֲמַר לֵיהּ אִם כֵּן נִסְגּוֹד לַעֲנָנָא דְּטָעִין מַיָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ נִסְגּוֹד לַעֲנָנָא. אָמַר לֵיהּ אִם כֵּן נִסְגּוֹד לְרוּחָא דִּמְבַדַּר עֲנָנָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ נִסְגּוֹד לְרוּחָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ וְנִסְגּוֹד לְבַר אֵינָשָׁא דְּסָבֵיל רוּחָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ מִלִּין אַתְּ מִשְׁתָּעֵי, אֲנִי אֵינִי מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֶלָּא לָאוּר, הֲרֵי אֲנִי מַשְׁלִיכֲךָ בְּתוֹכוֹ, וְיָבוֹא אֱלוֹהַּ שֶׁאַתָּה מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לוֹ וְיַצִּילְךָ הֵימֶנּוּ. הֲוָה תַּמָן הָרָן קָאֵים פְּלוּג, אָמַר מַה נַּפְשָׁךְ אִם נָצַח אַבְרָהָם אֲנָא אָמַר מִן דְּאַבְרָהָם אֲנָא וְאִם נָצַח נִמְרוֹד אֲנָא אֲמַר דְּנִמְרוֹד אֲנָא. כֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּרַד אַבְרָהָם לְכִבְשַׁן הָאֵשׁ וְנִצֹּל, אָמְרִין לֵיהּ דְּמַאן אַתְּ, אֲמַר לְהוֹן מִן אַבְרָהָם אֲנָא, נְטָלוּהוּ וְהִשְּׁלִיכוּהוּ לָאוּר וְנֶחְמְרוּ בְּנֵי מֵעָיו, וְיָצָא וּמֵת עַל פְּנֵי תֶּרַח אָבִיו, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב: וַיָּמָת הָרָן עַל פְּנֵי תֶּרַח וגו'.

Rabbi Hiyya said: Terach (Avraham's father) was a manufacturer of idols. He once went away somewhere and left Avraham to sell them in his place. A man came in and wished to buy one."How old are you?" Avraham asked the man. "Fifty years old," he said. "Woe to such a man, who is fifty years old and would worship a day old object!" Avraham said. On another occasion a woman came in with a plateful of flour and requested of him, "Take this and offer it to them." So he took a stick and broke them, and put the stick in the hand of the largest. When his father returned he demanded, "What have you done to them?" "I cannot conceal it from you. A woman came with a plateful of fine meal and requested me to offer it to them. One claimed, 'I must eat first,' while another claimed, 'I must eat first.' Thereupon, the largest arose, took the stick and broke them." "Why do you make sport of me? Have they any knowledge?" Terach said. "Should not your ears hear what your mouth has said?" Avraham said.

(ב) ...וְהַכֹּהֲנִים וְהָעָם הָעוֹמְדִים בָּעֲזָרָה, כְּשֶׁהָיוּ שׁוֹמְעִים שֵׁם הַמְפֹרָשׁ שֶׁהוּא יוֹצֵא מִפִּי כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל, הָיוּ כּוֹרְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים וְנוֹפְלִים עַל פְּנֵיהֶם, וְאוֹמְרִים, בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:

(2) ...And the priests and the people standing in the courtyard, when they would hear God’s name explicated coming out of the high priest’s mouth, would bend their knees, bow down and fall on their faces and say “Blessed be the name of God's glorious kingdom for ever and ever!”

Judaism's 10 Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers, by Rabbi Arthur Green

1: Simchah - Joy: Happiness as a Religious Precept

2: Tzelem Elohim - Creation in God’s Image: What Are We Doing Here?

3: Halakhah – Walking the Path: A Community of Doers

4: Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World: Being God’s Partner

5: Shabbat – Getting Off the Treadmill: The Secret of Shabbat

6: Teshuvah – Returning: Faith in Human Change

7: Torah – The People and the Book: Text and Interpretation

8: Talmud Torah – “Teach Them to Your Children”: The Role of Education

9: L’Hayyim – To Life!: Accepting Death, Affirming Life

10: Ehad – Hear O Israel: There Is Only One