Love of friends gives us unity, from the teachings of Rabbi Ashlag

True unity

by yedidah on February 15, 2016

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When the children of Israel arrived at Mount Sinai, the Torah says ” ויחן העם מול ההר.  And the people encamped opposite the mountain.” But what you can’t hear in the English translation is the use of the word ” encamped” in a singular form. The great commentator of the Torah,  Rashi, picked up on this word, and taught its inner meaning as being “as one man with one heart.”

It is from this teaching we understand that the revelation of God to the people at Mount Sinai was dependent on their being united, as one man with one heart.

What sort of unity does this imply? Does it imply blotting out the differences between us? Does it imply crowd subservience to an idea, or an ideal? God forbid!! Such a unity is a lowering of the human being, till he is no longer a reflection of the image of God, but rather resembles one of a herd of sheep.

The unity achieved by the people at Mount Sinai, is that of mutual responsibility, of  giving to each other  unconditionally,  each man and woman according to the roots of his or her own soul, his or her own capability, his or her own individuality and his or her own capacity to love and express love.

How can we build such a unity among us now, today? Where do we begin?

This podcast is dedicated with love to my dear friend Netanyah bat Sara on the occasion of her birthday and to the grandchildren of Mary Ann Ward, her nephew and nieces.

This podcast is based on letters written by Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag (Igarot HaSulam) and on Rabbi Moshe Sheinberger’s commentary on Tomer Devorah, with grateful thanks to my chevrutah Shalom Siegel.

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