Friday, September 12, 2014
LAZERBEAMS: "Ein Od Milvado" - There is none beside Him!
Here's a gift for Shabbat - a Hebrew lesson of the the most important three-word phrase you'll ever need to know, and a lifesaver at that - ein od milvado - literally, there is no one or nothing but Hashem. Only He can help us, both collectively and individually. Like the Rambam teaches in the firsst of our 13 Principles of Faith, "He alone does, did and will do every deed."
The Torah says (Deut.), "You have been shown, in order to know, that Hashem, He is the G-d. There is none beside Him!" אין עוד מלבדו - "There is none beside Him," is the key to understanding everything that happens to us, both on a broad national scale and on a personal private scale.
"Shown, in order to know", explains the Ramban, refers to the revelation of Hashem on Mount Sinai. Moses received both the written and the oral law from Hashem on Mount Sinai. Therefore, whenever a person deviates - even in the slightest - from "Halacha Le'Moshe be'Sinai", or the law as it was given to Moshe on Sinai, one's understanding that "There is none beside Him," is seriously weakened.
"There is none beside Him" means that everything in the world happens because Hashem decrees that it should happen. No one can lift a finger against Hashem's will. So, if someone harms us or insults us, its pointless to bear malice toward that person. Rather, we should make an accounting of the soul, understand that Hashem does everything for our ultimate good, and pray to Hashem to help us understand the message and correct what needs to be corrected. This is especially important in Elul.
In light of the above, any time a person - or a movement of people - make any compromise on Shulchan Oruch, e.g. religious law, they weaken their own faith with their own two hands. Conversely, when a person strengthens his or her observance of the Torah's commandments, that person automatically benefits from a chizuk, or reinforcement, of faith. That's one of the reasons why Rebbe Nachman of Breslev implores us to learn Shulchan Oruch every single day of our lives, and not to budge an iota from its statutes.
Faith that "There is none beside Him" is the only reliable bridge to traverse this world safely to the other side.