6 Mitzvahs, 7 Weeks
Constant Benefits

Video: "Meet Your 'Bad' Angel" - Charlie Harary on The Six Constant Mitzvos

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The 6 principles of G-d awareness are the building blocks of establishing a real relationship with G-d. To be a part of any relationship, you need to understand who the other person is. In having a relationship with G-d, we need to not only know that He exists, but the extent of His presence in the world.

Every day we say Shema Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad – G-d is the Master of the world and He is One. What does “He is One” mean? How many would He be? We refer to G-d in the singular; why clarify that He is only One?

Oneness of G-d means that He is everywhere and a part of everything. G-d created a unified world. There is no fragmentation. Every aspect of our lives is connected to something greater. Sometimes, we see the world as consisting of separate components – good and evil, holy and mundane. We feel that inside of us there are two diametrically opposed forces. We have a good angel and a bad angel.

We are all familiar with this classic imagery. Some guy is walking around minding his own business when this good angel pops up on his right shoulder, sporting his usual garb – a white robe and floating halo. On his other shoulder sits the bad angel, all dressed up in his red one-piece costume, long tail, and trusted pitchfork.

The good angel whispers in a sweet melodious voice: “Let the old lady go in front of you”; “Give charity”, “Be more sensitive.”

The bad angel retorts, “Cut her off! She shouldn’t be driving anyway”, “Keep the money for yourself”, “Get angry!”

Listen to the good angel and we feel him nodding in approval. Listen to the bad angel and he slaps us five with pride.

That’s not true; there aren’t two forces – only ONE. The bad angel, or evil inclination, works for G-d. He also has a halo. He doesn’t want us to listen to him. He’s just trying to challenge us so when we don’t, we grow even stronger.

But it goes even further. The Oneness of G-d is how we relate to our everyday lives.

I have a friend who’s training to be a commander in the Israeli army. He told me that when he was going through training, he was given a specific mission. As he got close to completion, one of his men got injured. He was devastated and determined to finish it the next time.

Then, as he was about to succeed, the tire of his jeep blew out. The night before his next assignment, it hit him. He wasn’t being tested on getting to a specific location; he was being tested on how he dealt with challenge. What would he do if a man went down?

As he grew in his ranks, he realized that each moment of his test was carefully crafted to build him as a soldier. Nothing that happened was coincidental, and each aspect was as important as another.

We have moments that are holy: prayer, Torah study, holidays, charity. And we have moments that are mundane: going to work, exercising, fixing a flat, and waiting on line. Oneness of G-d means that each moment of our lives is there to help us achieve perfection; to help us get closer to G-d. Every detail, every curveball, every pleasure, every challenge can be holy or mundane, based on our response to it.

When you live life this way, you live a life in which there’s no fragmentation. G-dliness is everywhere if we want to look for it.

Oneness of G-d means there is no such thing as an unimportant task or an unimportant person. Being the president doesn’t make you more important than the person holding the door for the president. Each person, each moment, is infinitely valuable and infused with the potential to be holy.

Living with G-d’s oneness will change our lives from being worried, angry, and jealous to being excited, happy, and ready to see what comes next, knowing that the world is a mechanism for G-d to convey his messages to us, to be to who we can be. Living with G-d’s oneness means there’s no reason to fear, because G-d is in control, and anything He sends us can lead to our ultimate benefit.

The third principal, God’s Oneness, changes the way we look at ourselves and the world. It is the awareness that He is everywhere and is the source of everything, and all that we do and see, at its core, is ONE.


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