G-d is One -- Deuteronomy 4:6
Everything we do must be directed towards discovering
unity within -- The Rebbe
A fundamental aspect of the Rebbes intellectual approach
was to establish a unity between apparently unrelated areas
of thought by uncovering their conceptual roots. In his discourses,
he created a tapestry of philosophy, psychology, and sociology,
showing the intimate connections between the revealed and
the hidden, between the practical and the mystical. He would
often begin a talk with a literal interpretation of a Biblical
passage, then show its philosophical and psychological implications,
trace the idea back to its conceptual roots, demonstrate how
it is mirrored in the human psyche, and finally offer a practical
application of this concept in the daily business of life.
Creating such unity, the Rebbe stressed, from the most sublime
philosophical point to the most tangible actualization, is
vital in the quest for a meaningful life.
Kabbalah and the search for unity
How do we unite heaven and earth, soul and body? How do we
integrate the sacred and the mundane, the spiritual and the
The Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), and specifically the branch
known as Chassidus, addresses this issue with what is called
the "cosmic order," which consists of a series of
stepping stones uniting spirit and matter. There are many
layers to reality. The material world experience as we know
it is just the surface level, within which exist many dimensions
of spiritual energy waiting to be released. By appreciating
these inner layers, we can learn to make order out of disorder,
to gain insight into the unknown forces that determine
all movement and behavior. Because all the different creatures
and forces of the universe were created by one G-d, disunity
on the surface evokes a feeling in us of a unity within, and
our souls reach for it.
We have been charged with the responsibility of taking all
the elements of our material worldour families, our
work, our daily concernsand channeling them toward G-d,
the one true unifying element both within and outside ourselves.
Leading a unified life means leading a life of harmony, a
life in which we have brought G-d into our every moment.
Is there a way to make sense of the world?
King Solomon is renowned for being able to take the most
profound, sublime thoughts and bring them to life for minds
far less developedthree thousand steps less developedthan
his own. This, in turn, enabled the recipients to retrace
the steps, one by one, until they achieved the original high
level of discourses.
Solomons wisdom is a metaphor for the sort of
wisdom that went into G-ds creation of our physical
world. After the radical jump from a non-existence
to existence, G-d began creating all existences in their most
spiritual, sublime forms. He then caused them to develop,
in many stages, ultimately producing our physical world. He
invested every material element or force with a higher, more
spiritual one; water, for example, is the physical embodiment
of love and kindness, while fire represents the physical dimension
Although almost everyone in our world is able to see the
physical outer layers of reality, very few can glimpse into
the spiritual essence that lies within. And yet G-d has enabled
man to peel back the successive layers of the container to
reveal the light.
As we raise our sensitivity to the spiritual forces within
us, we learn to love and unite with others in a way that does
not compromise anyone. Instead of noticing the differences
between people, we learn to see the common threads that tie
us together. Instead of looking at the world selfishly, we
learn to see more deeply within ourselves and discover the
light within, which in turn allows us to bring out the harmony
in the diverse sprawl of humankind.
The ultimate mission: Oneness
Not so long ago, it was accepted as scientific fact that
the world was controlled by hundreds of independent forces
and elements. But with advancements in science, it was determined
that the atom was the principle building block of all matter,
and that matter and energy are actually the same substance,
only in different forms. In the same way, by peeling back
successive layers of the container of our physical world,
we can begin to glimpse a unity within.
Today we have the opportunity to integrate our reality and
G-ds reality, to see how they are really one. We are
all in a position to achieve the ultimate reality:
peace between your own body and soul. Between you and G-d.
Never before have we had a better opportunity to communicate
so easily and form a unity between man and man, community
and community, nation and nation. Finally, in our generation,
we can conclude the process that was begun at the outset of
history: bringing peace and unity to all mankind.
Have you ever wondered where Heaven meets Earth? The entire
process of creation was meant to challenge us with this task,
with bridging the divide between our reality and G-ds
reality. By creating unity in your life, you generate a domino
effect that ripples through the entire cosmic order, uniting
forces that have been wrestling with each other for thousands
of years. And this is the most gratifying experience of all. Our
lives become truly meaningful when we know that it
is our duty to marry Heaven and Earth, to fuse the human and
the divine. So where does Heaven meet Earth? Right at your
Creating unity begins with yourself: dedicating time to focus
on the higher goals in your life, your vision that unites
the different fragments of your daily experiences. Become
sensitive to your soul and to the soul and inner energy in
everything around you.
When you get in touch with your soul and achieve personal
unity, that helps you unite with those around you as well.
Find new ways to bond with those close to you, and create
bonds with new friends.
This is an excerpt from Toward a Meaningful Life
The Wisdom of the Rebbe by Rabbi Simon Jacobson.