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Offline muman613

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Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« on: September 07, 2012, 05:06:54 PM »
One of the most important concepts a Jew should comprehend is that Hashem is the ONE and ONLY force, the source of all forces, in the entire creation {world, universe, metaverse, etc} and without him everything would cease to exist. Hashem gives us the power to live, to breath, to speak and he is supplying us with Holy energy every moment of our existance.

The Shema prayer includes this meditation in the first verse "Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokaynu, Hashem Echad" or "Hear O'Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One". There are no second-in-command G-ds, no intermediaries between the Jewish people and our Creator in Heaven. All prayer must be directed solely to the ONE and ONLY G-d who brings mercy and kindness to his world.



From http://www.divreichizuk.com/id24.html

HaGaon Rav Chayim Volozhin (Nefesh HaChayim III:12-13) cites the Gemara in Chullin Daf 7b which teaches that if a person internalizes the Pasuk: "Hashem, He is G-d, there is nothing else beside Him(Devarim 4:35) he will be protected from harmful forces. When one accepts Hashem's absolute sovereignty he places himself fully under His protective wing. Although nature contains many destructive elements, the man of faith understands that they are but marionettes in the hands of the Creator.   

The Brisker Rav, Rav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik was a descendant of Rav Chayim of Volozhin -- the author of the Nefesh HaChayim. He testified how the statement of faith recorded in the Nefesh HaChayim literally served as a guide through his life. When he was a young man, "Reb Velvel" - as the Brisker Rav was fondly known -- was commanded to appear before the Russian draft board to be inducted in the Czar's army. This fate was tantamount to both a spiritual and physical death sentence. As the date of his appearance neared, his father, Rav Chayim Brisker, instructed him to concentrate on the above passage from the Nefesh HaChayim. To Reb Velvel's great relief, his meeting with the draft board came, and he was exempted from the draft.   

Later, when the Germans occupied Poland at the begining of World War Two, Rev Velvel fled from Warsaw to Vilna. The roads were filled with German troops, and Nazis were everywhere. The danger was awesome. Yet, Reb Velvel traveled along undaunted, for he never stopped reviewing the pledge of the Nefesh HaChayim. "If you always think of Hashem. He will always think of you and protect you from all harm."   

Just once, Reb Velvel was distracted and his mind wondered onto another thought. Immediately, as if from nowhere an armed Nazi approached him threateningly. In a flash, Reb Velvel collected his thoughts and focused on the Nefesh HaChayim and the Nazi moved on.(Rabbotainu p 170)   

Rabbi Yosef Leib Bloch of Telshe (Shiurei Daat II:44) explains that natural forces which threaten mankind can be compared to a vicious dog with a long leash tied to its neck. When the animal pounces, the only way an intended victim can save himself is by calling to the dog's master, to restraint the beast. If the victim fails to recognize the presence of the master then he is truly in grave danger. Similarly when man fails to  perceive the "leash" upon the forces of nature, he indeed places himself at their mercy.(Ingeret HaRamban, R' Feuer, Chaf Tet, Artscroll)   
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

Offline muman613

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 05:08:50 PM »

Quote
http://www.torah.org/learning/olas-shabbos/5761/lechlecha.html
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The Maggid quotes a verse from Tehillim (32:10): "He who trusts in Hashem, kindness surrounds him." Upon this verse, Chazal, our Sages comment (Yalkut loc. cit.), "Even a wicked person who trusts in Hashem is surrounded by kindness."

In parshas Va-eschanan, there is a pasuk (verse) that beautifully articulates this concept: "You have been shown in order to know that Hashem, He is G-d; Ein Od Milvado - there is nothing else (other than Him)! (Devarim 4:35)." In his commentary to this verse, Rashi explains that at Mattan Torah, Hashem split open the seven Heavens and the lower realms, and every Jew clearly saw that Hashem is the only Force in the universe. Although the Heavens afterward closed, and the earth returned to its natural order, that revelation left an indelible imprint on the soul of every Jew. It is what makes it feasible for us to see through the workings of nature and its seemingly independent forces, and realize that ultimately, "Ein Od Milvado - there is nothing else other than Him."

The Gemara (Chullin 7b) quotes the statement of Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa, that the words "Ein Od Milvado" exclude even the powers of keshafim - sorcery. Once, the Gemara relates, a sorceress tried to take some earth from under Rabbi Chanina's feet, in order to cast a spell over him. "Go ahead," said Rabbi Chanina, "it will do you no good - for it is written, Ein Od Milvado!"

Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner (Nefesh HaChaim 3:12) explains that Rabbi Chanina was not relying on a miracle to save him. Rather, Rabbi Chanina, "had firmly established in his heart the emunah [belief] that there is no other force in the universe other than the will of Hashem. He was so connected in his mind to the Master of all forces that it was clear to him that nothing else has any control or existence at all. With this conviction, he was confident that the forces of sorcery could have no influence over him - unless Hashem so desired." When he declared, "Ein Od Milvado," he was emphasizing the clarity of his perfect faith.

As they say, nobody's perfect. From time to time, we all fail. Perhaps, though, we would be well served to realize that while attaining material perfection is an impossible goal, perfect faith is within our reach. The more we allow the awareness of Hashem to permeate our lives and our thoughts, the closer we come to perfection.
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

Offline muman613

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 05:12:11 PM »




O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

Offline muman613

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 05:23:25 PM »
http://www.torah.org/learning/perceptions/5759/shoftim.html

SEUDAH SHLISHI:

He will say to them, "Hear O Israel, you are close today to war and to your enemies ... Do not let your hearts become faint! Do not be afraid and don't be rushed, and do not become terrified before them." (Devarim 20:3)

War, for the Jewish people, is not a new thing. Since we left Egypt, we have had to do battle with almost every nation we have met. However, what has changed is the feeling of G-d fighting amongst our ranks ...

"For Hashem your G-d goes with you to do battle for you with your enemies to save you from them."

Given the miracles of Jewish survival, and the unbelievable victories against the odds, G-d certainly fights on our behalf. We may not always feel it that much, but, as we saw in 1967 (Six-Day War), and again in 1991 (Persian Gulf War), G-d is with us.

In fact, the day that Suddam Hussein finally "scudded" Israel after months of threats, and that George Bush told the Israelis not to retaliate, promising that the America people would defend Israel with Patriot missiles, was the same day that the second "aliyah" of Parshas Beshallach "chanced" along. In that aliyah (Shemos 14:9), with their backs to the sea and facing a massive and hostile Egyptian army, the Jewish people cried out to Moshe in desperation. Moshe answered them famous words, "Do not say anymore ... G-d will fight this battle for you!"

How's that for Divine Providence.

"But," you may say, "that verse is talking about a different period of history. How could we imagine G-d fighting for us today, when we are so distant from Him and barely keeping His mitzvos?!" Rashi answers that question based upon the above verse:

"Hear O Israel ... Even though you have no other merit than the fulfillment of the commandment of saying "Shema," you would still deserve that He should help you." (Rashi)

Well, that changes everything. That's all we have to do--say the Shema everyday? After all, it is only six words and fifty letters ... What does it take to say the Shema? About ten seconds, actually, if you add to it the second posuk of "Boruch Shem kevod ..."

Perhaps. And then perhaps, there is more, for, incorporated into those six words is everything a Jew ought to know about living in This World, especially when it comes to going to war.

"Hear O Israel, the L-rd Our G-d, the L-rd is One," means, in short, that no one has power in creation but G-d Himself, even our enemies: All the forces in creation come down to one Force, the Force, G-d Himself. So, why then do our "enemies" seem so powerful, and so angry, and so willing to do us harm ... and so capable of fulfilling their will? Because, says the Shema, we believe they are ... which is why we come to fear them more than G-d in the first place.

That's a no-no.

However, for one who recites the Shema with the proper understanding and intention of, "Ain Od Milvado"--there is none other besides Him--then G-d will fight his battles for him, on a personal level and a national level. Furthermore, it will be clear that this is the case, because the miracles will be obvious enough to him/them to prove the point--even if others don't concur (many people weren't impressed in 1991 with the Beshallach connection).

Therefore, when it is all said and done, the Shema may consist of only six words and fifty letters, but, they are a story unto themselves--the entire story unto themselves.
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2012, 01:26:39 AM »
Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
If taken as a mussar statement of faith and reliance on Hashem this could be a positive thing.
However, the fact that Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin is the one who is quoted as saying that internalizing this phrase can protect you from harm makes me a bit uneasy about recommending this practice to others. Why? Because his view about G-d departs from the view of his mentor and Rabbi the Vilna Gaon and more importantly it departs from the way
that the Gaonim and Rishonim viewed G-d.
I will soon provide some quotes to explain what I mean.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2012, 01:33:39 AM »
The following are some excerpts from an article Monotheism Vs. The Outlook That Everything is G-d
at: http://www.vilnagaon.org/monotheism.htm
Quote
There Are Jews who are Connected to the World View of the Kabbala that Admit that it is Forbidden to Associate the Holy One Blessed Be He, with a Specific Detail of the Creation. However In Their Opinion, It is Permissible to Say That the Creation in Its Entirety is the Holy One Blessed Be He

    However Rabbi Yitzchak Shlomo Zilberman, ZT"L, who was loyal to the views of the Vilna Gaon, established that also those that hold that all the world in its entirety = The Holy One Blessed Be He, are mistaken in a very serious and severe way [See Otzrote Harav Eliyahu M'Vilna U'beit Midrasho by Rabbi Moshe Tzuriel, Jewish year 5755, page 285]. Now this is a quote of the Vilna Gaon: "For they are a generation that have brazenly lifted up their eyes and words against the One Most High, do they utter: 'These are your gods, Israel, every tree and every stone'... and they reveal interpretations [lit. faces] of the Torah that are not in accordance with the halacha on the verse, 'Blessed be the glory of G-d from his place' and on the verse, 'and you bring life to all of them' ".

    Now in the Book by Volansky {or maybe the English transliteration is Wolansky}  an even harsher statement attributed to the Vilna Gaon is brought:
[Translators note: The following 3 paragraphs will not be translated, since I am afraid that people who don't understand Hebrew, might take these words out of context. Below the 3 paragraphs the English Translation continues.]
ืจื“ื• ืœืขืžืง ื™ื”ื•ืฉืคื˜ ืœืขื•ืžืงื ื“ื“ื™ื ื ืœื‘ืขืจ ื”ืงื•ืฆื™ื ืžื›ืจื ื‘ื™ืช ื”' ืฆื‘ืื•ืช ื›ืœ ื‘ื ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืœื”ื“ืคื ื•ืœืจื•ื“ืคื ื‘ืจื“ื™ืคื•ืช ืžืœืื•ืช ื”ื–ืขื ืœื”ื—ืจื™ืžื ื•ืœืขืงื•ืจ ืฉืจืฉื ื‘ื ืคืฉื ื•ืžืื“ื, ืœืขืงื•ืจ ืื•ืชื ื•ืœืฉืจืฉ ืืชื”ื ื›ื“ื™ืŸ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื”. ืฆื ืชืืžืจ ืœื”ื. ื”ื›ื ืก ืืœ ืชืืžืจ ืœื”ื, ื”ืžื” ื”ืงื”ืœ ืžื•ืจื™ื“ื™ืŸ ื•ืœื ืžืขืœื™ืŸ ืœื“ื›ืื ื•ืœืžื•ื’ื’ื ื›ืžื•ืฅ ืœืคื ื™ ืžื™ื ื•ืœื”ืชืืžืฅ ืœื”ืคืจื™ื“ื ืื™ืฉ ืžืื—ื™ื• ืœื‘ืœื™ ื™ืชื—ื‘ืจื• ื•ื™ืชืงืฉืจื• ื™ื—ื“ ื—ื‘ืจ ื‘ื•ื’ื“ื™ื ื•ืžื ื’ื“ื™ื ื ื’ื“ ื“ืช ืชื•ื”"ืง ื•ื‘ื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ืฉื”ื ืžืฆื•ื™ื™ื ืœืฉืœื—ื ืžืŸ ื”ืžื—ื ื” ื›ื“ื™ืŸ ืฆืจื•ืข ื•ื–ื‘

ื•ืื ื™ ืขืœ ืžืฉืžืจืชื™ ืืขืžื•ื“ื” ื›ืžืื– ื›ืŸ ืขืชื”... ื•ืขืœ ื›ืœ ืžื™ ืืฉืจ ื‘ืฉื ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื™ื›ื•ื ื” ื•ืืฉืจ ื ื’ืข ื™ืจืืช ื”' ื‘ืœื‘ื‘ื• ืžื•ื˜ืœ ืขืœื™ื• ืœื”ื“ืคื ื•ืœืจื•ื“ืคื ื‘ื›ืœ ืžื™ื ื™ ืจื“ื™ืคื•ืช ื•ืœื”ื›ื ื™ืขื ืขื“ ืฉื™ื“ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžื’ืขืช ื›ื™ ืขื•ื•ื ื ื˜ืžื•ืŸ ื‘ื—ื‘ื ื•ื›ื™ ืงืฉื™ื ื”ืžื” ืœื™ืฉืจืืœ ื›ืกืคื—ืช


ืืžื•ื ื™ ื‘ื ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื”ื—ืจื“ื™ื ืœืฉืžื•ืข ื‘ืงื•ืœ ื“ื‘ืจื•. ืชืฆื ืืฉ ืงื ืืชื ื•ืžืฆืื• ืงื•ืฆื™ื ื›ืกื•ื—ื™ื ื ืชื ื• ืœืื›ืœื”, ื™ื›ืœื• ืื•ืชื ืžื›ืจื ื”' ืฆื‘ืื•ืช ื”ืขื ื‘ื—ืจ ืœื ื—ืœื” ืœื•, ืื ืœืœืฆื™ื ื™ืœื™ืฆื• ื™ืจื™ืฆื• ื’ื•ืœื’ืœื•ืชื. ืžื›ื ื™ื ืขืฆืžื ื‘ืฉื ื—ืกื™ื“ื™ื, ื—ืกื“ ื”ื™ื. ืœื ื™ื—ืžื•ืœ ืขืœื™ื”ื ืื™ืฉ ื•ืœื ื™ื—ื ื, ื•ืœืชืช ืขื“ืช ื—ื ืฃ ื’ืœืžื•ื“, ื•ื”ืฉื•ืžืข ืœื”ื ื™ืžืชื— ืขืœ ื”ืขืžื•ื“. ืœื‘ืฉื• ืงื ืืช ื”' ื•ื™ืฆื ืจืฉืฃ ืœืจื’ืœื™ื›ื, ืžืคื™ื”ื ืœืคื™ื“ื™ื ื™ื”ื™ื• ื‘ืœื”ื˜ ื”ื—ืจื‘ ื ื•ืงืžืช ื ืงื ื‘ืจื™ืช ื•ืชื•ืจื” ื ื•ืงืžืช, ื•ื”ื ืฉืืจื™ื ื™ืจืื• ื•ื™ืฉืžื—ื•, ื›ื™ ืฉืžื—ื” ืœืฆื“ื™ืง ืขืฉื•ืช ืžืฉืคื˜ ื•ืœืคื•ืขืœื™ ืื•ื•ืŸ ืžื—ื™ืชื”, ื”' ื™ื—ื™ืฉื ื” ื‘ืขื™ืชื”. ื ืื•ื ืขื•ืจืš ืฉื•ืข ื‘ืฆืจ ื ืคืฉื•, ื›ื™ ืจืข ืขืœื™ื• ื”ืžืขืฉื”, ื”ืžืงื ื ืงื ืืชื• ื•ืืœื™ื• ื”ื•ื ื ื•ืฉื ืืช ื ืคืฉื•, ืืœื™' ื‘ืžื•ื”ืจ"ืจ ืฉืœืžื” ื–ืœืžืŸ ื–ืœื”"ื” .ืก
 
 
 
Quote
The Mishna that appears in tractate Brachot 33b states that he who says {in the Shmona Esrei prayer} ... Modim, Modim [in English, we give thanks to you, we give thanks to you] we silence him. The Talmud commented: "it is understandable Modim, Modim {should not be stated} since it appears "as if there are 2 authorities" {by making such a statement}. In his commentary on these words of the Mishna, starting with the words Modim, Modim, Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura explained: "that it appears as if he is accepting 2 gods". This implies that the prohibition of 2 authorities = 2 gods. However, there is no prohibition of 2 authorities, for someone who holds that there is a partner to the Holy One Blessed Be He in good deeds, who is not a god, rather just a person. As explained in Tosafot to Sanhedrin 63a on the words that start with "All that associate the name of heaven".  "It is not comparable to what was written {in Shoftim/Judges 7:20} 'A sword for G-d and for Gidon' and so too, 'we have spoken against G-d and against you' (Bamidbar/Numbers 21:7) for it is only prohibited  in matters relating to being a god". That is to say that as long as they don't ascribe something outside of G-d by the name of a god there is no violation of the prohibition of making a partnership or association with G-d with something else. I brought all this because there are Jews who say that all the creation = The Holy One Blessed Be He and they claim that on the contrary, to believe that there exists something outside of the Holy One Blessed Be He is the prohibition of service of a G-d who is associated with something else.

    In the supplement section to the book of Shmot/Exodus in the work of Rabbi Menachem Kasher, Torah Shleima, siman 15 we learn: that the viewpoint of the Vilna Gaon on the explanation of the words "the whole earth is filled with his glory", is a reference to his providence as described in Lkutei Hagra that were printed at the end of Safra Dtsniuta page 38a (Vilna 5642).
    However the disciple of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, though he admired his Rabbi as if he were one of the Tana'im {Rabbis of the Period of the Mishna} on this point he did not follow after the his {rabbi's} viewpoint. Those who deeply investigate Shaar 3, of his work, Nefesh Hachaim will clearly see that he read Sefer Hatanya {written by the founder of the Chabad or Lubavitch Chassidic movement} and accepted that author's view in almost all details.
    One should comment that even according to Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin who holds that on the level of the absolute truth, even after the creation of the world, in a way that is not understood by us, there is no material or existence outside of him {G-d}; however, he too admits that for every single matter and issue, we from our part, are obligated to relate to the Holy One Blessed Be He, as separate from the created world; see for example, Shaar 3, chapter 6.
       Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin for the most part bases his viewpoint on his explanation to the wisdom of Kabbala. And I have already brought as "a remedy to the plague", the words of the Mishna Brura siman 25 comment 42: "the Knesset Hagdola wrote as a principle of the Poskim that whenever the Kabbalists and the Zohar argue against the Gemara and the Poskim go after the Gemara and the Poskim", {end of quote}.
    Now I have already brought in the beginning of this article, that according to Rabbi Saadia Gaon, Ramban, Rashba, and more,  even on the level of the absolute truth, there is a difference between the Holy One Blessed Be and the Created World.

Offline Ephraim Ben Noach

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 01:53:00 AM »
Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
If taken as a mussar statement of faith and reliance on Hashem this could be a positive thing.
However, the fact that Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin is the one who is quoted as saying that internalizing this phrase can protect you from harm makes me a bit uneasy about recommending this practice to others. Why? Because his view about G-d departs from the view of his mentor and Rabbi the Vilna Gaon and more importantly it departs from the way
that the Gaonim and Rishonim viewed G-d.
I will soon provide some quotes to explain what I mean.
In my opinion. There are many ways to follow Hashem. I think it is simple, one says it's right, one says it's wrong. Their both right, they need to follow Hashem in their own way and they will be fine.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 10:49:45 AM by Ephraim »
Psalms(60:9) Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the defence of my head; Judah is my sceptre.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 01:51:59 PM »
Edu,

I don't quite understand what you are attempting to argue. This is not Kabbalah I am talking about, but a simple phrase which comes from our Torah of Moses, and from the Oral law (Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 67b) :

http://halakhah.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_67.html#67b_15

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R. Johanan said: Why are they [sorcerers] called Kashshafim?9  โ€” Because they lessen the power of the Divine agencies.10

There is none else besides Him:11  R. Hanina said: Even by sorcery.12  A woman once attempted to take earth from under R. Hanina's feet.13  He said to her, 'If you succeed in your attempts, go and practise it [sc. sorcery]: it is written, however, There is none else beside him'. But that is not so, for did not R. Johanan say: Why are they called mekashshefim?14  Because they lessen the power of the Divine agencies? โ€” R. Hanina was in a different category, owing to his abundant merit.15


10 I.e., making incantations of death against those for whom Heaven has decreed life (Rashi); and in general seeking to interfere with the course of events as decreed from above. The word is treated as an abbreviation, thus Keshafim, Kahash, Famalia, Ma'alah. (Lessens [the] Family on High).
11 Deut. IV, 35.
12 I.e., not even sorcerers have power to oppose His decree.
13 To perform magic against him.
14 [H] Hebrew form of Kashshafim.
15 Therefore G-d should certainly not permit any sorcerer to harm him.

As we can see there are those who argue, like you, that there are other forces (Black Magic) besides Hashem, but the tractate indicates that it is according to R. Chanina who believes that there is nothing beside him (Ein Od Milvado). The tractate supports the idea that believing this will protect a person even from sorcery...
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2012, 02:09:24 PM »

http://www.shemayisrael.com/parsha/peninim/archives/mishpatim71.htm

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David Hamelech says (Tehillim 119:163), Sheker sanaisi v'soeivah, Torascha ahavti, "I hate falsehood; it disgusts me, I love Your Torah." The Malbim explains the connection between Torah, emes, sheker, toeivah. "I love Your Torah which is all truth. Therefore, I cannot possibly love falsehood. To love Your truth is to hate that which opposes truth." Sheker is the opposing force challenging truth, and, therefore, David Hamelech hated falsehood. The Malbim is teaching us that our hatred for falsehood must be the result of our love for Torah. This can only occur if our love for Torah is based upon our search for the truth, the emes inherent in Torah. Thus, if one were to learn Torah for the wrong reasons, he could still maintain a "relationship" with sheker. He has not yet negated it. Sheker and emes cannot exist together but, if emes is not yet really present, then the sheker can still fester, germinate and grow. I do not think this idea must be explained further. The message is quite clear.

Last, I cite Rav Schwab who lucidly points out that the ultimate emes is Hashem Himself, Ein od milvado. There is none other than Hashem, Alone. The ultimate sheker must then be atheism. Torah and Klal Yisrael are extensions of Hashem. Emes is exclusive. This means that there is nothing besides emes, except for sheker. There is no gray area between the two. It is either true or false - nothing in-between. Klal Yisrael comprises all that which is called kulah zera emes, everyone, a seed of truth. The Jew's mission is to live a life of truth based upon the emes expounded from the Torah, which is Hashem's word. To deviate from this course is to take the road of sheker, falsehood.

Avraham Avinu was the first to be korei b'Shem Hashem, call out in the Name of Hashem. This is a reference to his propagating emes. Nimrod and the dor ha'flagah, generation of the dispersion, were his nemeses. Their rallying cry was, naase lanu shem, "Let us make a name for ourselves." This was the clarion call of sheker. Since they oppose each other vehemently, the exponents of falsehood must hate those who stand for the truth. After all, emes undermines sheker and exposes its fallacy and duplicity. Hashem reassured Avraham with mekalelcha A'or, "Those who curse you, I will curse." (Bereishis 12:3). We, his descendants who follow in his ways must embody his adherence to emes, as we anticipate the inevitable repercussions of our rejection of the spokesmen for sheker.
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2012, 02:12:35 PM »
Here the concept of 'Ein Od Milvado' is discussed in the life of Yosef HaTzadik. How this belief {as can be shown in the scene where Yosef reveals his identity to his brothers} was able to protect him from the influences of Potiphars wife and from becoming bitter towards his brothers.


http://www.shemayisrael.com/parsha/peninim/archives/vayigash72.htm

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Horav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zl, notes that Yosef HaTzaddik went through some extremely traumatic spiritual and physical challenges in his life. Pharaoh's dungeons housed some of the country's most ruthless criminals. The physical conditions left much to be desired. Overcoming the daily blandishments of Potifar's wife was no simple task. Loneliness was his constant "companion." How did he survive? What superhuman forces within Yosef gave him the ability to confront evil, loneliness, debauchery, spiritual and physical deprivation, emerging triumphant - as righteous as before? The Rosh Yeshivah suggests that, upon perusing the text, one notes that two unique forces played an integral role in Yosef's success.

First, was Yosef's emunah. His unabiding faith in the Almighty, his acute awareness that Ein od milvado, "There is no other (power) than He," fortified him with trust in Hashem. Yosef knew that there was no other power to whom he could turn; no one else who could help him. It was either Hashem or nothing! Every time Yosef spoke, he commenced his comment with the notion that Hashem was the only source of salvation, the only address for success, and that everything that He did was for the good.

Second, Yosef learned Torah - constantly. He lay in the cradle of Torah study as it embraced him. His toiling in the pathways of Torah gave him insight, fortitude and courage. With faith fortified by Torah, Yosef could take on the challenges of life that were thrown at him.
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2012, 02:18:19 PM »
Ein Od Milvado in relation to Purim and Hamans ability to destroy the Jewish people:


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http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/742753/Katz,_Harav_Yaakov
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The Mishna in Massechet Ta'anit writes that just as when Av enters we lessen our joy, so too Mishenichnas Adar marbin besimcha.  Av begins with a certain atmosphere, the Ashkenazim begin already on Shiva Asar B'Tamuz.  We all feel the need not only to observe particular halachot of mourning, but to try to work on ourselves to understand what life was like with a Beit HaMikdash and what we are missing.  The Mishna is teaching us that the same is true for Adar, we must begin to work on ourselves to reach a level of true simcha of Purim.  Chayav inish libesumei does not mean to get so drunk that we get wild, but simcha.  What is simcha?  Simcha is when we do not discern the difference between Arur Haman and Baruch Mordechai - why don't we know the difference?  Because we have reached such a close connection to the A-mighty that it does not make a difference, Haman is nothing - ein od milvado - there is none beside Him.  There is great awareness today of ein od milvado, there bumper stickers attesting to that, externally there is ein od milvado, but our job is to feel it.

How does one achieve such a level?  The Ramban at the end of Parshat Bo writes that the purpose of the creation is for man to reach this level.  Mitzvoth are given to us in order that we reach a level of thanking Hashem for all He has done for us.  When you believe that Hashem created the world and has given us life then everything falls into place.  If it is due to Him that I breathe then how can I go against His will?  Why are there Batei Midrash and Batei Knesset?  In order for man to declare in public and thank Hashem for having created us.  The Ramban writes that the purpose of all the miracles in Egypt are to teach us that there is no such thing as nature, Hashem runs the world.  Whoever does not believe in this has no share in the Torah of Moshe Rabenu.  This is ein od milvado

The Rama begins the Shulchan Aruch with: "shiviti Hashem lenegdi tamid, zeh klal gadol bemaalot hatzadikim" "I have set Hashem before me always, this is a great principle in the greatness of the righteous".  Setting Hashem before me always means that He runs the world, His presence is always before us.  A person who truly feels this leads his life totally differently.  You wake up in the morning and run to say modeh ani thanking Him for giving you life.  This is the beginning of Orach Chaim.

What are the Rama's closing words to Orach Chaim: tov lev bemishte tamid, "a good hearted person feasts perpetually" (from Mishle 15:15).  What is the connection between placing Hashem before us always and between being in a state of constant feasting?  Notice each has the word tamid - always.  We can now explain as follows: a person cannot reach a level of true simcha unless he first believes that ein od milvado.  Purim is our opportunity, through the mishte, to feel the ein od milvado. How?  Let me ask you, how can anyone be happy?  We have so many worries, from the time we are small to the time we are looking for a shidduch, trying to earn a living, trying to properly raise our children.  As parents we worry about the health of our children, as children with older parents we worry about them - how can we be happy?  Why is this not working out?  I tried this it didn't work, what is wrong with me, what will become of me?  Being happy does not mean that for one fleeting moment we have forgotten all our cares - remember, the next morning the wine wears off and you are back to where you were before.
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2012, 02:23:13 PM »
As I pointed out Ein Od Milvado and Shema share this concept, the ONENESS of Hashem:

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http://ohr.edu/4003

Having Your Head in the Right Place

โ€œโ€ฆHashem is ONE.โ€ (6:4)
One of the charms of living in the Holy City of Yerushalayim is the unique sense of humor of its residents.

I have the merit to daven in the morning alongside one such Yerushalmi. He is of slight build and unknowable age but I doubt he is much short of seventy-five and could be much more. The other day I noticed the tefillin on his head was slightly to one side and I said to him,

โ€œReb Aharon, your tefillin is not in the right place.โ€

To which he replied, โ€œThereโ€™s nothing wrong with the tefillin โ€” itโ€™s the head thatโ€™s in the wrong place.โ€

The most important part of being a Jew is having your head in the right place.

Twice a day, we declare our faith in the Shema Yisrael prayer, โ€œHear O Yisrael, Hashem, our G-d, Hashem is One.โ€ When we say the word โ€œOneโ€ we are supposed to think for a brief moment that G-dโ€™s Oneness precludes the existence of anything else whatsoever. Ain od milvado. On the ultimate level, nothing, NOTHING, exists except Hashem. In which case, who and where am I?

Everything we know, all knowledge, can be discussed, examined, argued about, refuted, proved, dissected, and shared. With one exception. There is one piece of knowledge that is beyond all refutation or controversy, beyond doubt and beyond proof.

And that is the certainty of my own existence.

No one can tell me that I am not here and I need no proof that I exist. The truth of my own existence is irrefutable and intuitive, beyond all logic or discussion. It is the deepest form of knowledge, and deeper than knowledge itself.

Which means that really the only thing I can really be sure of is me. Maybe the rest of the world, everything outside that intuitive knowledge of my own existence is no more that a giant super-duper I-MAX experience. Maybe the world is no more than a vastly sophisticated Disneyworld.

The tool that G-d has given us to turn "Nothing exists except me," into "Nothing exists except Him," is the Shema.

In the Shema, we are moser nefesh, literally we โ€œgive over our soulsโ€. This doesnโ€™t just mean that we are prepared to give up our lives rather than betray our faith. It means that in the Shema we give over the irrefutable certainty of own own existence and declare that that we are no more than just one expression of what G-d wishes to reveal in His world. The Shema makes our belief in G-d's existence as deep-rooted and unshakeable as the knowledge of our own existence.

Throughout the ages the Shema has given Jews the power to make the ultimate sacrifice; simple Jews who were not great philosophers, ordinary people who said Shema as they took leave of this world, understanding that their own lives were none other than G-dโ€™s expression of Himself in this world, and they were now returning that to Him.

It all depends on having your head in the right place.
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2012, 02:34:46 PM »
The blessing we say before we say Shema makes it clear that Hashem is the source of everything, both the good and the bad... Although we do not say BAD in the blessing {we say darkness} this line comes from the prophet Isaiah...


http://www.myjewishlearning.com/texts/Liturgy_and_Prayers/Siddur_Prayer_Book/Shema/Blessings_Around_Shema.shtml
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The berakhah on Creation is the longest, encompassing fragments of ancient poetic litanies and a depiction of the acclamations of the angelic choruses. It is also one of the places where the hand of the rabbis in shaping the liturgy out of biblical materials is most conspicuยญous. Take the opening statement of the berakhah:

"Praised be You, O Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and creates all things."

Now take its source in Isaiah 45.7; G-d is the speaker:

"I form light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil."

The rabbis have changed the Isaiah verse from the first person to the third and absorbed it into the berakhah formula. But they have gone further; they have done nothing less than tamper with the biblical text by emending evil into the euphemized all things. In truth, this is not a gross violation. By setting up a series of antitheses (light/darkness, peace/evil), Scripture intends to convey the sense that G-d is the source of all phenomena, from A toZ, so to speak. The rabbis' "all things," then, is not far off the mark. The change, however, is more than a helpful gloss. While they too believed that G-d was the author of bad things as well as good, after the catastrophes that had befallen the Jewish people, the rabbis felt that in the context of prayer it was appropriate to underscore G-d's merciful nature. The berakhah on Creation was supยญposed to inspire awe of the glory and plenitude of the world. For the rabbis, "all things" told the truth, yet did not sound the minor chord of the original.
 
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.

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Re: Ein Od Milvado - There is nothing besides Hashem
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2012, 02:46:04 PM »
I just investigated the second mention of Rav Chaninas opinion concerning "Ein Od Milvado" which is in Tractate Chullin 7b:



http://halakhah.com/pdf/kodoshim/Chullin.pdf

There is none else beside Him:15 R. Hanina said: Even sorcery.16 A woman once attempted to cast a spell over R. Hanina.17 He said to her, โ€˜Try as you will, you will not succeed in your attempts, for it is written: There is none else beside Himโ€™. Has not, however, R. Johanan declared: Why is sorcery called keshafim? Because it overrules [the decree of] the heavenly council? 18  โ€” R. Hanina was in a different category, owing to his abundant merit. 19  R. Hanina further said: No man bruises his finger here on earth unless it was so decreed against him in heaven, for it is written: It is of the Lord that a man's goings are established. 20 How then can man look to his way?




(15) Deut. IV, 35. R. Hanina having been quoted in the previous passage, the Gemara now deals with several other of his
statements.
(16) I.e., not even by sorcery can one overrule His decree,
(17) Lit., โ€˜to take earth from under R. Hanina's feetโ€™.
(18) I.e., the law of nature (Rashbo). The word ohpaf is treated as an abbreviation, thus: Keshafim: Kahash, Famalia,
Ma'alah. (Opposes the Council on High).
(19) Therefore G-d would not allow him to come to harm by sorcery.
(20) Ps. XXXVII, 23.
O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth, render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice? They spout forth, they speak falsely; all workers of violence boast. Your people, O Lord, they crush, and Your inheritance they afflict.