Seeking Oneness in the Face of Destruction


These past months of natural disasters have devastated communities across our country and world and led me to reflect on the idea of God's oneness.

This Shabbat we read the first portion of the Torah, B'reishit. B'reishit teaches us that all of humanity was created in the image God (Gen 1:26-27). As we look around at our world, we know each person is unique and not a mirror image of anyone else. If all of us are created in the image of God, we must conclude that all of us together are the image of God. Each of us a divine puzzle piece who together comprise God.

As fires destroy neighborhoods in California; as Puerto Ricans remain trapped in a humanitarian crisis without clean water or power; as Texas and Florida and Caribbean Islands are still recovering; as families still mourn the loss of their loved ones murdered in Las Vegas; one thing remains on my mind: the oneness of God. Nature does not care about human wealth, education, religion, race, skin color, or political party. Natural disasters sweep away those human ascriptions and reveal our essence, our desire to help, our divine oneness.

Though politics yield a sharper sword than ever before – our human gifts of empathy and compassion will ensure we beat that divisive sword into a plowshare and unify around our common humanity. 

As we welcome Shabbat tonight, I think particularly of the words of our Sh'ma:

Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad
Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One!

This Shabbat, may we focus on the oneness of humanity created in God's image. 

Alex KressComment