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July 27, 2015 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Vaetchanan

This week’s portion contains the Shema: “Listen Israel HASHEM is our God, HASHEM is one.”  There are lots of different interpretations of this of course.  One I never heard (from Rashi by way of Soncino Chumash): now Hashem is just OUR God, but in the future the whole world’s.

Rashi was on to something even in the 1000s.  At the time of the Torah, the invisible God of the Jews was arguably just our God.*  But by the time he was writing, our God was already the God of the Christians and Muslims, and both religions have (I suspect) grown over the past millenium as they have spread into Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.  So our God is, if not quite the entire world’s deity, probably that of a majority of humanity.  So in a sense Jews are winning.

But has this trend made people any better?  Hard to say (though here’s an argument that the answer is yes).

*or at least not the God of the Greeks and Romans and Egyptians- given the sparse historical record, we don’t really know if Canaanites and other Torah-era neighbors of the Jews thought of our God is part of their pantheon of deities or not.

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