November 15

Question: As a child I learned a basic Jewish prayer, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is One.” Please explain what this means?

Answer: The meaning is very clear here. I don’t think it’s just the name of a country. Israel is what is real. And whoever thinks of that reality and works to realize the reality are the chosen people. They may be living in Africa, or Australia, or a Himalayan cave or Katmandu, it doesn’t matter.

Whoever is interested in reality is an Israelite. So this song is addressed to the true children of that absolute reality: “Hear, O children of the reality! The Lord is our God.” There is only one God who is our Lord, who is the life in us. We are of that image. God is always one. Every religion talks about this.

 

Swami Satchidananda

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