Posted on | July 19, 2006 | By Avrahom-Moishe Erlenwein | 7 Comments
In a previous post Creating Unity and Harmony Instead of Reacting to Strife and Conflict, I highlighted a step by step formula towards creating unity that can be taken by anyone:
1. Absolute conviction in Torah. It is the blueprint for creation as well as a civilized, productive and G-dly society – to offer guidance and to be applied in every circumstance, at all places and all times.
2. Warmth, patience, optimism, the sharing of knowledge, firm in conviction (see “Step 1” above) yet pleasant in tone with a focus on commonality and goodness.
3. The absolute belief and empowerment in the individual which was being interacted with – that they can do [more] good and change the world for good.
4. Always finalized with a call to action for oneself and for one’s immediate as well as extended sphere of influence (a call which reflects the attitude and approach of these 4 steps).
This four step formula equates to “looking for the “Aleph” in everything” that one encounters. What is the “Aleph” and how does one do that?
It is interesting to note that the word for exile, “golus” and the word for Redemption, “Geulah” – the only difference between the two words is the Hebrew letter “Aleph”; “Geulah” [Redemption] contains the “Aleph” whereas “golus” [exile] doesn’t. The “Aleph” represents “the Alufo shel Olam” [the “Master of the World” i.e. G-d].
Many people have a fear of what is going to happen with the imminent advent of the Redemption and they ask – “What will be with all of my business deals, money, property, position of influence and friends (both Jew and Gentile) – will everything will be lost or ruined?!
The answer is what was just stated above:
The difference4 between “golus” [exile] and “Geluah” [Redemption] is the lack of placing, the lack recognizing the “Aleph” – the “Alufo shel Olam” [“Master of the world”] in our current day to day events. When the Redemption speedily arrives – nothing will be lost, nothing will be ruined – just the opposite! Everything that we have done (according to Torah) will be brought to it’s ultimate state of goodness and perfection – the “Aleph” – the “Alufo shel Olam” [“Master of the world”] will be revealed in everything that we did! Furthermore, the more that we reveal the “Aleph” overtly by our own initiative of making all of our thoughts, speech and actions “l’shaim shemiyim” [“motivated to serve Hashem”] – we hasten and accelerate the advent of the true and complete Redemption.
Similarly is it – we have to look for the “Aleph” now. Not only to reveal the “Aleph”, the “Alufo shel Olam” but to take the singular approach and resolve to reflect the “Aleph” of “Achdus” [“Unity”] at every opportunity; opportunities that are presented to us by Divine Providence as well as to proactively seek them out.
Being a “Change Catalyst” For the Good By Creating Unity
By taking the singular approach to reflect the “Aleph” of “Achdus” [“Unity”] at every opportunity, it will not matter what challenge you are faced with:
It will not matter whether you are dealing with family, work, your spouse, your kids, a fellow Jew, a missionary or a Gentile whom you have a brief exchange – what shul you go to or nusach you pray, whether you are a man or a woman or which group within Klall Yisroel you identify with – all can be used as opportunities to follow the 4 step formula listed above to create unity and harmony instead of reacting to rife and conflict.
Most importantly, by fulfilling the dictum of Pirkei Avos5 of “Salechah Rav….Submit to a Rav….and remove yourself from doubt.”, one can create unity and harmony within oneself. This will lead to one being the ultimate change catalyst as the Rambam issues a legal verdict6 stating that:
“Always a person should view themselves and the world as being evenly balanced on a scale between merit and retribution; one good thought, one kind word, the next mitzvah that ones does – can tip the scale to the side of merit and bring salvation to themselves and the entire world.”