Israeli Values Religious Voices

Letter 30 - Rabbi Or Zohar

To the State of Israel and all its inhabitants,

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6, 4).

The spiritual timetable of the Israeli tradition since the beginning of time is “Keriat Shema”, the call that opens with the command “Shema Israel” ( Hear, O Israel), and ends with the longing to achieve the unity of God.

It can be suggested that the path to this supreme achievement, therefore, depends on one precondition: “Hear, O Israel!”, and know that “the Lord our God” is the God of all of us, without exceptions. This is the only way to know that “the Lord is one”. Hence, only those who know how to hear all “Klal” Israel (all of Israel), to all the voices and the various identities, will win spiritually, the unity of the “Shekinah” (divine presence) with the help of God. 

Our sages taught us, it is no longer a secret, that unity depends on the recognition that “the other”, whether it’s a human being or something external to me, whether it’s an idea or an internal feeling that is part of my consciousness, it is forever part of me. 

Sometimes, this demand is almost unacceptable, and nearly unbearable (how is it possible that It’s about and within me?). However, this is the meaning of worship, this is the practice of sacrifice, in the sense of getting closer. This worship should be repeated daily in the spiritual “Mishkan” (Temple) within every human being: believing in our ability to hear the voice of “Klal” Israel arising as a rising spring out of many different sounds of water.

Therefore, in the sublime spirit of the value of unity that cannot be surpassed, it is now our duty, to materialize an old-new vision of true and complete unity. 

Unity which allows equal place and equal voice to all people who inhabit this land, from the Jordan river to the mediterranean sea, regardless of their religion, gender or race. Then, the written  prophecy will come true: “On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name” (Zechariah 14, 9).


Rabbi Or Zohar

Rabbi Or Zohar, lives in Harrarit and serves as the Reform Rabbi of the regional council of Misgav. A musician, the founder of “Midreshet Hibura” – school of Kabbalah and Jewish spirituality, leader of “the Spirit of Galilee” association which aims to promote religious pluralism, interfaith and multicultural dialogue and shared existence. 

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