G-d’s Unity

The 2nd mitzvah is that we are commanded to acquire knowledge1 of the nature of G‑d‘s Unity, i.e. to understand that the Original Creator and Source of all existence is One.

The source of this commandment is G‑d’s statement2 (exalted be He), “Hear [i.e. “understand”] O Israel, G‑d is our Lord, G‑d is One.”

In most Midrashim you will find this mitzvah described [in the context of G‑d’s statement that a certain kindness was done to the Jewish people,] “on condition that they unify My Name,” “on condition that they unite Me,” or a similar expression. They mean to say that G‑d took us out of bondage and heaped kindness upon us upon condition that we have His Unity firmly fixed in our minds — since we are required to do so. [From this we see that knowledge of His unity is an actual requirement, and is therefore counted as one of the 613 commandments.]

In many places the expression is used, “the mitzvah of His Unity” [the word”mitzvah” also indicating that this counts as one of the 613 commandments.]

Our Sages3 also called this mitzvah “Kingdom,” saying that [the paragraphShema is read before V’haya] “in order to accept upon oneself the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven,” i.e. to acknowledge and comprehend His Unity.4



See footnote 1.

See Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah, Ch. 1:7, for details of the knowledge mandatory for fulfillment of thismitzvah. See also, Guide to the Perplexed, Pt. I, Ch.50-69.


Deut. 6:4.


See Berachos 13a; 61b.


It has been suggested that the Rambam’s intention is as follows: The Talmud could have given the reason, “in order to fulfill the mitzvah of reciting the Shema.” The phrase, “Kingdom of Heaven” stresses the additional significance of Shema, in that it also involves the mitzvah of Unity. See RifPerlo, Vol. I, p. 71a.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Guestspeaker says:

    Too many Christians do forget that G’d is One (Who man can not see and live) and that in Him there is Unity and Excellence of omnipotence and omniscience, Him always righteous and never telling lies. Too many have taken them three gods with unequal qualities and even came to make statues and graven images of them against the Wish of G’d.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.