Even the least observant Jew is familiar with the fundamental prayer in Judaism known as the ‘Shema’. In English the prayer is usually translated as Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One. It is interpreted as the primary description of monotheism, of the belief in One God.
A more mystical Kabbalistic interpretation transforms this prayer into a metaphysical statement which profound ability to heal. The word Shema, Hear can represent the level of awareness that is necessary for deep understanding. One must be open to hearing in order to truly understand. The word Israel stands for One Who Struggles with God. This name, therefore, can apply to anyone who undertakes a serious metaphysical journey into the nature of reality.The Lord, Your God, refers to the divine spark of divinity which resides within us all, our soul. The Lord is One explains how all spirit is interconnected despite the fact that it manifests uniquely in us all.
This powerful prayer is a call to awaken to the divinity within each one of us. When we come to this understanding, we cannot fail but to appreciate our true value as spiritual beings. Sadness can be understood as part of the nature flow of emotions and life. Depression can be countered cognitively by remembering who we are. To constantly remind ourselves that we are spiritual beings undergoing a human experience is not an exercise in ego support. Rather it is a humbling recognition of how challenging this existence can seem. It is a reminder to us that we are here to grow and evolve and to heal our wounds. It should help us maintain the courage to be, to humbly see the god in us and in all others. It is a call to tikkun–to heal ourselves and the other divine souls around us.