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 â€“ 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 â€œStep 1â€ 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 â€“ that they can do [more] good and change the world for good.
4. Always finalized with a call to action for oneself and for oneâ€™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 â€œlooking for the â€œAlephâ€ in everythingâ€ that one encounters. What is the â€œAlephâ€ and how does one do that?
It is interesting to note that the word for exile, â€œgolusâ€ and the word for Redemption, â€œGeulahâ€ â€“ the only difference between the two words is the Hebrew letter â€œAlephâ€; â€œGeulahâ€ [Redemption] contains the â€œAlephâ€ whereas â€œgolusâ€ [exile] doesnâ€™t. The â€œAlephâ€ represents â€œthe Alufo shel Olamâ€ [the â€œMaster of the Worldâ€ 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 â€“ â€œWhat will be with all of my business deals, money, property, position of influence and friends (both Jew and Gentile) â€“ will everything will be lost or ruined?!
The answer is what was just stated above:
The difference4 between â€œgolusâ€ [exile] and â€œGeluahâ€ [Redemption] is the lack of placing, the lack recognizing the â€œAlephâ€ â€“ the â€œAlufo shel Olamâ€ [â€œMaster of the worldâ€] in our current day to day events. When the Redemption speedily arrives â€“ nothing will be lost, nothing will be ruined â€“ just the opposite! Everything that we have done (according to Torah) will be brought to itâ€™s ultimate state of goodness and perfection â€“ the â€œAlephâ€ â€“ the â€œAlufo shel Olamâ€ [â€œMaster of the worldâ€] will be revealed in everything that we did! Furthermore, the more that we reveal the â€œAlephâ€ overtly by our own initiative of making all of our thoughts, speech and actions â€œlâ€™shaim shemiyimâ€ [â€œmotivated to serve Hashemâ€] â€“ we hasten and accelerate the advent of the true and complete Redemption.
Similarly is it â€“ we have to look for the â€œAlephâ€ now. Not only to reveal the â€œAlephâ€, the â€œAlufo shel Olamâ€ but to take the singular approach and resolve to reflect the â€œAlephâ€ of â€œAchdusâ€ [â€œUnityâ€] at every opportunity; opportunities that are presented to us by Divine Providence as well as to proactively seek them out.
Being a â€œChange Catalystâ€ For the Good By Creating Unity
By taking the singular approach to reflect the â€œAlephâ€ of â€œAchdusâ€ [â€œUnityâ€] 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 â€“ 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 â€œSalechah Ravâ€¦.Submit to a Ravâ€¦.and remove yourself from doubt.â€, 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:
â€œAlways 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.â€