Oneness, or Sameness?

With the advent of the internet and social media, humanity is moving closer to a state of sameness. It is sameness -not divisiveness- that is the polar-opposite of oneness. Opposites must belong to the same category; for example, soft and hard are both textures, and yet they are opposites. Sameness and oneness are opposing ways of forming a group. We may be part of the same online community, but we are more distant than ever from our fellowmen.  

The roots of disunity lie in day two of creation. On that day Hashem separated the lower and upper waters. Absent from the day-two story, is the statement, “and God saw that it was good.” Only on day three, where the waters gather in the seas, does it say, “and God saw that it was good.”  

The upper and lower waters respectively, represent the spiritual and material realms. By itself, this separation is not good. However, when the waters gather in the seas, forming dry land, the separation becomes a good thing. On this land, plant, animal, and human life can flourish. The mountains and the rivers, the lions and the sheep, all sing the praise of Hashem. Free-willed man is to be the conductor, bringing together all the diverse forces of nature to form one harmonious orchestra.   

When man is aligned with his creator, he elevates the lower realm uniting it with the spiritual realm. The angels themselves wait for man to begin his song, and only then do they sing Hashem’s praise.  

However, in the time of the mabul (flood), man selfishly chased his own desires. The beautiful music of creation gave way to chaos, with thievery and adultery becoming the new norm. Man’s free-willed service, which was to unite heaven and earth, was no longer. At this point, the upper and lower waters reunited, covering the land and destroying all life.  

Only Noach remained true to his calling, and it is through him that plants and animals alike had continuity. As a true servant of Hashem, Noach alone was able to unite and harmonize the diverse elements of life on this earth. 

The generation after Noach learned that unity is the key to success. They all joined together, uniting around a common enemy — Hashem Himself. This cannot be true unity. A community is one where the individual finds their true voice, expressing what they stand for, not just what they stand against.

A common enemy may produce sameness, but it will not produce oneness. 

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