Shema is the Hebrew word for “hear,” as in
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, will all your soul, and with all your might.
This is also the text the Musseim call from their minarets, and the believers stop to pray.
If our “God is one,” why do we fight each other? Perhaps because of belief of the “one” God? In a polytheistic world the Jews were counter-cultural. Difference breeds a danger in human minds. It is the reason children call names or bully one another. It is difference that leads to misunderstandings and to fights or wars. To be counter-cultural is to present a danger to the smooth agreements that form a society. Something new is a danger for it calls all accepted beliefs into question; it disturbs the status quo and threatens law makers and those who benefit from a society which follows “their” principles.
Today, as we face all sorts of beliefs, to be counter-cultural and believe in one God is dangerous. To believe in Love is dangerous. In a society focused on “us vs. them,” Love is dangerous. Those who profit from the balance of us and them are against those who believe in Love towards All.
I often think of today’s society when I think of the Bible’s position on aliens. We are to be kind to them for we were once aliens ourselves. At least in the Americas, only the native peoples are non-aliens, the rest of us came here from somewhere else. So, we are the aliens.
The reverse is true when it comes to behavior-in a society which presses to remove “In God we Trust,” everything is moral—immorality is moral, is acceptable—for there are no standards. It is the age- old question of “who” is to decide what is acceptable or not, and isn’t everything shades of grey?
Let someone become a Hero, he is destroyed. His/her accomplishments are nothing if there is one blemish in their life. All models of behavior are to be shot down, removed from their pedestals; the criminal becomes the underdog, the victim. Consequences of any action are “unfair.” Yet, actions have consequences. A society without Love for each member is a society ready to fall.
Jesus the Christ came to save us, to forgive us. Is it pride to believe we don’t need saving or forgiving? Would He have needed to come, to die, to rise, if humans hadn’t chosen selfishness instead of Love? The real danger is evil, not love.
Do we still hear? Hear that internal moral voice, or has it been drowned out by desires? In silence we can hear the “still small voice,” the whispering voice, but we have to allow silence; we have to quiet the voices clamoring for action, so we can listen, so we can hear.