In Vaetchanan Moses reviews the Torah ending with a repetition of the Shema after the Ten Commandments.
The Shema is honored like no other prayer with a place in repetition next to the Ten Commandments, because like the Ten Commandments, it represents the soul of the Torah.
Indeed, the first phrase of the Shema “Hear O Israel the L-rd is our G-d the L-rd is one” is arguably the most famous phrase in Judaism. Its power, however, does not come in its declaration of Hashem’s oneness, but rather in its reminder that, as the image of G-d, we must emulate Hashem’s one-ness.
As Jews on campus we see a special opportunity to emulate this one-ness. We must build bridges, listen to the pain within the memories of other cultures, and use our differences not in otherness, but in celebration of our one-ness.
For how wonderful is a campus where we recognize our differences, creating a culture of sharing cultures in the hope of a progressive and dynamic learning space?
Jake Campbell is Jewish Student Life Coordinator at Florida State University Hillel.