The Hebrew Scriptures tells us that Gd is One.

Hear, O Israel: The Etrnl is our Gd, the Etrnl is one. [Deuteronomy 6:4]

But how do we know that the term ‘one’ at the end of the above verse, does not refer to some sort of compound unity, that Gd is made up of different parts that total up to one? The reason is that the word ‘one’ is an adjective. Here it is describing a proper noun, which is the word ‘The Etrnl.’ (In Hebrew, this is a one-word designation.) Most people forget that the word that is here translated as ‘The Etrnl’ is actually a Name, the holiest name for Gd, told to us in Exodus 3:14-15. The English word, ‘Gd,’ is a job description; the four-letter Name of Gd, on the other hand, is Gd’s personal Name. When the word, ‘one’ modifies a personal name, it must mean that this entity is only One, not a compound One, but rather an absolute One. (Source)

is this analysis of the linguistics of the verse accurate? And what about the Sefiroth and Partzufim?

  • 1
    The explanation of Shaar Hayichud Vehaemuna in Tanya answers the question. chabad.org/library/tanya/tanya_cdo/aid/1029162/jewish/…
    – user24005
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 18:03
  • 1
    I don't think that statement is grammatically accurate. Sages like Maimonides used logical proofs and other verses in the Bible to demonstrate that fact. See the beginning of Mishneh Torah. Sefiros and Partzufim are also creations of G-d, not G-d Himself.
    – N.T.
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


Maybe because not one verse stand on it’s own, it’s all about context, maybe this will help to understand the concept of oneness;

Besides the Shema mentioned in Devarim 6:4, there are many other verses which add to the definition of Echad in the Shema. Te following verses are important to gain some Understanding of G-d.

Shemot 20:3 “There shall not be to you other gods ‘al panai’.” The words al panai mean ‘in addition to My presence’, ‘besides My presence’ or ‘in My visible surface’; although the literal translation would be ‘upon My face’, or over My face; literally replacing the face (appearance) of G-d (i.e. the way He presents Himself to us) with another face or false representation of who He truly is. See also Devarim 5:7

Shemot 20:23 “you will not make for you gods with Me” - The Talmud derives further, based on a slightly different interpretation of that verse, that we may not produce an image of G-d Himself (“lo ta’asun oati” rather than “iti”). Nor may we turn to idols, or make any (see Shemot 20:4, 34:17, Vayikra 19:4 for example) nor worship any other G-d; Shemot 34:14 “You shall not bow down [in worship] before another god”. Devarim 6:14 “Do not follow/go after gods” which meaning is given “[made up] gods [and idols] of the people that are round about you; live around you”. Tehillim 81:9 “there shall not be strange gods among you” or “there shall not be a strange god in you [i.e. in your heart and mind]”.

Devarim 4:35 “You have obtained the insight, by the knowledge that He is HaShem, G-d, and there is none else; nothing but Him, there is nothing more than Him, none other than Him”.

And in Devarim 4:39 it is written again: “You will know and let it (re)turn to the heart (take it to heart/turned [it] back unto thy heart), that He, HaShem, is G-d, above in the heavens and on the earth underneath, and none else”. Ein od milvado.

Devarim 32:39 “See now that I am He, and there is none besides me” or “there is no god with me”.

1 Malachim 8:60 “HaShem is G-d, [there is] none else.”

2 Malachim 19:19 “that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you HaShem, G-d, is the only one” or “that you alone HaShem art G-d”, “thy alone art HaShem G-d”.

1 Shmuel 2:2 “None like HaShem” and “None besides Him”.

Tehillim 83:18 “And let them know that You, Whose Name is HaShem, You alone are the Most High over all the earth.”

Tehillim 113:5 Now, HaShem, our G-d, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that You alome, HaShem, art G-d.

Yeshayahu 42:8 “I am HaShem, that is My name, I will not share/give My glory/honour to another”.

Yeshayahu 43:10 “So that ye know and give credence to Me [believe it], and understand that I am He, Before Me there was no god formed, And after Me there is none”.

Yeshayahu 43:11 “besides Me there is no savior” - Hoshea 13:4 “And I am HaShem your G-d, from the land of Egypt, and gods beside Me you shall not know, there is no savior but Me.”

Yeshayahu 44:6 “I am the first and the last, there is none god besides Me” - see also Yeshayahu 41:4 and 44:8 “Is there any god besides Me? No god I know of!”

Yeshayahu 45:6 “I am HaShem, besides Me there is no other” or “and there is none else” - Yeshayahu 45:18, 22.

Yeshayahu 46:9 “Remember the first things of old, that I am G-d and there is no other; I am G-d and there is none like Me”

Zecheriah 14:7,9 “in that day HaShem will be the (only) one (or "one") [HaShem echad] and his name the (only) one [Shemo echad].”

I can’t stress this enough, there is no other than G-d, only one G-d there is, and although He may present Himself to us in many ways or manners He will remain the same, always and ever.

The Tenach often refers to other gods as gods that were unknown, new gods, or elilim (weak, insignificant, nothing), false and strange, idols etc. Why do you think this is so? These concepts of so called ‘other gods’ are in fact human creations, imaginations of the mind, existing forces or powers that are attributed by humans to self-conceived beings or turned into some being like an idol. But HaShem is clear there is none with Him, besides Him, in front of Him, underneath Him etc. from the beginning to the end, there only has been one G-d, HaShem is his name and He alone is G-d! Hu Ha’Elohim. And that’s why we proclaim the Shema in a way Rabbi Hirsch did: Understand Yisrael, HaShem your G-d, HaShem is (the Only) One (der Einige eine).”

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