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    Love & unity – Yitro

    Revelation at Sinai, painting by Zely Smekhov

    Describing Israel at Sinai, the Torah says, “And Israel encamped (vayichan) there facing the mountain” (Ex. 19:2).

    They were over 600,000 in number, yet a singular verb is used.

    Rashi explains: “It is singular, because they were as one person with one heart”.

    A Chassidic teacher connected the verb with chen, grace or favour, because every Israelite found favour in the eyes of the other.

    As definitions of unity these are remarkable.

    Unity is where people, despite their differences, unconditionally feel for and love each other.

    In Hebrew, “one” is echad. It has the same numerical value (gematria) as ahavah – “love”. Each adds up to 13, a lucky number.

    Blessed is the people that is one because of love for each other.

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