Kenneth Cohen

G-d, Good, and Evil

The Ramchal, in his book, Derech Hashem, the Way of G-d, explains how to effectively recite the “Shema” prayer each morning and evening.

There needs to be an affirmation of the Oneness of the Creator. This Oneness confirms that He is the King of the Universe, and all existence is dependent on Him. However, G-d’s existence is completely independent of anything that exists in the world. Our recitation of Shema is meant to also affirm that when His Authority is known and confessed by all mankind, every type of good and prosperity, exists in the world. Blessings are increased, and the world abides in peace.

When mankind rebels, on the other hand, and do not subjugate themselves to G-d, and recognize His Authority, then good is lacking, darkness prevails, and evil dominates.

While this is good advice as to how to properly recite the Shema, it is a sobering commentary on the situation in the world today. When there is an overall denial of G-d and His Authority, we have chaos and a lack of morality. Values become twisted, the pursuit of pleasure becomes the priority, and nothing is sacred.

We pray for the day when we see the fulfillment of the verse, “On that day, Hashem will be One, and His name will be One.”

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at
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