Atoh Echad Veshimcha Echad

20 Feb 2013

Atoh Echad Veshimcha Echad
Shabbat Mincha continues with Kriat HaTorah which was instituted by Moses himself. We read
three Aliyot from the Parshah of the following week. After returning the Torah to the ark and
reciting LeDovid Mizmor, the reader continues with Half Kaddish and we recite the silent
The body of the Amidah begins with Atoh Echad Veshimcha Echad Umi Keomcha Goy Echad BaAretz – You are one, Your name is one and who is like Your nation Israel.
What is the oneness we refer to throughout the Tefillah? How is oneness of the nation of Israel
comparable to the oneness of G-d and His name? What is the theme behind the entire Tefillah?
We have previously explained that the three different segments of Shabbat: Friday night,
Shabbat morning and Shabbat afternoon, reflect three historic Shabbatot in world history.
Friday night corresponds to the Shabbat of Creation; therefore the theme of the prayer is Atoh
Kidashta et Yom Hashviii Tachlit Maaseh Shamayim VaAretz- You sanctified the 7
day as the
culmination of Creation. Shabbat morning corresponds to the Shabbat of Revelation at Mt.
Sinai; therefore the theme of the prayer is Yismach Moshe Bematnat Chelko…Klil Tiferet Natata
L…Al Har Sinai- Moses will rejoice upon his future reward…crowns of splendor he adorned
when he stood at Mt. Sinai. Shabbat Mincha corresponds to Shabbat in the Messianic Era – may
it come soon in our days, when all of life will be Shabbat-like – Yom Shekulo Shabbat. At that
time, G-d’s presence will be recognized and appreciated by all nations on earth – there will be
only One G-d perceived by all – Atoh Echad. At that time all the mysteries of the universe will
be uncovered and all the unanswerable questions will be answered – Veshimcha Echad – Your
Name (presence) will be one. Finally – at that time-Your nation Israel will also be one. There will
be no more internal infighting and turf-wars; and no more external threats of anti-Semitism and
extermination because Israel will be revered by all as G-d’s One Nation.
The Talmud Berachot 6b asks an incredible question about G-d’s Tefillin. We all know that the
content written on the parchment of earthly/human Tefillin is Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeynu
Hashem Echad – G-d is One. In the Talmud, Rav Nachman bar Isaac asks, what are the contents
written on the parchment of G-d’s Tefillin? Rav Chiya bar Avin answers Mi Keomcha Yisrael Goy
Echad BaAraetz –Who is like Your nation Israel-one nation on earth. This demonstrates that we
attach G-d’s oneness on our beings and G-d binds our oneness to Him. This connectivity is
evident and palpable on the holy Shabbat, our one and only day of rest. The Tefillah Atoh Echad is the final Amidah on Shabbat which reveals the eternity and the
destiny of the world and the Jewish people. It projects a perfected Shabbat-like era when
peace, truth, and oneness will be the standard; when the world will recognize our G-d as the
one G-d and Israel as the one nation of G-d.
Take Home Tip: Shabbat is not only a time of personal rest and relaxation; it is also a time to
contemplate and look forward to the time when the world will be in a state of continuous
Shabbat-Yom Shekulo Shabbat.