We’re All in This Together

Janis Hunt Johnson
6 min readApr 29, 2023
Majaranda — Pixabay

Concerning our universal life.

In Hebrew, we need only one word to say “our God”: Elohenu ( אלהינו ). Elohenu comes from Elohim ( אלהים ), a word for God, The Most High, modified with the ending enu, meaning “our.”

I see the word Elohenu as a declaration that we can’t have God without each other: We exist because God exists, and God exists because we exist.

In The Hebraic Tongue Restored, scholar Fabre d’Olivet has another way of looking at Elohenu. The El ( אל ) usually means “God,” but when looked at as a directive preposition, instead of as a noun, it means “concerning”; and the hey ( ה) signifies “universal life” (Part I, p. 108 and 154). When we add the enu — meaning “our” — then we’re all included:

Elohenu = concerning + our + universal life

Elohenu, understood this way, has nothing to do with religion — and its many misunderstandings and divisions — but everything to do with our responsibility as a species to care for each other, and to sustain our habitat.

Fred Rogers, a Presbyterian minister better known for his children’s TV show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, tells us (recounted in The World According to Mister Rogers, p. 163): “The more I think about it, the more I wonder if God and neighbor are somehow One. ‘Loving God, Loving neighbor’ — the same thing? For me, coming to recognize that God loves every neighbor is the ultimate appreciation!”

In Psalm 84:11, Elohim is described as a “sun and shield.” This metaphoric language points to the light that can be shed on an issue when we formulate a new way to solve an old problem. Each of us is God’s light, made to shine onto the darkness — of fear, sickness, poverty or oppression.

As each problem in life is brought out in the open, that means it’s ready to be resolved, dissolved — healed. Since no problem is too big for God to solve, no problem is too big for one of us to face, either. We have the shield of the Allness of God — of Good Itself, of Life Itself — protecting us from harm. So we can trust that we’re prepared to tackle any challenge.

Our evolutionary challenge: saving our world.

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Janis Hunt Johnson

Author, 5 Smooth Stones: Our Power to Heal Without Medicine through the Science of Prayer. Transformational Editor. From Chicago to L.A., now in Pacific NW.