We usually think of the cosmic struggle in terms of good versus evil. But according to the Kabbalists, good and evil are but spinoffs of unity and divisiveness. G‑d is the ultimate oneness, and everything G‑dly in our world bears the stamp of His unity. Evil, simply stated, is the distortion of this oneness by the veil of divisiveness in which G‑d shrouds His creation.
When the Romans took Rabbi Akiva to be executed, it was time to recite the morning “Sh’ma” (declaration of our total embrace of G-d’s unity, from Deuteronomy 6
The word ‘echad, “one,” is used in the Jewish Scriptures in either a compound or absolute sense. In what sense is ‘echad used in the Shema, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” (Deuteronomy 6:4)?