Do you know the 10 Commandments? Don’t run to look them up–yet. Use your fingers and try and count them. Okay. How many did you get? Now check. What did you miss? Curious why “I am the Lord your God” is considered a commandment? First of all, you are right it isn’t technically or literally. Second, in Hebrew, we do not call these the Aseret HaMitzvot, which would literally mean the 10 Commandments. We do call them Aseret Hadibrot, the 10 Utterances (or statements). And, in fact, the 10 Utterances contain many more than 10 mitzvot. Can you see why?
As you look at them, are they ranked in order of importance? Maybe the first one or two, but the others? Why do you think so? Shabbat before Mom and Dad? Who do you know who lives that way today? Maybe the 10 Utterances need to be revisited for relevance. Why isn’t Torah Study one of those commandments? Maybe it is.
Isn’t it strange that as important as they seem to be to Western Civilization and as symbolic as they are (e.g. court rooms around the land), they are not really a part of any of our daily or Shabbat liturgy? Wonder why? Here is a clue: Wonder why Moshe has only minor mention in the Haggadah?
The Aseret Hadibrot, the experience of Revelation and of BECOMING the Jewish people happen in this week’s Parasha. Our amazing teacher Ruth Bergman teaches us this Shabbat and will focus on the “10 Commandments.” I am looking forward to learning with her and know that I will leave Torah Study with many more pearls of knowledge than I will be coming with. I hope to see you there. 10:00 a.m. Look for the signs…and wonders.