Friday, January 29, 2016

Torah Thoughts on Yitro

This week’s Torah portion, Yitro, (Ex. 18:1 – 20:23) depicts the climactic meeting between God and the Israelite people at Mount Sinai, and highlights the Ten Utterances, usually referred to as the Ten Commandments, spoken by the voice of God from the mountain to those assembled below.

Many years ago, on a Hillel retreat, a student of mine gave a d’var Torah on this portion.  He pointed out that all but one of the Ten Commandments had to do with our obligations: to God, to society, to parents, to our spouses, to community.  Only one of the ten is not a responsibility but a benefit, and that is to remember Shabbat.  Shabbat is a day to rest and renew, to look after our spirit and delight in friends, family, food, and song.  However you choose to observe it, make it a celebration.  It’s for you.

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