Hope you’re having a great day.
Are you ready for a shocker?
Here it goes.
The “Ten Commandments” is not a Jewish idea!
Are you still there?
I’m referring to the name.
In Hebrew it’s called Aseret Hadibrot. The Ten Utterances.
It’s the commandments, out of hundreds, that we heard straight from G-d.
G-d gave them to us through Moshe.
“And G-d spoke to Moshe… tell the Jewish People…”
(I admit that Ten Utterances sounds a bit archaic. So we’ll use the name we’re used to!)
… The holiday of Shavuot begins tomorrow night.
The anniversary of G-d speaking to us at Mount Sinai.
And here’s something to think about.
When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai, he was carrying the two Tablets.
The “Ten Commandments.”
And he saw something shocking.
While he was gone?
The Jews made a golden calf!
If you remember the movie, what did he do?
He smashed the Tablets.
(By the way, the Book is much better than the movie!)
… It’s interesting.
Jewish tradition tells us that there is a reason for two Tablets.
One is about obligations between man and G-d.
Like not worshiping other g-ds. And Shabbat.
The second tablet?
Obligations between man and man.
Like murder. Or bearing false witness.
… So Moshe saw that they made a golden calf.
They broke the relationship with G-d.
But they didn’t hurt each other.
So why did Moshe smash both tablets?
He should have just smashed the one about G-d.
… Moshe was teaching us a very important lesson.
A very Jewish lesson.
If we break our relationship with G-d?
Take G-d out of the picture?
We break the relationship with each other!
Because what’s the basis of the Torah’s ethical obligations to each other?
The fact that each one of us is created in the Image of G-d.
… So Shavuot is the time to commit ourselves to both relationships.
The time to make the two calls we may have been pushing off.
One to an old friend and one to G-d.
“Sorry I’ve been out of touch.
Let’s catch up!”
Have a wonderful Shavuot,