Tag Archives: The Ten Commandments

#TieBlog #Vaetchanan #Shabbat Nachamu

8 Aug
The Ten Commandments are read three times a year, including this week.

The Ten Commandments are read three times a year, including this week.

I love my Ten Commandments tie because there are three occasions during the year when I can wear it in connection with a public reading of the Decalogue. They are read in Parashat Yitro, which falls in the winter. They are also read on Shavuot at the beginning of summer. Both of these readings are from Exodus Chapter 20. Parashat Vaetchanan is the one time during the year when we read the version from Deuteronomy Chapter 5. Believe it or not, there some subtle differences. Exodus instructs, “Remember (Zakhor) the Sabbath day….” Deuteronomy instructs “Observe (Shamor) the Sabbath day….” Exodus explains the Sabbath in spiritual terms, invoking God’s initial Sabbath following the creation of the world. Deuteronomy appeals to social justice, reminding the reader that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and that all human beings and animals that serve them must have a day of rest each week. The Friday night hymn, Lekha Dodi reflects the midrashic view that God gave both versions of the Decalogue in a single utterance. Shabbat, therefore, is simultaneously a time for spiritual renewal and reflection on social justice in the world.

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#TieBlog #Yitro #TenCommandments

17 Jan
The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments

Parashat Yitro tells of the Israelites’ encounter with God at Mt. Sinai. It is not enough for the people to have obtained physical freedom from slavery. They need spiritual freedom that is framed by a system of law. The Ten Commandments provide this basic framework that is essential for a society rooted in law.