Yitro

The revelation at Sinai was a total experience. All the senses mixed together, “the people saw the thunder,” one legend holds that every word of Torah uttered knocked the entire people dead, and immediately brought them back to life. How can we relate to such an encounter? By reading it, and feeling addressed. The ten commandments open with the word “I”, and each of them is addressed to “you”. If we ‘see’ that voice as speaking to us, we can tap into the power of those words. There is a difference between not lying because one just happens to be doing something else, or because the law forbids it – and not lying because one feels commanded: “You shall not lie!

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[Inspired by: Wassily Kandinsky‘s Composition VIIExodus 20; Shemot Rabbah 29; Martin Buber’s essay “What are we to do about the Ten Commandments?”]

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