The HaShem Reveals His Love for You (Parsha Insights – Yisro)

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The holy Ten Commandments comprise the basic ethical and religious rules of mankind. Most of these injunctions relate to a specific action, e.g., “Keep the Sabbath,” or “You shall not steal.” However, the first commandment does not call for any specific action. Rather, it gives us the instructions for belief in HaShem, the G-d of Israel.

The first commandment states, “I am HaShem, your G-d, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.” Remarkably, the phrases “your G-d” and “Who brought you out” are both in the singular tense. In this light, the Torah conveys to each individual that HaShem is your G-d and He brought you out of the land of Egypt.

During the Exodus, HaShem revealed His love for every Jewish person. Every individual Jewish person perceived that HaShem loved him, as if he was HaShem’s only child.

HaShem’s love for every Jewish person is not limited to the people who lived in the generation of the Exodus. The personal message to every Jewish soul revealed in the first commandment is that HaShem loves each one of us, as if we are His only child. Therefore, HaShem assures and encourages each individual Jewish person that he or she is worthy of all the miracles that took place during the Exodus.

If you were the only Jewish person in the world at that time, HaShem would have performed all of the miracles for you alone!  Even more, HaShem would have parted the sea, given the Torah, assembled the Tabernacle, provided the manna, revealed the Shechinah, brought you into the land of Israel – all for you, alone.

The underlying message of the first commandment is to know and believe just how extraordinarily much HaShem values you and loves you (based on the writings of the Alter of Kelm, quoted in Darchie Mussar).

Today: Carry out the first commandment by confirming that HaShem values and loves you – as if you are His only child.  

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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