Parshas Yisro

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The Ten Commadments

At first glance, the Ten Commandments consist of highly contrasting types of mitzvos. The first command­ments, “I am God, your God,” and the prohibition against idol worship address the most spiritual matters related to God’s unity. The other commandments, however, consist of such simple instructions as “You shall not murder,” and “You shall not kidnap,” which are precepts of basic human decency.

God placed these two contrasting categories of commandments together in the Ten Commandments to indicate that the Giving of the Torah accomplished a union of that which is spiritually “above” and that which is physically “below.”

Prior to the receiving of the Torah the spiritual and material were two separate realms incapable of merging. But when the Torah was given, God nullified this decree, empowering the Jewish people with the ability to unite “earth” with “heaven,” by performing mitzvos.

The Patriarchs, who lived before the revelation at Sinai, fulfilled many mitzvos with material objects, but they did not have the ability to instill sanctity into the materials themselves.

The primary purpose of the mitzvos performed by the Patriarchs was to cause a spiritual revelation. The goal, however, was not to change the material object. For this reason there was less concern about the precise way in which a mitzvah was performed.

However, the mitzvos we perform now do have the power to reveal sanctity even within the material object so that the physical substance itself acquires holiness. Thus, the precise details and exact requirements are necessary to ensure that this goal is achieved.

(Based on Likutei Sichos vol. 3, p. 887ff.)

Some time ago Kol Menachem launched an online classroom for Jews on the go – ‘Torah in Ten’. The series provides weekly insightful conversations on the current Torah portion. The class includes interesting commentaries from renowned historical figures as well as modern views in addition to thought provoking and inspiring questions.Announcing his new idea Rabbi Miller wrote: “In this go, go, go world we live in, it can be difficult to sit down and find time to study the weekly parsha. And when shabbos rolls around, we all wish we had studied more and could contribute to the conversation at the shabbos table. Not to mention our children, don’t we all wish we could provide them beautiful insights into the weekly parsha?”.

‘Torah in Ten’ is now available not only from a computer. Asked by Jewish iPhone Community and many more iPhone users Kol Menachem kindly agreed to change the format of presentation so that weekly portion of ‘Torah in Ten’ was available to be watched on iPhone’s/iPad’s screens. Nu, now then, what kind of excuse will you come up with? Torah in Ten will take place every Thursday, for ten minutes. Let’s sum up with Rebbe’s words: “Our task is solely to illuminate the world with the light of Torah, Judaism and Chassidus”.

“Torah In Ten” videocast by Rabbi Chaim Miller – Parshas Yisro


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