Jewish Journal

God’s Blog #2: Ten Commandments

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 10, 2008 | 1:22 pm

“Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”

“Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it.”

“Thou shalt not kill. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. Neither shalt thou steal.”

I don’t mean to kvetch, but are these five commandments, and the others I gave you, really so hard to follow?

There are 613 mitzvot, but only Ten Commandments. And, despite what you may have heard or seen on the big screen—“The Lord Jehovah has given unto you these fifteen…” Moses on film proclaimed before dropping and shattering of one of three tablets. “Oy!... Ten! Ten Commandments! For all to obey!”—there were only Ten Commandments.

Moses had a stutter, but he was no klutz. And Mel Brooks was one of my better comedic creations, but he’s no historian.

There were other commandments I could have included—caring for the poor, protecting My physical creation—but I knew 10 would be challenging enough. Coveting is pleasurable and lying can get you out of a bind. But they only amplify your problems. I, of course, knew this.

It is not (always) my nature to anger; I have been incredibly patient. And yet too many see burden where I offered a gift. I spent a lot of time working on these Ten Commandments, knowing that without them the Israelites would follow there flighty hearts. Remember, what Moses found when he returned from Mount Sinai with My Law: My chosen people worshiping a golden calf fashioned by his own brother who would become My first priest.

So while a minority of you spent Sunday night reciting Torah and thanking Me for delivering The Law, too many ingrates ignored My benevolence.

(God’s Blog is a new addition to The God Blog. For details, click here and here.)

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