Friday, February 2, 2018

The Most Important Top Ten List

For some reason, the term “ Top 10” has become a defining way to communicate the most valuable moments. From Top Ten plays of the Super Bowl to Top Ten sports bloopers of all time, we frequently evaluate important events that way. In fact, the first “Top Ten” is recorded in this week's parsha of curse with the Ten Commandments. This is arguably the most important event in the history of mankind. This is the moment when G-d communicates His message of what it means to be a chosen people for a unique and chosen mission. This was not just delivered to one individual, prophet or rabbi. Rather this was a national experience that every man, woman, and child heard on that fateful day at Mount Sinai. It all started with the deafening words “  I am the Lord your G-d who took you out of Egypt.” Many have wondered about the latter part of the verse which references the Exodus of Egypt. After all, is that isolated incident, the greatest accomplishment that G-d could come up with? What about something more universal as “I am the Lord your G-d who created heaven and earth”?

Upon taking a closer look at the verse, there is a very profound lesson for us to internalize. G-d is telling us that He took us out of Egypt, but to be more precise He is saying that in the singular tense; I took YOU out of Egypt. Translation: I took you out of your difficult situation and state of confinement. This was not only ancient Egypt that we were emancipated from but rather during every difficult personal situation, He is there for us. Essentially, we are being told, “ I am you personal G-d who wants a personal relationship with you.” This cannot be overemphasized about the importance of our faith. To paraphrase the sage Hillel, This is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary which you must go and study.

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