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This Week's The Torah Portion: "Yitro"

Summary: The Israelites are encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai, preparing to encounter G-d. Moses, who had only recently led the Israelites out of slavery, is showing signs of burnout! Jethro, his father–in-law, notices this and counsels him: "Moses! The task you've assumed is far too heavy for one person! Hear my advice: ...Seek out wise Israelites and share your authority with them!" Moses heeds his father-in-law's advice and finds worthy Israelites, capable of assisting him. Henceforth, the Israelites will bring only the more "difficult matters" to Moses' attention.

Moses then ascends Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. When he arrives at Sinai's summit, G-d speaks to all of Israel:
1) "I am G-d; it is I who freed you from slavery!
2) You shall no longer worship idols of anything in the sky, on the earth or in the water!"

Upon hearing those words from G-d, the Israelites are stricken with fright. They beg Moses to convey the rest of the Commandments to them as an intermediary of G-d. Moses agrees, and proclaims eight additional commandments. Together with the first two, they comprise
the Ten Commandments: The additional 8 are:

3) "You shall not misuse the Name of G-d."
4) "You shall remember the Sabbath day."
5) "You shall honor your father and mother."
6) "You shall not murder."
7) "You shall not be unfaithful to your husband or wife."
8) "You shall not steal."
9) "You shall not accuse anyone falsely."
10)"You shall not wish for what is not yours."

The Israelites respond: "All that G-d has spoken, we will do!"

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus

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