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Shabbat Commentary

2/3 Feb: Shabbat Yitro  comes in 4:36 pm, goes out 5:43 pm

A Midrash on Parshat Yitro states that G-d caused Israel to hear the Ten Commandments, since they are the core of the Torah and essence of the mitzvot.  They end with the commandment ‘Do not covet,’ since all of them depend on [this commandment].  This hints that anyone who fulfils the commandment, it is as if they fulfil the entire Torah.   They do not need other G-ds.  They do not need other’s property.   They are not greedy about material wealth.

“Do not covet” is not a little addendum tacked on to the end of the Ten Commandments, but one of the central messages of Divine revelation.  Finding spiritual satisfaction in the service of G-d is an important means of weaning oneself from a life of physicality.  The commands “Love G-d with all your heart’” and “Do not covet” thus offer an alternative to a high consumption, unsustainable future.

Written by Rabbi Paul Arberman.

February 1, 2018