Sign up to TorahFax


Friday, Shevat 19, 5780 / February 14, 2020


In this week's Parsha, Yitro, we read about the giving of the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel.


The Midrash tells us that the number three was significant in the Giving of the Torah.  The Torah was given in the 3rd month (Sivan); after three days of preparation. It was given through Moshe who is the 3rd sibling of his family; Miriam, Aaron, Moshe.  The Torah was given to the people of Israel who arecomprised of three; Kohen, Levi, Israel; They are descendants of three patriarchs; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.  


The number three represents unity. In order to merit receiving the Torah, all Jews had to be united as one.


The Ten Commandments are:


1. "I am the L-rd your G-d..."    

2. "You shall not have any other Gods... for I the L-rd your G-d am a strict G-d..." 

3. "You shall not mention the name of the L-rd your G-d in vain..."     

4. "Remember the day of Shabbat to keep it holy.. The seventh day is a Shabbat [rest] unto the L-rd your G-d."     

5. "Honor your father and mother in order that your days may be long upon the land which G-d gives you."    

6. "You shall not murder."     

7. "You shall not commit adultery."     

8. "You shall not steal (kidnap)."      

9. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."     

10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his servants,  nor anything that is your neighbors".


Q. G-d’s name is mentioned in the first five commandments, but omitted in the last five.


A. The Roman Caesar, Hadrian, once asked Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya, "Why isn't G-d’s name mentioned in the last five commandment?"


Rabbi Yehoshua replied, "Before I answer you, let's walk through the streets of Rome."  Hadrian agreed. Together, they passed through the city's neighborhoods. In front of many homes and public buildings, they saw statues of the Caesar.  Hadrian pointed to the stone sculptures and said to Rabbi Yehoshua, "See how much the people honor me!  They have statues of me in front of every home."


Rabbi Yehoshua then said to Hadrian, "Now let's go see the back of the homes."  After walking in back for a while, Rabbi Yehoshua turned to Hadrian and said, "If people love you so much, why don't they put your statue in the back of their homes? It seems that they consider you the emperor only in front and not in the back!"


What honor would it be for a king to be in a place where people put out their garbage and dirt?"


"You have just answered your own question!" Rabbi Yehoshua responded to Hadrian. "G-d, King of the universe, didn't want His name mentioned in the last five commandments, when speaking of murderers, adulterers and thieves!"


Montreal candle lighting time: 5:01 / Shabbat ends: 6:06