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INSIGHT: First Things FirstTruly True!Exodus or Creation?

Commandment #1 – “I Am HaShem!”

Commandment #1 – “I Am HaShem!”

“I am HaShem, your G-d, Who brought you out of the Land of Egypt!”

Yes!” answered Bnei Yisrael.

HaShem commanded us to know and understand that He is the one and only G-d. It was He Who created the world and continues to watch over it.

The sound of HaShem’s awesome voice traveled throughout the world with such great force that it caused trees to break and mountains to shake! It penetrated the very essence of every object, not even allowing an echo to bounce back.

This was much too much for any human being to endure. All the Jews were driven back a great distance due to the awesome power of HaShem’s voice, until their souls left their bodies! HaShem revived them and His angels brought them all back to the mountain, so that He could give them His second commandment.

Hi… It’s me. Benny.


Did you know that…


YES 3! 
This hardly ever happens.

Shazak insight

First Things First

The letter Aleph = 1. The letter Beis = 2.

The Ten Commandments starts with the letter Aleph – אָנֹכִי, meaning “I”, referring to HaShem who is number 1.

The Torah begins with the letter Beis – בְּרֵאשִׁית – meaning “In the beginning.

First comes HaShem, then the Torah (and the world).

Shazak insight

Truly True!

The first Hebrew letter is the Aleph (א), the middle letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Mem (מ), and the letter is Sav (ת). Put them together and you get Emes, which means “truth.”

Now let’s take a look at the first words of three of the most important parts of the Torah:

The Ten Commandments


I am (HaShem)

The Mishnah, the quick overview of Jewish law edited by Rabbi Yehudah the Prince nearly 2,000 years ago


From when (do we read Shema at night)?

The Gemara, which explains the Mishnah, compiled by Ravina and Rav Ashi around 1,500 years ago.


We learned …

Notice what the opening letters spell?

That’s right, אמת. The entire Torah – from the first letter to the last and everything in middle – is pure truth.

Shazak insight

Exodus or Creation?

Why does HaShem identify Himself here as the “One Who brought you out of the land of Egypt,” and not as the Creator of the world? Isn’t creation a greater feat?

Our Rabbis have many answers to this question, but here are a couple of them:

  1. The Ten Commandments were given exclusively to the Jewish people and the great Exodus was also for the Jewish people. However, creation was for everyone – for all the people of the world, not only the Jews.
  2. HaShem wanted to identify himself with something that the entire nation had personally witnessed, and that was the Exodus.
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Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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