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INSIGHT: Torah – The Magic 611“Yes, Yes. No, No” or “Yes, Yes, No, Yes”?

Commandment #2 – “No Other Gods!”

Commandment #2 – “No Other Gods!”

“Lo Yihiye Lecha Elohim Acheirim.” – “You shall have no other gods.”

No!” answered Bnei Yisrael. “We will not have any other gods!”

Crash! Bang! The entire planet shook from the force of HaShem’s voice!

Once again, the souls of Bnei Yisrael flew right out of their bodies. And again, HaShem revived them. But it was just too much for the people to endure.

“Please,” they begged of Moshe, “enough! We won’t survive if we hear even one more commandment from HaShem. We want to hear the rest of the commandments from you!”

HaShem agreed. For the remaining 8 commandments, Moshe would first hear from HaShem and then give them over to Bnei Yisrael.

Of course, no human being could make himself heard to a crowd of millions of people, so HaShem instilled in Moshe a miraculous sound system! For the next 8 commandments, Moshe, who was also cured from his speech defect, was now able to transmit these commandments clearly to every Jew — nobody missed a single word.

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Shazak insight

Torah – The Magic 611

Our great Rabbis note that the numerical value of the word “Torah” is 611. There are 613 Mitzvos in the Torah, and since the first two commandments were the only ones directly heard from HaShem so…

תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ מֹשֶה

“Torah (611 Mitzvos) Moshe commanded us.”

BTW #1: It’s so important that these are the first words parents should teach their children and that’s probably why it has become a popular children’s song – “Torah, Torah, Torah…. Torah Tzivah Lanu Moshe…” (It’s hard to write a tune using words. Oh well.)

BTW #2: Torah Tsivah Lanu appears in the last Parsha of the Torah, V’Zos HaBrachah… it’s one of the final words of Moshe Rabbeinu to Bnei Yisrael… something he wanted them to remember.

Shazak insight

“Yes, Yes. No, No” or “Yes, Yes, No, Yes”?

There is a dispute among the great sages of the Talmud.

One Rabbi said that the Jews answered “yes” after each positive commandment, and “no” after each negative commandment.

“I am Hashem.”

“Yes!”

“Do not have other gods.”

“No!” – meaning we won’t have other gods.

Another Rabbi said that they answered “yes” to every commandment, meaning they were willing to do whatever HaShem asked them to do.

“I am Hashem.”

“Yes!”

“Do not have other gods.”

“Yes!”

You may notice that Shazak Parsha follows the opinion of the classic commentator Rashi, so it’s “Yes, Yes. No, No.

SHAZAK
Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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