Posted in Devarim on Sunday, 26 June 2011.

The Ten commandments


Chasidic teachings elaborate upon God’s purpose in creating the world—that there should be a fusion of spirit and matter. Since God created the world in a manner that it is predominantly material, our task—generally speaking—is to infuse it with a higher purpose, and to reveal the inner, spiritual core which pulsates within every one of God’s creations.

There is, however, a danger in “overdosing” the world with too much spirit, beyond that which it can comfortably absorb. We must never forget that the goal is a unity of matter and spirit, where the physical world is “at home” with its Creator. We must invigorate   and inspire our world, and not burn or blind it with a light that is     too intense.

From where do we derive the strength and the sensitivity to achieve this difficult balance?

The answer is: from the two accounts of the Ten Commandments written in the Torah. The first account (in Parshas Yisro) where God’s voice shattered the heavens and the earth, gives us the ability to break through the barriers between spiritual and physical, and infuse the mundane world with Divinity. The repetition of the Ten Command­ments, here in Parshas Va’eschanan, was said by Moshe, and was thus articulated in more human terms. This gives us the strength to bring Divine revelation to the world harmoniously, respecting the limitations that exist and yet gradually inspiring the world to over­ come its limitations and become a “home for God below.”

(Based on Sichas Shabbos Parshas Yisro 5752)

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