This page was last edited on 27 February , at (UTC). Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms. The ‘Aseret haDibrot (“Ten Commandments”, as they are [inaccurately] called [ see below]), have always been a source of tension and conflict in Judaism. On the. Learn about the Jewish understanding of the Ten Commandments, known in Judaism as Aseret ha-Dibrot. Provides a Jewish perspective on the controversy.

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Studies in the Book of Deuteronomy Wipf and Stock,p. What makes them special is that they are simple and easy to memorise. No two religions agree on a single list. These are unconditional laws, which command “Do” or “Do not.

All of these mitzvot are treated as equally important, because human beings, with our limited understanding of the universe, have no way of knowing which mitzvot are more important in the eyes of the Creator. See Rabbi Michael Susman’s discussion entitled “Yitro In contrast, Commandments 6, 7, and 8 have only two words each! The following chart is from Dr. So even though the Ten Commandments at first seem like modern laws, they are in fact completely different.

And once we decide on a list, what translation should we post? Please remember that these are categories of the mitzvotwhich according to Jewish tradition are binding only upon Jews. Judaism teaches that the first tablet, containing the first five declarations, identifies duties regarding our relationship with G-d, while the second tablet, containing the last five declarations, identifies duties regarding our relationship with other people.


But there is an additional aspect of this controversy that is of concern from a Jewish perspective. Why say “Don’t steal” when another part of the Bible already has a punishment for stealing?

The Sinai covenant was made by God with the entire people. In the Torah, they are called Aseret ha-D’varim Ex.

There are many ways to answer this question. The Torah’s laws are similar in some hadibgot to Ancient Near Eastern law codes, and different in other ways.

If only following them were equally simple! Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Biblical Literacy: So whose list should we post? The “Ten Commandments” Level: True, God promises to personally punish violators of Commandments 2 and 3, but this itself is distinctive from most biblical legislation, the violation of which is followed by a judicial punishment for example, murderers are to be executed, and thieves ordered to pay a hundred percent fine.

I’d like to present three of them here. From this perspective, then, the Ten Commandments are more like the Declaration of Independence, in which listing a punishment for anyone who refuses to accept the principle that “all men are created equal” would be inappropriate; the rest of the Torah’s legislation, however, is more similar to that of the Havibrot.

Aseret HaDibrot (the 10 Commandments)

In rabbinical texts, they are referred to as Aseret ha-Dibrot. But what about the so-called “Ten Commandments,” the words recorded in Hadibro 20, the words that the Creator Himself wrote on the two stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai Ex.

In other words, by leaving out judicial punishments from the Aseret HaDibrot, God was presenting them as a proclamation comparable to the Declaration of Independence. In the Torahthese words are never referred to as the Ten Commandments.


See The “Ten Commandments” Controversy below. In the United States, a controversy has persisted for many years regarding the placement of the “Ten Commandments” in public schools and public buildings. The severity of the offense has nothing to do with getting caught or punished.

aseret hadibrot Archives – Rabbi Sacks

By posting these words prominently and referring to them as ” The Ten Commandments,” as if there weren’t any others, which is what many people think schools and public buildings may be teaching a message that Judaism specifically and consciously rejected. Sinai to the Israelites, and they are changing it now. However, if one must choose between fulfilling an obligation to G-d and fulfilling an obligation to a person, or if one must prioritize them, Judaism teaches that the obligation to a person should be fulfilled first.

These words changed the world when they were first presented at Mt. It is not particularly obvious, however, that the mitzvah not to embarrass a person fits within the category against murder: Lawyers and lawmakers aren’t known for being brief and succinct, to say the least.

Accordingly, honor of father and mother is included on the tablet of duties to G-d.