The Ten Commandments
This week’s Torah Portion, Parshat Yitro, contains what is arguably one of, if not the most important and sacred parts of the entire Torah: The Ten Commandments. In case you haven’t read them lately… it’s worth the effort:
I am the LORD thy God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
Do not make a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth below, or that is in the water under the earth; do not bow down to them, nor serve them.
Do not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
Do not murder.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not steal.
Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Do not covet.
There are many reasons why this passage is so important.
The Ten Commandments represent the moral roots and foundation of western civilization.
The Ten Commandments basically contain the essence of all the other commandments of the Torah condensed into ten.
The giving of the Ten Commandments is the only time in any religious tradition that “collective revelation” occurred. It is the only time that God “spoke” and all the people heard. In all religious traditions, all other times, God (or the Divine, Higher Power, or whatever you call it) only speaks to individuals.
The giving of the Ten Commandments represents the collective acceptance of the Covenant between God and the Jewish People.
That is how important this week’s Parsha is.
The Ten Water Suggestions
Recognizing that the Ten Commandments were written (from a traditional perspective) by God, it would be a bit chutzpadik to think that I could offer anything comparable. So, instead, I humbly offer Ten Water Suggestions:
Water is Life. Treat it as such. Never take it for granted.
Do not make a graven image of anything in the water, but still show all life in the sea honor and respect because a balanced aquatic ecosystem is the best assurance of a healthy planet.
Do not mindlessly waste water. Turn off the faucet. Don’t let water run while you’re washing your hands or brushing your teeth. Only 1% of all the water on Earth is freshwater.
Remember that the water you drink is as old as the planet itself
Do not drink water from a plastic bottle. Plastic is made from oil. Oil and Water don’t mix.
Secure your rubbish and pick up trash to ensure it doesn’t make it into the water.
Don’t kill for sport.
Don’t steal from the Ocean.
The human body is approximately 70% water. Treat your neighbor as yourself because you are both made of the same water.
Get involved in protecting the water where you live and beyond. It is more precious than oil, more valuable than gold. Without it, we die.
What Do You Think?
These are just ten suggestions, and there are so many more that we can share with each other to repair the Sea. Please share your thoughts and add your suggestions to the list.