Pride or Humility?
Shevat 20 5780
In this portion, Yitro, we received the Ten Commandments, the constitution for Israel as well as for the entire world. There is so much to learn from the revelation of the Bore Olam but sadly His principles have been warped by elitists who have separated themselves from the rest of the people because of pride. I used to be a proud atheist believing that only people with limited mental capacity could believe in a Superior Being. I was puffed up like a peacock about my knowledge. Then tragedy hit my family when I was very young, and I was forced into searching for answers to deeper questions about life and death. Because I taught thermodynamics at the age of 22, through the simple law of entropy, I was finally able to find some answers about the existence of the Creator of the universe which could make sense to me. I began to be aware of His Presence within me and His guidance. The path of following the Creator is never easy because there are things within our being that need to be changed in the process. I call this “a Paradigm Shift”. It can be quite painful because our minds lead us in one direction while the Creator leads us in the opposite. In this difficult process, we learn to humble ourselves.
Humbling ourselves means that we have to accept our limitations and listen to that small voice within telling us that we are responsible for our actions. In the final analysis, we are the only ones who can decide or think for ourselves. The Torah is teaching us to be truly free from slavery. The people who received the Ten Commandments were not supposed to keep them for themselves but to disseminate them to all humanity. Sadly, the opposite has happened. The people at the base of Mt. Sinai were comprised as well, of people from other nations. We were never meant to feel better than others because of this gift that we received; on the contrary, it was to show us our need to humble ourselves because He is the only one who holds the Truth, not us. He wants us to be the best that we can be; not to compare ourselves with others. The Ten Words are all that we need because they set up a social system of justice, unlike the volumes of laws that are predicated upon “precedence”, an unjust system. Judging by precedence means that our situation is not judged upon its own merits but upon someone else’s situation that preceded ours.
So much has now been added to the Word of God that we have become lost in the mire. The so-called age of enlightenment has eradicated the simple direction that the Creator has given us to walk with Him. Today’s society has lost the idea of basic human decency and morality. It is a “free society” in which everyone is free to do whatever they want without consequences. The religion of humanism has erased the Ten Commandments where God no longer plays a role in our lives. Why do people get so upset when you speak to them about a relationship with the Creator if they think that they are so much more advanced than you? Obviously, something within their soul is being affected. The world is reacting against the Creator because of “religion”. Both religious people and politicians will promise you the moon to get into power. But if you have the chutzpah to disagree with them, they not only attack you but try to stop you from speaking. This is happening as we speak, right here in this “free” country of Canada. The Ten Commandments have been removed from our schools resulting in the moral turpitude of the people. Parents of young children have an extremely difficult job today. People with immoral standards do not have the right to impose them upon everyone. We, in this community, are not popular because the world does not want our message. The Ten Commandments, of which most people are ignorant, raise us to a higher standard; they are simple yet profound.
I believe that every human being has received the Ruach, the Spirit of God at conception, each embedded with a Divine spark because we are created in His image. Anthropologists know that even the most primitive group of people have a set of standards by which they live. There were many civilizations (like Sumerian, Akkadian, Hammurabi, Hittite, etc.) that had codices long before the Creator revealed His Ten to Moses. Even Yitro, his father-in-law had words of wisdom for Moses. Humans have distorted His principles and then imposed these distortions upon others in the guise of enlightenment. That is why this parashah is so important. When the Ten Commandments were called “laws” or “nomos” in Greek, this turned them from being principles to living by enforcement. This is wrong. The people of Israel agreed to accept the Ten Commandments, to do and obey. They were not forced upon us.
Today humanity is so advanced that we can destroy ourselves with the push of a button. Society has fallen into selfishness. If we could see into the hearts of the people around us, to see their kavanah (intention), we would see how selfish humanity has become. The Creator wanted humanity to be one in which we would help each other instead of destroying each other. We are living in perilous times, on the brink of destruction. An epidemic is attacking people all over the world. Our children in schools are being destroyed. Our governments are pushing values upon us that go against the Torah. Those who speak out suffer the consequences because our free speech is being muzzled.
It is time to awaken from this nightmare when we are not afraid to speak out when we don’t agree with the opinion of others. Let us not look to be accepted by man rather only by the Creator. Are you with the Creator or are you against Him? If you want to justify your behavior, justify it with the truth. The Truth comes from the Creator and He will never lead us on the wrong path. If the Bore Olam is with us, who can be against us?