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Shir ha-Shirim XIII: Part Two: Sefirah 11

The Rabbis, however, say: The commandment itself went in turn to each of the Jews and said to him and him, “Do you undertake to keep me? So many rules are attached to me, so many penalties, so many precautionary measures, so many regulations are attached to me, so many relaxations and rigors; and such a reward is attached to me.” He would reply, “Yes! Yes,” and straightaway the commandment kissed him on the mouth and taught him Torah. Hence it is written, “Lest you forget the things which your eyes saw (Deuteronomy 4:9),” namely, how the utterance spoke with you. (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 1.2:2, Part Two)


The Rabbis insist that it was not an angel that carried each of the Statements to each Jew. Rather, the Jews experienced each Statement as being alive. Each Statement had a life of its own. They had to understand that these were not simply Commandments or instructions. They were living expressions of God’s Will. Each Statement has the ability to give life. The Jews had to understand and appreciate that each of the Commandments is a source of life. Each is a key to life. These are not only instructions for living; they are Living Instructions.

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