Why Only Ten Commandments?

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In Parsha Yitro, we read about the revelation at Sinai when God gives Bínai Yisrael the Ten Commandments.

 

Why were there only Ten Commandments given at Mt. Sinai? After all we know that there are 613 commandments all together in the Torah.

 

The ten should actually be looked at as a preview or chapter headings for all of the other commandments. For example, from the mitzvah of observing Shabbat we can derive all of the mitzvoth having to do with Shabbat as well as the holidays.

 

As it is, it was overwhelming for Bínai Yisrael to hear the first ten. How much more overwhelming if all 613 were given on one day!

 

Why were they written on two tablets?

 

The first tablet contained the mitzvoth between a person and God. The second tablet contained the mitzvoth between a person and their fellow person. This shows that God cares as much about our relationship with him as about our relationship with others. We learn from here that it is impossible to have a religious thief.

 

Rabbi Benjamin Blech says that the tablets were Godís prescriptions for a sick society. They were meant for spiritual health and well being of the world. Just like doctors today, God was advising us to take two tablets and call Him in the morning!

 

May we all merit to observe the commandments as God has prescribed and may they spiritually as well as physically heal us.