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Ladder to Heaven by Neal Saenz


The Ten Commandments: Aseroth ha-Dvarim Sh’mos 20:2-7 1. I am Hashem, your G-d, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery... 2. You shall not recognize the gods of others in My presence.You shall not make for your-self a carved image nor any likeness of that which is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the water beneath the earth... 3. You shall not take the Name of Hashem, your G-d, in vain, for Hashem will not absolve anyone who take His Name in vain. 4. Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and accomplish all your work; but the seventh day is Sabbath to Hashem your G-d; you shall not do any work-- you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your animal, your convert within your gates-- for in six days Hashem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefor Hashem blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it... 5. Honor your father and your mother, so that your days will be lengthened upon the land that Hashem, your G-d, gives you... 6. You shall not kill... 7. You shall not commit adultery... 8. You shall not steal... 9. You shall not bear false witness against your fellow... 10. You shall not covet your fellows house. You shall not covet your fellows wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your fellow. If we consider that the Ten Words, or Ten Commandments are given in order of importance, which is easy enough to do, then we can ascertain that the most important Commandments would be those relative to how we directly affect/respect Hashem. So we are commanded firstly that G-d "IS", and that we shall have no doubts to His existence. That He exists is paramount for anything in this universe, so in respect of this fact, it is stated first. The first third of the Ten Commandments deal directly with how we respect the aspect of Hashem "being". Next we are referred to the Sabbath. Again, if we are looking at the order of the Commandments, Shabbat observance falls immediately after Hashem in respect to priority of attention. Shabbat was made directly after man was placed upon the earth, it’s sanctification pre-dates history. It is apparent then, that this would rank high as it does in our list of priorities. The following six Commandments reflect on how we deal with each other, man to man if you will. Only after we have realized the preceding four can we bear fruit from these. We can look at the Ten Commandments as a ladder by which we can approach Hashem. Without the first four rungs on the ladder, Hashem is unattainable to us. No matter how well we respect each other on this earth, without proper respect of Hashem, and of Shabbat, we cannot attain the highest point of the ladder, and Hashem.


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