Keep up the Guard
Before the recounting of the Sinai Event and the Ten Commandments, Moshe cautions the people: Only take heed, and guard your soul exceedingly, so that you do not forget the facts that your own eyes have seen, and so that they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life…” The Hebrew root for “take heed” and “guard” — shamar — primarily means to keep away from damage. “Take heed” (hishamer) means to keep away from influences that are antithetical to a certain purpose. Grammatically, the construction is usually hishamer lecha — “take heed for yourself” — i.e. for your own sake.
Here, Moshe instructs on the fundamental divergence in the Jewish worldview from the non-Jewish one. Non-Jews develop their approach to history and nature without these two facts that were perceived by Israel: the existence of One, Supernatural
The Jew is instructed to evaluate nature and history through the lens of this experience. The revelation of
And moreover, Guard your soul exceedingly! The un-Jewish view of nature and history may all too easily gain a dangerous advocate within your own heart. Once
- Sources: Commentary, Devarim 4:9