Israel Forever

For the week ending 11 June 2005 / 4 Sivan 5765

Ten Commandments Then and Now

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

Something is happening in America which reminds us of what took place at Mount Sinai this week over 3,300 years ago.

Any week now the United States Supreme Court is expected to give a ruling on what place the Ten Commandments have in American life.

The catalyst for this legal debate is a monument outside the Texas Capitol on which appear the Ten Commandments. Opponents of this religious symbol argue that since many of the commandments deal with G-d, it violates the constitutional principle of separation of religion and state. The Bush administration, which last year sided with a California school district to keep "G-d" in the Pledge of Allegiance, is backing the Ten Commandments display.

Our Sages teach us that when the Ten Commandments were spoken at Sinai, they were heard from one end of the world to the other. The display of these commandments on monuments in so many town squares and courthouses and on other government-owned land throughout the U.S. is a proud expression of the American motto "In G-d we trust" and proof that there were indeed some nations upon whom the sound of those Commandments at Sinai made a lasting impression.

It is certainly comforting to know that even the anti-religious secularists in Israel have not yet descended to the depths of their American counterparts. It is our hope that they will gain a new respect for these and all the G-dly commandments in order to preserve Israel forever.

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