As presented on his Bar Mitzvah, February 1, 1997.
This weeks parasha is called Yitro. In this parasha, Yitro comes to Moshe
with Moshe's wife and two sons. He sees how hard Moshe is working to solve
everyone's problems. Yitro gives Moshe some advice. He says, why not have 1000
men to solve the little problems, 100 men to solve the bigger problems, 50 men
to solve the more difficult problems, 10 men to solve the challenging problems,
and you to solve the hardest of them all. Moshe takes this good advice. Then G-D
speaks to Moshe telling him that soon the ten commandments will be given to the
people, and they must cleanse and prepare themselves. All of the people gather
around Mount Sinai to hear G-D's word. With thunder and lightning. and the
mountain shaking, the ten commandments boom out. Later G-D instructs Moshe on
how to build an altar, and what to use it for. Thus concludes Parshat
I find that if something is said, or sung, or read, many times, it becomes boring. When people hear the same thing over and over and over again, they become so familiar with it, that they are unable to hear the message it is trying to say anymore, and they won't pay attention to it. Now a long time ago, the ten commandments were in the daily services. It could be that the Rabbis took them out because they were afraid that people would get bored with hearing the same thing every day, and not take them seriously. I know from an experience of mine, that it is possible to take a regular every day repetitive thing and change it so it's the same, but it's also new. So I set it upon myself to find a new way to express the ten commandments. I realized that I was a kid, and it was my job to act kid-like so here it goes If you want to follow along, the usual ten commandments are on page 820 9 lines down in Siddur Sim Shalom.
1. I freed you so show some respect. You were slaves, I came along, now you're not. Make the connection.
2. I am me. I have no doppelganger. There is no other me. Me Me Me Me Me and only me.
3. That's my name, don't wear it out. Use it don't abuse it.
4. I'm a good role model, I rested on the seventh, now let's see you try it. This is a technique to be practiced by you, your electric bill, your writing implements and your family.
5. They pay your allowance, they take you out to Shalom Hunan, they drive you places, lets give it up for mom and dad or as the Torah would say, dad and mom.
6. If you can't figure out this one, you're stupid. DON'T MURDER.
7. That wedding ring isn't chopped liver. You want to sleep around, get a divorce!
8. What's yours is yours. What's his is his. Capeesh?!
9. Remember the chopped liver? Well the bible isn't. You swear on it and you spill your truthful guts.
10. You want it, get a job and buy your own.
I would like to thank Rabbi Starr for being there for my family and me. Cantor Dress, for teaching me how to chant Torah, Haftorah, and Musaf. My mother for helping with my d'var, and my father for setting some time aside every Shabbat to listen to me practice, even when I didn't want to. All my relatives and friends who came from near and far to share in this Simcha with me, I especially want to thank my Saba and Savta for coming from Israel, to make my simcha more special. The Gribetz/Rubins and Gelfmans for putting up with my friends for a night. I shouldn't be thanking my sister because she didn't thank me, but Rahel thank you for not always getting in my way. And last but not least I would like to thank all my friends and teachers at Schechter for getting me ready for this point in time. Shabbat Shalom.
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