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Spiritual Intuition (Yitro)

 Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality. -Alexis Carrel

The Jewish nation is assembled in perhaps one of the most historic moments in human history. God reveals Himself to an entire nation and pronounces the famous Ten Commandments. Among the Ten Commandments is the directive to remember and consecrate the Sabbath.

One of the many interesting aspects of the Ten Commandments is that Moses repeats them. We hear them for the first time here in the Book of Exodus as we hear of the revelation on Mount Sinai. However, Moses retells the encounter forty years later in the Book of Deuteronomy and quotes, almost verbatim, all the Ten Commandments, with some minor but notable differences.

One of the more interesting differences is that while in Exodus the commandment of the Sabbath is introduced with the word “Remember” (Zachor), in Deuteronomy the same commandment is introduced with the word “Keep” (Shamor).

The oral tradition tells us that really God said both words, Remember and Keep, (Zachor and Shamor) simultaneously. Moses took the opportunity of the retelling of the Ten Commandments to split the words up and put one in each location, even though they had been uttered by God at the same moment.

The Chidushei HaRim on Exodus 20:8 wonders as to what purpose does it serve God to utter two words simultaneously, when us humans would have difficulty hearing, let alone comprehending, what would seem like an audio cacophony to our ears.

The Chidushei HaRim explains that there is a value to the normally impossible simulcast of God’s parallel utterances, even if we cannot comprehend and don’t understand what He’s saying. He states that the command is coming from a place beyond comprehension, but that nevertheless, the spirit absorbs and understands the message even if our intellect does not. That somehow, we have an intuition, a spiritual intuition which can decipher God’s otherwise incomprehensible messages, which would be impossible to understand through pure cerebral analysis. That understanding rests deep within us, but it is there, nonetheless.

May we learn how to tap into our spiritual intuition and understand more of God’s messages.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ben-Tzion

Dedication

To 25 years in Israel.

About the Author
Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay. He is the author of six books of Biblical Fiction and hundreds of articles and stories dealing with biblical themes. He is the publisher of Torah.Works, a website dedicated to the exploration of classic Jewish texts, as well as TweetYomi, which publishes daily Torah tweets on Parsha, Mishna, Daf, Rambam, Halacha, Tanya and Emuna. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
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