The Ten Commandments – Not Multiple Choice


I want to begin my Blog by giving credit where credit is due. The idea for the “Not Multiple Choice” phrase as it relates to the Ten Commandments   came from a previous commentary written by Rabbi Yossi Goldman, who is the long serving Rabbi at Sydenham Highlands North Synagogue in Johannesburg.  Rabbi Goldman previously served as Rabbi of Torah Academy School, which was established by Chabad in Johannesburg, and where our family were members.

Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments, which we will read this week in Shul on Parshat Yitro, lists ten simple rules to follow. And that is what I was missing growing up as a Conservative Jew. It became apparent to me that I needed a written “instruction book” which I found when I bought a copy of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch or Code of Jewish Law.

In order to keep my physical body and spiritual mind working at its maximum potential, I needed to have a simple set of instructions to follow. Not too complicated, but challenging enough to make me want to dig deeper to understand what life means, and what reward will result from doing all of this hard work on the road to becoming an observant Jew.

I can now say that I am happily married and have a wonderful supportive family which I am positive would not have taken place had I ended up drifting through life without looking seriously into Judaism, and having the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch as my guidebook. I have written many stories about my past experiences and still have many people to thank who do not feature in these previous stories.

The Ten Commandments Are Not A Multiple Choice Test

A Multiple Choice Test was common when we were in school, and I am sure they still are popular today. In my opinion the main message that this type of test was trying to convey is that there is really only one correct answer. So if you would try to be clever and chose more than one answer, your paper would be penalized. This is how we were conditioned to answer these tests – always knowing that only one answer is correct.

True, there were some multiple choice tests that allowed me to choose more than one answer, but those were very rare. The Ten Commandments require that we follow everything that is written.  After all, it is accepted that we do not earn a University Diploma until we finish taking all courses required to earn that diploma. And the same goes for many other similar things in life, so why not treat the Ten Commandments the same?

The Declaration Of Independence -The Foundations of Free Government

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

From the moment we are created, we are in the hands of our parents whose responsibility is to teach us right from wrong, using the Ten Commandments as a basic guideline.  And as it says in the Declaration of Independence, we have basic rights, like all human beings do.

My Dad’s Story About Being Created Equal  

I often think about the time I was in the delivery room for all seven of our children being born. It is truly a miracle. That always reminds me of the story about my father. When my brothers and I were born, he used to count all fingers and toes to make sure they were all there. Then the breath of life along with all the other body functions begin to work and this new creation suddenly becomes a new addition to our family. We were all created equally by G-d himself, and that is the message that comes across loud and clear from this story.

Everyone Sends A Bill Except The Most Important One For Which There Was Never Any Charge

When we had all of our children, we could not go home with our new child until the hospital bill was paid. I remember looking at the itemized details of all charges which appeared on that bill. Hospital charges included nurses and all related expenses. Then the bill from the doctor or doctors came for their services separately.

But there was always one bill that was missing, and that was from G-d himself. He was responsible for creating our children in the first place and we never received a bill for his services. Our hearts continue to beat, our brain and all body parts continue to function and we have free oxygen and many other items that we never will receive a bill for. And for all this we should be grateful and follow the Ten Commandments which will assist us in the pursuit of Happiness.

If We Are All Created Equally, As It Says In The Declaration Of Independence, And To Which Lawmakers Must Agree, Then What Has Gone Wrong?

In Congress today, there are “some people who say something” which goes against that wording of the Declaration Of Independence and The Ten Commandments. And yet they are allowed to remain in their seats.

The Jews in the US have long been a respected minority within America. Jews have also long been a respected minority of the State Of Minnesota, and may I add that Jews in my birthplace, Minnesota’s 5th District always felt welcome.

But if you would listen to Rep. Omar since she was elected to Congress, that is no longer the case. Omar is now trying to give everyone a different impression, but the reality is her deep love for the Palestinian people will interfere with her ability to do a proper job as a Congresswoman. If that was not obvious to everyone when she was first elected, it should be quite obvious now.

Ilhan Omar never featured on the National News scene prior to being elected to Congress. She was basically someone who I thought would want to talk about her people in Somalia and the people living in her district when she was elected. But no, she spent the majority of her time during her first few months in Congress making anti-Semitic statements against my people and making it known how terrible the State of Israel is, where I live today and am a citizen along with my family and in excess of 6 million other Jews.

And to make matters worse, she openly admitted she took a college course on terrorism and holds by the views of many organizations which support terrorism.

Terrorism and terrorists do not hold by the Ten Commandments, and any supporter of such activities should be banned from Congress. And may I add that it is no secret that what makes a terrorist happy is to see people being killed, that most definitely is not the type of happiness the Declaration of Independence was referring to.

In Conclusion

The United States Of America is a strong country which was founded on the principles consistent with the Ten Commandments. That means there should be no argument the American people will at the end do what is right to uphold those values, which are the same values the major religions all agree with.

As I see the news reports from Minnesota’s 5th District becoming the terrorist recruitment capital of the US, as well as the rise in crime and attacks by street gangs, this seems to be affecting many other parts of the country as well.

It’s a pity the Democratic Party has not opened their eyes to the reality of the situation.


About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager /Fundamental And Technical Analyst. Wrote in-depth research on companies, markets, commodities for leading financial publications. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
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