Torah for this Hour | February 1, 2024

“The Ten Commandments for a Happy Life,” “The Ten Commandments for Staying in Shape,” “… for Good Parenting,” et cetera.

It seems we are all looking for rules that will enable us to live better lives, to be happier and more relaxed and content. We live in a complicated, chaotic world. Vast amounts of information, our technological connectedness, work seeping into our private lives, and the evaporation of our circles of support and belonging all make it essential for us to seek a meaningful, high-quality response in order to thrive in this confusing world.

What is the power of the Ten Commandments?

Those commandments establish limits, order, and organization. They mark distinctions between the forbidden and the permitted, and they sketch out the boundaries within which we can act. The Ten Commandments give us something to grasp onto in every aspect of our lives: from belief in a singular, unique higher power and marking off Shabbat as a means of appreciating the precious resource of our time, to honoring parents and others, matters of property and ownership, and, finally, our relationships with others.

The Torah’s Ten Commandments and guidance and directives modeled on them give us confidence and hope for a positive and happy future.