Mosaic Law consists of 613
different commandments, or ‘mitzvot.’
I couldn’t help but wonder
why they were necessary. Moses got ten pretty good Commandments from God on Mt.
Sinai. They appear all-inclusive. Why so many more?
As I thought about it, a
reason came to mind. I think there are just too few people in this world who believe that we live in community. It’s not about ‘me’, but about our human family.
And we should love each other as
our own bodies. Not a lot of buy-in there either. It's that disconnect that gives rise to the need for extra instructions.
Take speed limits, for
example. The limit is set at 30 mph for general safety. When
someone sees a 30 mph speed limit sign, what do they really see? 35 mph? 40
Breaking that limit gets you pulled over for
speeding, resulting in a 'warning' or a ticket.
Get a ticket, you pay a fine. Or
go to court.
Go to court, you can plead guilty or not guilty. You pay the fine
or present your case.
Refuse to pay or go
to court? You will lose your license, or pay court costs and fines; and perform
Ok. How many rules is that?
And that’s just with speed limits! Actually, 613 rules doesn’t sound like that
much anymore, does it?
And don’t get me started
with KP (Kitchen Police) duty. “Clean up after dinner “ doesn’t sound very
complex. But it becomes a problem to the preteens and teenagers who don’t see it as a help to the family.
If a job is seen as a huge burden, sure
as shootin’, you’re going to need some more rules.
No sweeping the
floor crumbs under the rug.
Use soap on the
cook pots. Don’t just rinse them.
Wipe down the
Rinse the dishes
before putting them in the dishwasher.
It’s starting to sound like
a jail in here. All these rules! And what do the kids focus their frustration
on? The rules, of course.
It would be better if their
energy was aimed toward understanding. What if they realized that helping was
a privilege and that they were lifting a burden of housework from their Mom? Maybe they’d also grasp that they were learning the skills
needed for their own homes one day. Maybe then, KP duty wouldn’t need all those
But they are teenagers, the
Israelites were stiff-necked people, and I am a driver in a hurry. Not much
difference between us. It's focusing on ‘me’ and not ‘my community.’
Labels: community, mosaic laws