â€œI AM THE LORD YOUR GOD YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME!â€Tradition has it that the Ten Commandments may have not been exactly like the Hollywood version by Cecil B. De Mille staring Charlton Heston as Moses and Yil Brynner (who seems to play all the baddies) as Pharaoh.
Letâ€™s just set the scene for those of you who havenâ€™t been to Sunday school recently, the Hebrews are camped out at the foot of Mt. Sinai, Moses goes up to receive the Two Tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments, there is thunder and lightening, and just before God Utters the Ten Commandments, the entire known world becomes silent, the wind rests from blowing, the crickets stop rubbing their little legs together, the rivers stop rippling, and the birds stop singing and there is absolute silence because God is about the speak not just to one man in on his way to Jericho but to an entire nation, to the whole world.
The commentaries explain that what followed was very scary. As God spoke the first two commandments, it was like an explosive spiritual tidal wave ripping the souls straight out of the bodies of the Hebrews and leaving them for dead, it is told that God had to continuously bring them back to life in order to finish the sentence. So quite sensibly they asked, no, begged Moses to ask God to shut His Big Mouth and let Moses explain the rest of the commandments.
So out of the Ten Commandments as we know them (Iâ€™m not gonna test you on them, so donâ€™t worry) only the first two was actually said my God and the last eight were said by Moses.
However, the same tradition also explains that the first two commandments were actually said at the same time, or that there were in fact One commandment, but the Hebrews heard the two elements of the One Commandment as two distinct Commandments. The Kabbalists explain that although only one statement was made because the Hebrews, who had just been emancipated from Egypt as slaves where not able to actually hear the singular nature of the One Statement and because of their dualistic mindset they actually heard two.
The first two commandments are:
1. â€˜I am the Lord Your God who took you out of Egyptâ€™
2. â€˜You Shall Have No Other Godâ€™sâ€™
From the First Commandment the Hebrews learnt all of the positive commandments some 248? And from the second commandment all the negative prohibitions which there are some 365.
However, it is quite obvious on closer examination that the first two commandments are actually one sentence with a comma between them, i.e. â€˜I am the Lord Your God who took you out of Egypt, you should have no other gods except me.â€™
So whether God said these two parts of the sentence at the same time or in a linear fashion is rather irrelevant. Itâ€™s clear that God only really said One statement.
There are those that explain that in fact God only said the First Word of the First Statement, this word is â€˜I amâ€™ (Anochi) it is actually an Egyptian and not a Hebrew word.Â They explain that from this one word which expresses the existence of God, the Hebrews learn the entire 613 commandments.
There are some more modern Kabbalists that take reduction thematic even further, they claim God only Said the First Letter of the First word of the First Statement.
Now those of you not familiar with ancient biblical Hebrew let me explain, the first word of the first statement is the letter Aleph that is also coincidentally the first letter of the Alphabet and has the numerical value of 1.
However, and here is where I add my two cents to this reductionist fashion, and this is just a grammatical observation, the letter Aleph, is the closest thing in Ancient Hebrew to a vowel, and on its own it actually doesnâ€™t have a sound at all.
So we may conclude that what was actually reveal on Mt. Sinai was the silent letter Aleph which represents the One, the Absolutely Silent and Unitary Singularity of the entire Cosmos and Beyond. And from this awareness and realisation the Hebrews learnt all the positive and negative Spiritual Laws that they may live their lives in peace and enlightenment.