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How We Treat One Another
Mon, 07/29/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week
Rabbi David Wolpe
Rabbi David Wolpe

My teacher Simon Greenberg once explained the great innovation of the Ten Commandments. He explained that the first four are the justification for the last six. In other words, he told us, the Ten Commandments introduced the world to the idea that God cares most how we treat one another.

In the Greek myths, for example, the gods are preoccupied with whether human beings show them due respect. But they do not make rules for how people themselves interact. In the Torah, God’s rules are about shaping human character and caring for human needs. As God’s children, we are all of concern to the Creator.

Judaism divides mitzvot: bein adam l’havero and bein adam l’makom: between people and between a person and God. But in truth, as Rabbi Greenberg explained, the first is a consequence of the second. Judaism tells that that ethical conduct is an outgrowth of our realization that we are all part of the same human family, with the same Divine parent. Untangle the strands of our spiritual DNA and you will discover a spark, in every human being, of the One who spoke and created a world.

Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow his teachings at


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Thank you Rabbi! You said very nicely what is in my heart! Hope all human species discover that Spark.

"God cares most how we treat one another" -- my feelings exactly. This has always been one of things I like best about Judaism.

That is revelation! Thank you

Wise and encouraging. It is impossible simultaneously to love God and to hate or abuse His children. Occasionally, almost all of us forget that. It's good to be reminded.