I miss David Letterman. His show was always the release I yearned for after a long day. I love Colbert too, who replaced him but Letterman was unique. His signature top-ten list is something I always call to mind this parsha, of Yitro.

This week in Yitro is the first occasion that Moses receives the 10 commandments and will eventually pass it on to the Israelite people. What is compelling about the concept of these laws –  some which are obvious, some quizzical and some challenging – is the idea that it binds us as a people. That is what laws and statutes do for any people: bind and unite. These laws give us guidelines and rules and systems for us to follow and structure that holds us together as a people.

I am curious, if you were to start a religion, a country, a corporation, what would your top-ten list be? What commandments would you invoke?

In our home hanging in our kitchen, are our family rules. It includes: be grateful, try your hardest, say please and thank you, help others, be kind, always tell the truth, respect each other and always tell the truth. In many ways, this list is a modern list of our values and laws for our family to abide by.

Perhaps in honor of Parshat Yitro, you should not only review the 10 commandments of the bible, but think about the rules and top-ten list for your family, work, life, and value system. May it unite you and your loved ones as the commandments have done for our people.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner