the story of the exodus essentially involves god freeing the children of israel from bondage in egypt. at that point, they were numerous to the point they were to be considered as a nation. the torah, in part, documents the transition from their bondage to the beginning of a free nation. at that point, they were landless as they were on their path to returning to their promised land.
scholars have recognized that the ten commandments addresses relationships. we learn from the ten commandments the various relationships that are essential in a nation and that there must be some level of regulation of them. there is the relationship with god. there is the relationship with nature. there is the relationship with family, there is the relationship with non-family, and there is the relationship with oneself.
the ten commandments tells us that there must be rules and obligations with respect to a each varying level of relationships for a nation to exist. we learn from the ten commandments that there is a level of complexity and balance required to have well ordered nation. we learn that participants of such a nation must be willing to address their many relationships. the ten commandments represents not only a challenge to the nation but a challenge to each and every individual within it. there is a collective responsibility.
the children of israel, at mt. sinai, bought into the challenge laid out within the ten commandments. while there have been tough times over the millenium, there still remains a commitment to them. every year, to this day, the holiday of shavuot is celebrated with respect to the receiving of the ten commandments.
in further posts, this blog will address these relationships.