Quick Comment Parashat Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23)
It is easy to overlook a gem of a lesson that lurks unobtrusively behind the Ten Commandments, but it is a lesson that can change our lives.
“And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stones; for if you lift up your tool upon it, you have polluted it.” (Exodus 20:22)
God loves us just as we are
We all have the potential to be stones in God’s altar and we all have the potential to see in others the same potential.
But too often we want to cut those other potential stones to fit our expectations of how they should be.
God welcomes all to worship at the Divine altar whether we are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, another religion or no religion at all. It does not matter if we are gay, straight or transgender.
To be part of God’s altar we need just one characteristic: a desire to use the talents with which the Eternal One has blessed us to make the world a better place.
One of the most precious gifts my mother gave me as a child was a phonograph record called, “Little Songs on Big Subjects.” One of my favorites begins, “I’m proud to be me, but I also see, you’re just as proud to be you. It’s just human nature so why should I hate you for being as human as I. We’ll give as we give if we live and let live, and we’ll both get along if we try …”
The idea that God wants us to accept people as they are is easy to overlook behind the Ten Commandments, but it is as important as any lesson we can ever learn.