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The Ten Commandments

Since this Shabbat we will be reading the Ten Commandments I thought that a few interesting links were in order. Michael Marlowe and Codex have discussions about the different traditions regarding the division of the commandments in Jewish and numerous Christian traditions. Scotusblog, the ADL and especially Marci Hamilton have good discussions about cases involving the Ten Commandments in the American legal system. Two good discussions of the different traditions regarding the cantillation (trope) of the Ten Commandments are by Eliezer Segal and Joseph Ofer. Here is an very good summary of research about the place of the Ten Commandments in ritual and prayer including discussion of the Nash Papyrus (which included the shema and the Ten Commandments together) and the inclusion of the Ten Commandments in the daily prayer service as is also here. I also found an article from JQR 15 (1903) here titled “The Hebrew Papyrus of the Ten Commandments” about the Nash Papyrus. Here one can see a picture of tefillin from Qumran which included the Ten Commandments (it is a bit difficult to read). On a different note there are some web sites which discuss the Ten Commandments in art. Who knew that Keith Haring devoted a series of paintings to the Ten Commandments (see a review of the exhibit in the Guardian). Here is Moses receiving the Ten Commandments in a 13th century German Mahzor. Over at Slate there is a slideshow (see the link at the bottom of the article) of representations of the Ten Commandments in American public buildings. As usual also check out the Wikipedia entry.

Update: Dan at Seforim has a post on the question of whether according to halachah it is permitted to display the Ten Commandments in a synagogue.

One Response to “The Ten Commandments”

  1. 1
    Reading the Ten Commandments in Synagogue:

    […] about the cantillation used in the reading of the Ten Commandments in synagogue. I have previously posted on this topic, but I wanted to draw the attention of those who are interested in Ta’amei […]




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Michael Pitkowsky


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