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    They are all important

    The double sidra for this Shabbat ends (Lev. 27:34) as it began (Lev. 25:1), with the words Har Sinai – Mount Sinai.

    Quoting the Sifra, Rashi says that it was not merely the Decalogue but all the laws of the Torah that were given at Mount Sinai, and they were highlighted as needed.

    Ibn Ezra disputes this and says the laws were given at various places during the sojourn in the Wilderness.

    The lesson we are meant to learn from Rashi is that the Torah makes no distinction between the status of its laws.

    When Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi says in Pir’kei Avot says (2:1) that there are lighter and heavier laws, this distinction is not real but a matter of perception. To prove the point, some translations insert the word “seemingly” before each category.

    The point is that to human beings some commandments seem rather trifling and others highly serious, but we are obliged to regard them all as God-given and important.

    The Pesikta Rabbati 121b gives us a parable.

    A king employed labourers to work in his orchard but did not tell them whether one category of plants would be better paid than the others because otherwise the workers would have neglected some plants and over-loved the others.

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