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Yisro: Coveting and Cognitive Theory

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

Parshas Yisro features the first of two listings of the Aseres HaDribros, the Ten Commandments (Shemos 20:1-14). Each Dibrah highlights a central tenet of Jewish life and contains within it myriad other Mitzvos that appear throughout the rest of Torah. Perusing the list, one finds a series of commandments against specific behaviors: don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t swear falsely, don’t provide false testimony, don’t serve idols, keep the Shabbos, honor your parents. These are all instructions regarding how we must act. And then, there are the outliers, commandments regarding our thoughts and feelings.