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My name is Peggy Pardo of Kehilat She’ar Yashuv.

I’d like to do a series on the Ten Commandments in honor of our beloved rabbi Netanel Ben Yochanan who has now gone to be with his forefathers and his wonderful teaching to his community.  I don’t want to speak out simply because I have a mouth.   There are too many people who are doing that today. 

My heart’s desire is that my words ring true because they come from hard and personal experience. All my life I have searched for truth, for answers to our pain. It was like a driving force within. 

After 70 years, it is as if I have developed a built-in radar system for cutting through the drama to listen to that still small voice that comes from the heart of God. I think we all have it, but we choose not to listen.  It’s easier to choose the drama because that’s where we get all the attention whether we say we want it or not. 

The first time we do something wrong, a small voice within whispers to us … “that’s not right”. The more we refuse to pay attention to it, the more our conscience becomes seared. How often have I regretted not listening!  Today regret has turned into experience. 

We often prefer to choose the easy way out because that’s exactly what it is, easy… but it doesn’t always mean that it’s the right way. 

When we hear truth, it we are willing, it will resonate with our soul. There are very few people who are willing to tell us the truth about ourselves. We don’t even want to tell ourselves the truth because then we become responsible. 

God and His emissaries, His prophets always tell the truth.   Our job is to discern who His emissaries are. The Torah gives us a clue. It says that if 100% of what a prophet says does not come true, we are not to believe him; he is not from God. In ancient days, we had the right to stone him. Today we send them money and build huge platforms for them.  After searching through so many religions, ideologies, philosophies I have come to understand that there is a standard by which we can judge what is truth and that is the Torah. It was given to Moses by the Creator. It is a book of instruction not Law, a book of principles, filled with stories that teach us both tradition and morality. It contains traditions that do change over time so let’s not get locked into those, but its morals are eternal and stand the test of time.  For example, if we insist on eating kosher foods but dishonor our parents, who do we think we are fooling?  If we refuse to eat milk and meat together but gossip about someone, which one will please God?  

Our Creator of this world did not create religion. How many of us found religion but when we became disillusioned, we threw God out when we left the religion? Where does that leave us? It can leave us feeling empty and without direction. 

Over these next few weeks, I would like to examine the principles found in the Torah that are life changing. What is the use of reading or hearing what God said but we don’t do it? Faith without works is dead. God wants us to choose life so let’s begin on a life building journey together. 

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