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The Wisdom of Israel, by Edwin Collins, [1910], at


Why are so many commands given to Israel beyond the laws of right conduct that are binding on all mankind?

Rabbi Berachia says: "This may be likened to an elder (the principal of a college for the study of law and religion) who had one long robe, about which he was always telling his disciples: 'Shake this robe carefully for me, fold it carefully,' and so forth. One day his disciples asked him: 'How is it, Rabbi, that you are so particular about this one robe? You have many other robes and you never tell us to take care of them.'

"'This,' he replied, is the robe that I wore for the first time on the day when I was appointed elder. It was the first outward sign of my dignity and that my words would be hearkened to, and therefore it is dear to me.'"

p. 36

In like manner Moses said: "Oh, Sovereign of the universe, Thine are all the nations of the world, yet Thou dost not tell me to give all these laws to any one of them, but only to Israel."

He replied: "That is because they were the first nation to accept My sovereignty, when, at Mount Sinai, they exclaimed, 'All that the Lord commands we will do, and we will hearken to.'"

Vayikra Rabbah, Chap. II.

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