The value of consistent service - Religious Life

The value of consistent service

Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10–30:1 | Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2018 10:44 am

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

What is the essence of Jewish service? A famous midrash (found in the introduction to the aggadic compilation Ein Yaakov) asks: “What is the most important verse in all of the Torah?” Ben Zoma said, “We found a verse which is all inclusive: ‘Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Ekhad.’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:4) This seems like an obvious choice since at our core, Jews are monotheists. Then Ben Nannas said: “We found a verse which is all inclusive: ‘V’Ahavta l’Reakha k’Mokha.’ ” (Leviticus 19:18) This may seem most correct since at the center of Judaism is ethics.

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