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    Beginning with Alef

    The Ten Commandments begin with Anochi (“I am the Lord your God”).

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Sichot Chag HaShavu’ot, 5735) quotes a Talmudic view that Anochi is an acrostic of the Aramaic, ana nafshi k’tavit yahavit, “I wrote down and gave over My soul” (Shabbat 105a).

    He explains, “After Mount Sinai, a Jew’s Torah activity brings him into contact with God’s soul, His infinite and unbounded qualities. From then on, any Jew, by learning Torah and fulfilling mitzvot develops a connection with God’s essence.”

    This is not just academic or hypothetical preaching. Anyone who has ever immersed him- or herself in the study and observance of Torah will recall a feeling of total exhilaration like being borne on eagles’ wings and reaching realms that one never thought were open to human beings.

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