Hashem's Name in Vain

Torah Message from Rabbi Moldovan

Of all the Ten Commandments, perhaps the severity of taking Hashem's name in vain appears the most unusual. Killing, adultery, idol worship, and desecrating the Shabbos are all serious sins and fundamentals of our religion. Granted that one should not say Hashem's name in vain, but why is this prohibition given inordinate weight? The commentaries explain that the human mind has the ability to rationalize any type of wrong. We have the ability to fool ourselves into thinking an obvious misstep is really the right thing to do by way of our biased thought process. People have justified stealing and cheating with the claim that the money will go to worthy causes, a la Robin Hood. Some people who do not observe the laws of Shabbos claim that these laws are obsolete. Making a fire was prohibited due to the effort involved but pushing a button to turn on a light is not work. The real reason for these rationalization is that people wish to fulfill their desires - the rationalization serves to remove any intellectual obstacles to that goal. However, if we had to swear to the reason for a particular act, we would undoubtedly have second thoughts regarding the reason. This outlook might allow us to overcome our self-deception. Once the rationalization is eliminated, we would be discouraged from transgressing. The commandment to respect Hashem's name is what helps us do what we know to be the honest truth.


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