The 11th Commandment

by Rabbi Ari Isenberg

If there were an eleventh commandment, what would it be?

That is precisely the question posed to children of different religious denominations, from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and traditions in the book The 11th Commandment, published back in 1996, yet ever-relevant (ask your local bookstore to order a copy for you to purchase).

From “no polluting the world” and “feed everyone and eat together”, to “no punching” and “do not be mean”, the simple wisdom of children resonates with tremendous power. We should all strive to live in a world in which these eleventh commandments are followed.

Soon we will gather to mark Shavuot, the celebration of our receiving the Torah – notably, the 10 commandments – at Mount Sinai. Perhaps because it lacks home rituals or because it falls late in the academic calendar when our focus is already on graduations and summer plans, it seems that Shavuot sometimes gets overshadowed, particularly when compared with our other festivals and holidays. Yet, Shavuot celebrates the beauty of the Torah itself, with an evening study session, eating delicious dairy foods that remind us of the Torah’s sweetness, and a recommitment to the traditions of our People.

This year, Shavuot will include in-person and online opportunities for gathering, engagement, learning, prayer, and — most importantly — cheesecake! We look forward to your participation.

For the most accurate and up-to-date Shavuot programs, times, and locations, check out CBI’s all-new website:

Also upcoming in June and not to be missed: Pride Shabbat and Men’s Club Shabbat.

At CBI, each day affords an opportunity to connect and engage in community. Join us and spread the word to friends and neighbors.

Chag Sameach!

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This column first appeared in the May/June 2021 edition of The Bulletin.