Coveting, Craving... and Being Free

Rabbi Shai Held

Parashat Va'Etchanan

The last of the Ten Commandments is in many ways also the most elusive. In this week's parashah: "You shall not covet (tachmod) your neighbor's wife. You shall not crave (tit'aveh) your neighbor's house, or his field, or his male or female slave, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's." This prohibition raises as many questions as it answers. Exactly what is being proscribed here—an action or an attitude—and for what reason? (5774)