In every single synagogue I've been in which has a depiction of the ten commandments on tablets, not a single one of them had all the words of the commandments fully written out. Usually they have the first word or two and that's it. I would like to know if this was done for stylistic reasons (its hard to fit the whole thing about Shabbos on it) or for halachic reasons.

I have heard anecdotally that the reason is so that we do not treat the ten commandments preferentially, but this does not make sense to me since, in displaying them at all, we are doing exactly that.

  • note Brachos 12a and several other places that talks about why the 10 commandments were removed from the liturgy. – Menachem Jan 10 '14 at 17:35
  • Probably because 620 words are a lot – Menachem Jan 12 '14 at 16:27
  • 2
    My guess is stylistic reasons, because the first tablet has far more words than the second. – Ypnypn Jan 14 '14 at 14:48

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