JOLIET, Ill. — Which of the 10 Commandments is most important to you?

That was a question Rabbi Charles Rubovits posed two weeks ago at “Lunch and Learn,” a group of 10 to 20 members of various faiths who meet for 75 to 90 minutes most Thursdays at Joliet Jewish Congregation to study the Torah and enjoy a light lunch.

Mark Turk of Joliet, who said he has attended since Rubovits began Lunch and Learn six years ago, said that for him, the most important commandment is “honor your father and your mother.”

“The respect to those that have come before you and have helped you is, I think, a deeper meaning into the respect we should be showing each other,” Turk said.

Although Turk is a lifelong member of Judaism, he said Lunch and Learn is enlightening to him. The perspectives shared by a diverse group – about a third of attendees are not of the Jewish faith, Turk said – combined with Rubovits’ penchant for exploring the history with the spirituality makes the discussion interesting.

Such is the case, Turk said, with the recent study of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, which included a deep study of the plagues that spurred the decision and the mechanics of moving hundreds of thousands of people out of a country to wander in a desert for 40 years.

It reminded Turk of the European refugees.

“Except they’re being forced out of their homeland,” Turk said.

Rubovits said he was introduced to Lunch and Learn when he served another congregation in the Quad Cities. The program, Rubovits said, was already in place; he simply kept it going.

“When I came here, I thought, ‘Let’s try this again,’ ” he said. “It caught on and remained.”

Rubovits said he follows a syllabus produced by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism from its school in Jerusalem. The syllabus addresses the portion of the Torah that will be read at the upcoming Sabbath – what Christians refer to as the Old Testament, Rubovits said – and then poses questions for discussion.

“(The questions) force us to find the answers,” Rubovits said. “Sometimes we stay on subject, and sometimes we go off the subject.”

Those side topics include everything from presidential candidates to daily life.

“We’re not here to gain weight; we’re here to learn,” Rubovits said. “The food is just a sideline.”

Those expecting “a message” will be disappointed. Rubovits sticks strictly to the information presented, Turk said, and doesn’t stray into proselytizing.

“He’s not trying to change anyone’s mind. He’s not trying to get anybody to convert,” Turk said. “Those people who are not of the Jewish faith enjoy it as much as we do, and most come the next week.”

Everyone is welcome to Lunch and Learn, Rubovits said. It otstarts promptly at noon and ends at 1:15 p.m., when Rubovits’ alarm goes off.

“Otherwise, I’d prattle on for hours,” Rubovits said. “People have other things to do in their lives.”

But Rubovits did share the most important commandment, in his estimation: Keep the Sabbath day holy.

“It’s a time in our lives when we have a golden opportunity to step away from our work … and just think of everything God has provided for us,” Rubovits said. “And we pray that the coming week be as good, if not better.”