(Haftara: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5,6)
1. [9:13] “…when the ram’s horn sounds, they shall go up on the mountain”. Rashi (our main commentator), quotes a midrash which says that this is the horn of the ram in the story of Yitzchak, when Avraham almost sacrificed Yitzchak. What does the revelation at Mount Sinai have in common with Yitzchak?
2. [19:17] “…and they stood under the mountain”. Rashi quotes a midrash which says that God held the mountain over the Israelites as a threat to force them to accept the Torah. This is understood to mean that the intensity of the experience forced them to accept the Torah, and this is understood to be a lower level than the free acceptance of the Torah. Why is total lack of doubt at Sinai considered a lower level?
3. [20:15] “And the entire nation saw the thunder and lightning and the sound of the horn…” Rashi quotes a midrash that tells us that they saw that which is impossible to see. What does this fact add to the experience of Sinai?
4. [20:15] When God revealed himself at Sinai it was a very “loud” experience. When God revealed himself to Eliahu in the cave, it was a very “quiet” experience (Kings I, 19:11,12). Both seem to have been intense experiences. What is the difference between them, and which is the most effective?
5. [Haftara: Isaiah: 6:3] “Holy, holy, holy..the whole earth is full of His glory”.
How does God’s glory fill the whole earth?
Shmot [18:5] : “…to the wilderness where he (Moshe) was camping there– to the mountain of God…”
Because he was staying there, it became the mountain of God. Through Moshe, the place became elevated until the Holy Presence of God rested there. A person can be somewhere, and through his or her actions and attitudes, transform that location into a Godly place–a place where God is present.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya Kornberg
And this study page is also dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker