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Parashat Yitro

Parasha Thoughts

By Rabbi Yosef Shemtov

This week’s portion contains the most important incident in the Torah which is Matan Torah. Rambam states our belief in Judaism is not because of the miracles Moshe performed, but rather because 600,000 Jews from age 20 and up were at Har Sinai and heard the Almighty talking. They all agreed by saying, “Naaseh ve nishma,” meaning we have so much faith in you that we are willing to do everything we are commanded and we will educate ourselves about it. No other nation in the world can claim that God spoke to them. This was only because of the Almighty’s love for Beni Israel.

It is interesting to note that before receiving the Torah, it says Beni Israel were standing under Mount Sinai. The Gemara asks why does it say under the mountain? Shouldn’t it say by the mountain?The Gemara answers that the Almighty picked up the mountain and placed it on top of the nation and warned them that if they don’t accept Torah, the world will cease to exist and they all would die.

The obvious question is, “Didn’t they say ‘Naasee ve nishma’ (we will do and educate ourselves)? So what was the reason for forcing them?”
Maaral answers that God wanted to show Beni Israel that of course we need to accept the Torah lovingly, but we need to understand that the world cannot exist without the Torah and merit in the world only exists because of Torah.

That’s why we make a blessing everyday thanking Hashem that we had merit that the Torah was given to Beni Israel, because Torah is the source of all the blessing. Let’s try to bring this great blessing to ourselves and family by keeping and learning the Torah.


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