web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » Blogs » DovBear »

The Sinai Lie

By:
Heston

A guest post by Y. Bloch

My rebbe lied to me. I don’t know if he was merely passing along what he’d been told or if he made a deliberate choice not to share truths that might shatter our young minds. (That’s the reason they taught us the orbital model of the atom, right? Or were our science books just really out of date?)

If you received a traditional Jewish education, you were probably taught the same thing: the Israelites leave Egypt on the 15th of the first month (NIssan), and they spend the next seven weeks learning that in the desert, the food is terrible, but the portions are small. (Luckily, this had no lasting ill effects on the Jewish psyche.) Then, on the fiftieth day, the sixth day of the third month (Sivan), they receive the Torah. This is why we still count 49 days after Passover nowadays and celebrate the fiftieth day as Shavuot. Yeah, not so much. Consider this verse from the end of this week’s Torah portion (Exodus 24:16):

And the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.

As the Talmud (Yoma 4b) explains:

Rabbi Akiva concurs with the view of Rabbi Jose, that the Torah was given to Israel on the seventh of the month.

Now, there is a dissenting view that the Torah was given on the sixth (Talmud, Shabbat 86b-88a), but we follow the first view (with its halakhic implications). Ah, you might say, forget the date, the important thing is the day, the fiftieth day after the Exodus. Well, according to that same passage, there’s no argument that the Torah was given on Saturday, or that the Exodus took place on a Thursday. So according to everyone, the Torah was given on Day 51. (Of course, if we want to eschew the Midrashic path and just look at the textual evidence, it seems that it wasn’t the sixth or seventh day of Sivan that God spoke to the the people, but rather the third, cf. Exodus 19:11-16.) Are we commemorating the wrong day?

This problem has been noted by various commentators, including the Torah Temima (on the cited verse) and Magen Avraham (OH 494), but it’s not the only one that arises as we consider what Sinai was. We say that the Torah was given there, but what does that mean? Was Moses truly surprised by all of the bad (or good) things that happened over the next forty years, as detailed in the Torah that he had already received? Perhaps it’s only the commandments that Moses received? But so many of those commandments are linked to events that occur later!

OK, let’s just stick to the Ten Commandments. That’s pretty cut-and-dried, right? They even have a fancy name, the Decalogue. We can unequivocally say that those Ten Commandments were given by God to Israel in the first week of Sivan, after seven weeks of wandering, and you can read them verbatim in Ex. 20:2-13. Well, actually there’s a different version in Deut. 5. And the first time we mention the Decalogue, it’s ten very different commandments in Exodus 34.

Very well. Whatever those Ten Commandments were, God gave them to Israel at Sinai directly, and ever since–wait, I mean God was going to give them directly, but the people panicked (Ex. 20:14-17) and asked Moses to transmit the message. Or they heard the first two, and then they had Moses transmit the rest. One of those three, anyway.

About the Author: DovBear blogs at: DovBear. For lack of a better metaphor, please consider this blog a very large shabbos table, where we sit together and discuss the parsha, the news, and other events of the day. Sometimes we yell, often we gossip, and, once in a while, the talk turns salacious. Our arguments are lively, but at the end of the day, its all just talk. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Sinai Lie”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Iron Dome was called on for the first time in 2013 to intercept a missile fired by terrorists in Sinai at Eilat.
Iron Dome: Israel Ends the Long Battlefield Reign of the Missile
Latest Blogs Stories
rgds

Smear campaigns by people with agendas other than justice do not faze him; He does what is right.

Lebanon's Hezbollah terror organization, now fighting in Syria, says the presence of ISIS makes it "clear"  that it must remain to fight the brutal terrorist group.

Countries like Turkey, Europe and even the US have proven fertile ground for recruiting terrorists

Death to All (Zionist) Juice

How many times have you heard anti-semites spew words like Israel are Nazis, or what you are doing to the Arabs is worse that what the Nazis did to the Jews?!…

hacker

My blog, Israpundit, was hacked, and I had to move to a new domain…

There’s much confusion about the definition of Daas Torah; simply put it means the wisdom of Torah.

We’ll never be able to negotiate a true, lasting peace with the Arabs.Their aim is our destruction.

Now I live in a country where every shop in the food court is kosher! I can have anything I want!

Pashkevil: “Come out today and battle the Zionist Amalek and all the traitors in Nahal Haredi…”

Jordan: Only M.E. country with no historical basis and ruled by occupiers placed by European powers.

Why is an IRA a worthwhile account for retirement? And how can you use it to the best advantage?

Like the fighter pilot’s letter, I wonder if certain units are simply too sensitive to allow certain leftwingers to serve in, and to entrust in their hands the security of our country and our lives.

There is only one thing more tragic than experiencing a terror attack, and that is allowing those who attacked you to do it again!

Smuggling Gazans into Europe is cheaper than fighting with Gaza, and then rebuilding all the destruction.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Why did I feel so uncomfortable around people with special needs? It’s not like they’re contagious.

The US government ignores Saudi policies, focusing narrowly on Saudi oil and military cooperation.

More Articles from DovBear

All groups have a mix of both good and bad people; it’s the ratio that differentiates us.

haredi protest with hat

Those who live lives of no sports, entertainment, or outdoor activities take what they can get.

Here is why opponents of R Shteinman think you should oppose him too.

Bring the professor and tell him off in a way the students can respect and understand.

This reduces the halachic process to an entirely ad hoc system.

Saul is neither the first nor the last of the wolf pack to unite the tribes.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews participate in Daf Yomi at some point.

Sinai is not history, Sinai is a happening.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/dovbear/the-sinai-lie/2014/01/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: