Now we understand how the revelation fortified them. Imagine if the Satan had tried to entice them to sin during that great event. He wouldn’t have stood a chance! With the truth staring them in the face no one would even dream of doing something against the Will of the Creator. But how does that help us over two thousand years later, especially if we did not see that great event?
An Eternal Fortification
Firstly, in the Medrash it states that the neshamos, the souls, of the entire nation of Israel until the end of time were present at Har Sinai; every one of us saw this great event. The clarity of Sinai is something that we have inside our neshama. This subconscious awareness serves as a vaccination against sin, as long as we don’t actively smother it.
Secondly, even though we were not physically there, this revelation is something that we know to be the truth. Mamad Har Sinai has been passed down from father to son, teacher to student, generation after generation. In fact, the bible has been translated thousands of times throughout the years, by many of the world’s nations. This testifies that they do not deny anything in the Torah, including this entire revelation. Truthfully, it would be impossible to fabricate such a story and get away with it. You cannot claim that over 1.8 million people experienced such an awesome event if it really did not happen. And because we know that it did take place, speaking about it, discussing it, will strengthen our awareness of the lessons learnt, making it a reality in our everyday life.
And finally, every year on Shavuos itself we can experience once again that great revelation. The Ramchal writes that the same light which shined during past events, shines again every year, on a smaller scale, on that day. Each year on Shavuos we are being given a follow-up dose of emunah!
In truth, both the Ramban and Rambam write that we are commanded to constantly relate this revelation; at least on the day when it happened, let us make a point to do so. On the day of Shavuos let us tap into that fountain of faith, and strengthen ourselves. Let us tell ourselves, and our children, that we are different from the rest of the world, as we saw the truth with our own eyes! Our entire nation merited what none other did; direct contact with Hashem. The more we talk about it and describe it, the more the lessons we learnt will become real to us, helping us to stand up against the Satan. Even if our faith will be tested, we will be able to say, “don’t even try to tell us your lies, we saw the truth with our own eyes!” Through this may we merit to survive the labor pains which we are undergoing now, and greet Moshiach speedily in our days.Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus, raised and educated in Los Angeles and subsequently Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Yerushalayim, is the Rosh Kollel of the Zichron Aron Yaakov Kollel in Kiryat Sefer , Israel. He lectures for the public and is the director of the Chasdei Rivka Free Loan Gemach. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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