Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dvar Torah for Parshas Yisro

       Parshas Yisro contains the most important event in Jewish history, the Giving of the Torah. Seven weeks after leaving Mitzrayim, Bnei Yisrael arrived at Har Sinai and received the Torah directly from Hashem who appeared on Har Sinai in a way that left no doubt to His existence and ruler ship over the world. For that reason, the world remembers that event; we remember it because it was when we officially became the Nation of Hashem.
       The pesukim noting Bnei Yisrael’s arrival at Har Sinai seem to be out of order. The pesukim say, “בחדש השלישי לצאת בני ישראל מארץ מצרים ביום הזה באו מדבר סיני .ויסעו מרפידים ויבאו מדבר סיני ויחנו במדבר“In the third month from Bnei Yisrael leaving Egypt, on this day they arrived at the Sinai Desert. And they traveled from Refidim and they arrived at the Sinai Desert and they camped in the desert” (Shemos 19:1-2). All the commentaries ask the same question: From Pasuk 2 we see that Bnei Yisrael only arrived at Har Sinai after traveling from Refidim. But Pasuk 1 makes it sound as if they arrived there before Refidim. Why would the pasuk write the traveling record out of order?
       The Ramban answers with a beautiful thought. Moshe had told the Bnei Yisrael that when they arrived at Har Sinai, Hashem was going to give them the Torah. Bnei Yisrael were so excited over this news that from the time they left Mitzrayim, they were filled with joy and anticipation, just waiting until they would arrive. As soon as the time drew near for their arrival at Har Sinai, they became even more excited. The pasuk is written out of order to tell us that when the beginning of the month hit, and Bnei Yisrael knew they would receive the Torah in three days, their anticipation overpowered everything else. Therefore, the pasuk tells us that they were in the Sinai Desert before it tells us the exact path they took to get there.  
       In fact, they were so excited that when they arrived at the mountain, they didn’t even stop to look for a good place to camp! They just rushed into the area and settled down as quickly as they could in the first spot they came too. We learn this from the fact that Pasuk 1 says, “They arrived at the Sinai Desert”, while Pasuk 2 says, “They camped in the desert.”  
       The Ohr HaChaim explains that this excitement was reciprocated. The day of Matan Torah was one that had been anticipated by all of creation, and especially Hashem. This was the day that would make all of creation worthwhile and would confirm to Hashem His long-lasting faith in the children of Avraham Avinu. All that remained was for Bnei Yisrael to finally arrive, and that day was finally here. Therefore, Hashem worded the pesukim out of order, to show He was so excited over Bnei Yisrael coming to Har Sinai, that that excitement took precedence over any event that may have come before it.      
       Matan Torah was important for both Hashem and Bnei Yisrael- and really for the world as a whole- all for different reasons. When you are in anticipation of an important event, and you feel that excitement building up, the only thing that can make you even more excited is to know that the other party involved in this event is just as excited as you are. Based on these explanations, the same pasuk proves to us that both Hashem and Bnei Yisrael were both extremely excited for Matan Torah to take place; and that might be the greatest thought to come out of this parshah.

Shabbat Shalom! 

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