Thoughts from Kollel KLAL

Simchas Torah

The passuk states  “ה’ מסיני בא וזרח משעיר למו הופיע מהר פארן ואתא מרבבות קדש,” which Rashi explains means when Yisrael came to stand at the bottom of the mountain by Har Sinai, Hashem went out towards them, as a groom goes out towards his bride. Hashem presented an open invitation for Bnei Eisav to accept the Torah, and they did not want. Hashem then went to the mountain of Paran and invited Bnei Yishmael to accept the Torah, they too did not want. Afterwards Hashem came to Yisrael who accepted the Torah. Hashem came with only some of His tens of thousands of holy angels, not all or most, unlike kings of flesh and blood who bring all their wealth and glory on the day of their chupah. The passuk ends אש דת למו which Rashi explains means, “the Torah was written from an early time before Him with black fire upon white fire. He gave to them the luchos with the writing of His right hand.”


Onkelos translates ה’ מסיני בא… differently, “Hashem was revealed from Sinai, and from Se’ir the brightness of His Honor was shown to us. This refers to מעמד הר סיני itself when Hashem revealed Himself to Bnei Yisrael. הופיע מהר פארן means “Upon the mountain of Paran He was revealed with His might,” which refers to Hashem who revealed Himself at מעמד הר סיני  upon the mountain of Paran. Tosfos explains that Sinai is the same place as Paran. The Ibn Ezra brings b’shem Rav Sadya Gaon that Paran was near Sinai, and was used to refer to the same place. Hashem brought with Him tens of thousands of holy angels. Onkelos translates אש דת למו as “the writing of His right hand from within the fire He gave the Torah to us.”


The Gemara brings that the elders of Athens challenged Rebi Yehoshua Ben Chananya with a riddle: a person searches and requests a woman to marry and they do not give her to him, why does he see fit to search for a better higher class woman, certainly they won’t give him this one? He responded by taking a peg and sticking it onto the bottom part of a wall without a hole, and it did not enter in. Afterwards he stuck it onto the higher part of the wall in place of a hole, and it did enter in. He said, “this one too found its mazel.”

The Maharsha explains this dialogue as a mashal about matan Torah. Hashem first offered the Torah to the nations of the world whom did not accept it, and then afterwards Hashem offered the Torah to Bnei Yisrael who did accept it. Yisrael have a special attribute over the nations by having Hashem’s Torah and its chachma. We became Hashem’s bride and mate by matan Torah. The Athens asked, “Why did Hashem first go to the nations who did not accept the Torah and after to Yisrael? It must be because the nations are more worthy then Yisrael who are lower class.” He answered, “The Torah is comparable to a peg stuck into a wall, which everything is hung on. You don’t stick a peg low down on a wall because it is not fitting to hold anything; rather, you stick it high up where you can hang everything.” So too is with the Torah; it is the peg, the foundation which the entire world is hung on and dependent on. This peg, the Torah, is placed above everything, by Yisrael, who are above all other nations.


May we be zoche to rejoice with Hashem’s Torah which everything is dependent on!

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