Matan Torah מתן תורה

Usually in the beginning of June we celebrate Matan Torah מתן תורה. The Torah, as I see it, is an open code source that teaches us how to behave and conduct life that we can maintain passing through the air and water turbulences that are waiting for us in our Journey as visiting souls on planet earth.

Matan מתן in Hebrew is giving; in Matan Torah the sons of Israel had been given this code, parking as one unified entity at the foot of Sinai desert. The adventures of the sons of Israel in Sinai desert are vastly described in the second, third, forth and fifth books of Moses. Just to make a long story short, after Moses tells them about the ten commandments and the sons of Israel say; ‘We shall do”, then Moses writes the commandments down in a book known as the book of covenant and reads from it to the people. The people’s comment this time is: “we shall do and we shall listen” נעשה ונשמע.

Only then Moses is being requested to go up to Sinai Mountain and get the two tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments were engraved. Moses spends forty days and nights on the mountain while the sons of Israel are waiting for their leader to return. But the people cannot stand waiting for Moses any more and they look for a concrete substance to gather around: what could be more concrete and shiny to the eye than a golden calf ?

Moses gets something like an SMS from God saying “go down because your people are getting nuts”. Moses goes down, hears the annoyed sound watches the absurd scenery and smacked the ten commadments.

How do you behave when expectations are not fulfilled ? When there is no one around ? Why is this holiday called Matan Torah מתן תורה and not receiving the Tora ? Does the fact that we are given relations, surroundings friends and family testify that we are accepting them ?

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About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

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