Where Every Jew is Family

Capitol Hill vs. Mt. Sinai


Let’s talk about a place that is elevated, but not the highest point in the region.  It didn’t belong to any one State, but instead lay between two places; a “no-man’s land”.  From there, emerged a new system of laws for a fledgling nation just picking itself up from their victory over the world’s superpower.  I’m talking of course, about Sinai.

The midrash tells us that, while there are many mountains in the region, Mt. Sinai was actually one of the smallest.  You would think that G-d’s first and only mass revelation to the world would be done at the tallest, or widest mountain.  Or maybe in a huge city or famous landmark.  Instead, it was given on some small, obscure mountain in the middle of the dessert.  Why?

G-d gave us the Torah in such a place for a very specific reason.  By using the smallest mountain, we were being told on the day that we were being hand picked by G-d, Himself, to be a light to the nations with a special mission to bring G-dliness into the world, that we shouldn’t think too highly of ourselves.  After all, it wasn’t because of anything we did that G-d chose us.  In theory, G-d could have chosen someone else.  Therefore, we should regard it as a great honor and privilege. We should be humbled, not haughty, that G-d chose us to be His special people.

It was given in the dessert, among other reasons, to teach us that the Torah isn’t only for special people who can claim “ownership” of it, but for every single Jew, no matter what their station or position.  Many people might think, “Mitzvot? That’s for the Rabbi or the religious people.”  Just the opposite.  The giving of the Torah teaches us that this gift was given to all Jews, in all times, in all places. So claim your heritage. Don’t wait for someone else.  Don’t think you need some rabbi make it happen for you.  The Torah is yours! The mitzvot are yours!  Be a light to the nations and let your light shine!

~Rabbi Yossi

P.S. And let’s hope that Capitol Hill can learn some of those lessons 😉

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