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Section: Daas Torah   Category: Rav Shimshon
Har Sinai Once The Drilling Is Done
The gemara in Shabbos (88a) says that on the day of Matan Torah, Hashem lifted Har Sinai and told Bnei Yisroel, if we accept the Torah then "Mutav", if not Hashem will bury us under the mountain.  This seems a little rough considering that we already declared “Na’aseh V’Nishma”.  Why the hostility and threats, asks Tosfos?  Tosfos answers that after seeing the great fire on the mountain that preceded Kabalas HaTorah, Bnei Yisroel may get nervous so Hashem needed to force us to accept the Torah.

Even so why would Hashem force us now if he didn’t force us before?  Rav Shimshon Pincus explains (Sichos Shavuos – Ta’amu U’Ri’u) with a Mashal.  If you have a terrible toothache you go to the dentist.  During the procedure you feel excruciating pain and try to get up and run away.  Why do you run away?  It was your decision to come in the first place.  You even agreed to pay good money for the privilege.  The answer is that you know that this is good for you but in the moment of pain you can’t take it anymore and react against your better judgment.  The dentist does you a great favor and holds you down so he can finish.  Not because he wants his money but because this is for your own good… and you know it.

The Torah was new to Bnei Yisroel.  While being the Am Segula sounded great it appeared restrictive.  It would force a drastic change of lifestyle.  We all want in but need to be pushed to take the leap. To someone not frum Shabbos may seem like a 24-hour detention center.  Having the benefit of keeping Shabbos we all know that on the contrary, there is nothing more liberating than keeping Shabbos.  Free from the world.  Free to enjoy our families.  Free to enjoy Hashem.  

Similarly a masmid who sits and learns all day may look like he is giving up the good life and is cooped up in the Bais Medrash.  Only the masmid knows the real joy sitting over a gemara.  While the rest of the world runs around “outside” in circles, he unleashes his mind and soul and soars to Shamayim on the wings of the most difficult sugyos.

We all want the Torah.  We all know in principle what is good in life, what is important, and what really matters but… we need to jump through that great fire of Har Sinai to get there and really experience it.   This Shavuos cast aside your fears and take the plunge, so that this you can really smile without holes in your teeth.
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Visitor Comments: 2

MM, Paris, 2008-06-04 13:28:42
It seems that Bnei Isral didn't have the choice BUT to accept the Torah ("if not Hashem will bury us under the mountain"). So why do we call Matan Torah ? In a deeper way, why do we have to do the mitsvot of the Torah, if we were compeled to accept it ?
Anonymous, 2008-06-04 22:24:04
The Gemara says that we later accepted it freely in the days of Achashveirosh.

Also we accepted the Torah without the force so the fact that Hashem later forced us doesn't relieve us of our prior commitment.

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