Friday, May 7, 2010

A mountain of a man

Here's a quick little dvar Torah, that is one of my many 'pocket divrei Torah' that can come in handy whenever you're put on the spot at a Shabbos table. (The sichas I learned this week were long and complicated. You might benefit more out of this.)

This week's Parsha is a double, Behar and Bechukosai. "And G-d spoke to Moses, on Mount Sinai saying:" is how the portion starts.
Everyone knows why Har Sinai was chosen as the place to give the Torah. It* was the smallest mountain.
The Rebbe asks a very simple question:

If the whole point of choosing Har Sinai was to show the importance of humility, and to have shiflus and bitul, then why was a mountain chosen in the first place?! The Torah should have been given on the desert floor. Or better yet, in a valley! That's a really low place! So if it is important to give the Torah on a mountain, obviously that shows that might and boldness are what is emphasized. In that case, Hashem should have chosen the biggest and tallest mountain!

The answer, and therefore the lesson we must learn, is simple:

It is necessary to be humble and batul. But when it comes to Yiddishkeit and chas v'shalom something standing in our way, we must have the pride and strength to not let anything stand in our way. Sometimes we do need to be a mountain! We cannot let anyone trample over us or the principles of our faith.

*I say 'it', because growing up with the song, everyone knew Har Sinai to be female. However, in a sicha I was learning, the Rebbe clearly refers to Har Sinai as 'he'. I don't want to ruin anyone's memories and nostalgia. I also don't want to bring up a dispute about being unfair to women, either to call a mountain a woman, or to not call it a woman...

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I might say this every year, but I like to point out that in parshas Behar is a very special possuk. Chapter 25, verse 10 reads: ".....And you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land, to all its inhabitants...."
Does this sound familiar? Do you know what proudly displays this message?