- The bitter water made sweet and the provision of manna
- The Rock that gave forth water and victory against the Amalekites
- The people camp at Mount Sinai while Moses ascends the Mountain
- All that Adonai has spoken “we will do”
- The Rest of the Story
The bitter water made sweet and the provision of manna:
…(cont.) Three days later, on Nisan 24, we came to Marah. The drinking water was bitter there. So Moses threw some wood in the waters and they became mayim chayim. The bitter water was transformed into sweet water good for drinking. A month later, we complained that we were hungry and without adequate food. Then Adonai sent manna from heaven to nourish us. The portion of manna collected by each person each day was called an “omer.”
The Rock that gave forth water and victory against the Amalekites:
Later still we began to settle at Rephidim, located near Mount Sinai. But again there was no drinking water available there. So Adonai commanded Moses to take our elders of the twelve tribes of Israel to a particular rock at Sinai. There the Deliverer struck the Rock with his staff so that miraculously water gushed forth out of it for us to drink. While we camped in Rephidim, the Amalekites (descendants of Esau) suddenly attacked us. We won the battle. Therafter, Adonai commanded us to never forget that since or exodus from Egypt the Amalekites were the first nation (among all the nations) to defy His sovereign will by declaring war against us. For this historic, precedent setting offense, there would be no forgiveness. So from that day on Adonai has declared war on the Amalakites until the day that they no longer exist, when even the memory of them will be “erased” forever.
The people camp at Mount Sinai while Moses ascends the Mountain:
Therefore, after 45 days and forty-one encampments in the desert, on the new moon of Sivan (Sivan 1), we reached the desert of Sinai and camped near the very mountain where Moses was first commissioned. During the previous weeks we had become increasingly conscious of the heavenly Father and therefore ready to receive instruction (Torah) from Him before entering the Promised Land. At the appointed time grew nearer and nearer the Deliverer ascended the mountain of Sinai and there the Holy One commanded Moses to tell us that if we obeyed the Word of Adoanai and kept His covenant, then we would be His “kingdom of priests” and His “holy nation.”
All that Adonai has spoken “we will do:”
After delivering this Message, we responded by proclaiming, “kol asher diber Adonai na’aseh” (all thatAdonai has spoken, we shall do). Moses then returned to Mount Sinai and he was told that we had to sanctify ourselves before the Holy One would descend upon the Mount Sinai in three days. During this time we were required to abstain from worldly comforts and to not touch (under penalty of death) the boundaries of the mountain, made holy by the fiery Presence of the Adonai of Hosts. We were all told, “Be ready for the third day; for on the third day Adonai will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of you.”
The Rest of the Story:
First, the Torah was given on the sixth of Sivan, the Shabbat following the new moon of Sivan that year (which would make the new moon of Sivan a Monday (cf. Shabbat 86b). The exception to this view is Rabbi Jose. He says that the Torah was given on the seventh day of the month. He believed that Moses added a third day of sanctification out of his own understanding. If the Torah was given on the morning of the seventh of Sivan (as Rabbi Jose insists) and if the first of Sivan was on a Monday (as all the other rabbis insist), then by faith we all gathered together (for all time) at the foot of Mount Sinai on a Sunday, on the first day of the week. It was therefore, on the day of “new beginnings”—the first day (היום הראשון-ha-yom reeshone) of the week—when Adonai descended amidst thunder, lightning, billowing smoke, fire, and the frightening voluminous blasts of the shofar.
Second, it was also on the first day of the week when Adonai originally established the foundations of the earth. This He did when He commanded:
“Let there be light; and there was light. And the Almighty saw that the light was good; And the Almighty separated the light from the darkness.”
So it was on the first day of the week that the Holy One commanded (through the giving of the Ten Commandments) that the foundation of a New Moral Order be established first in Israel and then—-throughout the entire world.
Third, by giving us the Ten Commandments the Most Holy One began the “process” of His one day instilling in us His perfect relational life (into our imperfect consciousness and physical being). This was the “beginning” of Adonai separating the light from the darkness within our own hearts, souls, minds, and bodies. Through the gift of His Living Torah the Holy One began to speak all of His powerful Word into our inner being. The Creator began to make of us a New Creation when He said once again, “Let there be light” and “separate the light from the darkness.” Therefore, His Torah shines forth in our “hearts” (spirits) to give us the magnificent knowledge of His glory that radiantly shines forth upon us from His Face.
“And the Almighty separated the light from the darkness.”
On the holy mountain the abrupt and shrill sound of the shofar broke through the silence. As the shofar sounds grew louder and louder a terror began to grip our hearts. Then Adonai Eloheinu spoke: “I am Adonai your G-d who took you out of Egypt.”
As Adonai began speaking the second commandment to us we began falling back in fear. We begged Moses to be our representative before the Adonai of Hosts. We were terrified of hearing anymore of His Voice. Therefore, we stood far off, while Moses alone drew near to the thick darkness where the Presence of the Holy One was.