When the Jewish people approached Har Sinai right before Kabbalas HaTorah, they did so כאיש אחד בלב אחד, “as one man with one heart” (Rashi, Shemos 20:2). They were actually united in two ways:
- They were united as a nation. Each individual was connected to his or her fellow Jews despite differences of opinion or perspective.
- They were united in their spiritual goals. During the 49 days since yetzias mitzrayim, each individual had strengthened his or her own level of emunah and had a strong, personal desire to both connect to HaShem and receive His Torah, as it says:
וַיַּעַן כָּל הָעָם קוֹל אֶחָד וַיֹּאמְרוּ כָּל הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה נַעֲשֶׂה
…and all the people answered in unison and said,
“All the words that HaShem has spoken we will do.”
While much attention has been given to the first way in which the Jewish people were united at Har Sinai, attention should also be placed on the second- because without the second union, it’s impossible to properly have the first on a national level.
Without Letting HaShem In There Can’t be Kabbalas HaTorah
Someone once asked the Kotzker Rebbe, “Where is HaShem to be found?” He responded, “Where is God to be found? In the place where He is given entry!”
In Tehillim, Chapter 13 it states:
עַד–אָנָה יְהוָה, תִּשְׁכָּחֵנִי נֶצַח; עַד–אָנָה, תַּסְתִּיר אֶת–פָּנֶיךָ מִמֶּנִּי
Which could be translated it as:
How long, HaShem, will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your Face; [I know] it’s from me!
HaShem is always right there with us- through the good times and the difficult ones. If I don’t recognize HaShem’s guiding Hand behind the things that happen to me, it’s only because in those areas I’m not letting Him in.
The events and occurrences that happen to us are all HaShem’s messengers. This applies to every single experience we have- whether the experience is an external one, or it’s something that we’re going through internally. If I am having issues with my parents, siblings, spouse, friends, neighbors, or co-workers, or I’m feeling a distressful emotion in response to something I saw or heard, it means HaShem is trying to tell me that over here I’m not letting Him in.
This recognition is the most important prerequisite for receiving and fulfilling the Torah. Every time a person is faced with an experience that “moves” him, and he gets the message, takes a small step back and brings HaShem in- even in the smallest of ways- he is able to receive a portion of the Torah in that area. This leads to a higher understanding and connection to HaShem that then brings him to an even greater level of emunah. He then repeats this process at his new level.
HaShem put each one of us in this world in order that we fulfill our unique portion of the Torah. For this reason we daven:
ותן חלקינו בתורתך
And give us our portion in the Torah
Every Jew has his or her own portion of the Torah and Avodas HaShem, that only he or she can light up. HaShem gave, and continues to give, us all the tools, experiences, and situations we need in order to accomplish this task.
So, if an experience comes along and causes you to react, it’s because HaShem wants something from you over there. There’s a little piece of Torah waiting for you to come along and receive it.