VOLUME 99 NUMBER 6
Shevat 26, 5782
January 28, 2022
Candlelighting Time 4:57 PM
Moshe ascended onto Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah from Hashem. Rashi explains that Yehoshua accompanied him and remained at the foot of the mountain until Moshe returned 40 days later. Rashi assumed this because otherwise why would Yehoshua have accompanied him there since he wasn’t going to go up with Moshe.
Rav Shlomo Kluger questions this further as to why he had to remain there for the entire period of time. He could have gone back to camp as did Ahron and Chur and then returned at the end of the forty days to escort him back to the camp. His insight is very astute and perceptive. He suggests that we know that Moshe required a certain amount of time before he entered into the cloud covered area to receive the Torah. During that time, he prepared himself for this great and monumental event. Once he had prepared himself to encounter Hashem, only then was he allowed to approach the inner sanctum and enjoy this incredible opportunity to ‘meet’ Hashem ‘face to face’. This preliminary detachment from association with this world and its trappings was an absolute necessity in order to receive such a magnanimous gift as the Torah. One can’t merit the study of Torah nor its conveyance without this proper fundamental initiation.
Yehoshua upon witnessing what his Rebbe was doing, realized that he, as the prime disciple of Moshe, was also obligated to remain disconnected from all in order to merit the transmission of what his Rebbe was going to teach him. Therefore, although he wasn’t as great as Moshe to ascend the mountain, still he needed to make sure that he would be able to grasp and fully comprehend the Torah his Rebbe was going to teach him. Therefore, he remained at the foot of the mountain. Additionally, the elders also understood that they would be intensely involved in the Torah’s dissemination to the masses and realized that they also required a span of intense preparation to receive the Torah from Yehoshua. Therefore, they also kept their distance from the people realizing what was necessary to accomplish this goal.
We are learning a great lesson from this. Firstly, we need to appreciate the magnitude of Torah and realize that we must also prepare ourselves to be ready to properly absorb its wisdom. Furthermore, we must understand our roles in the ongoing transmission of Torah. Its pristine conveyance to the future generations ensures that they will receive Torah in its pure and unadulterated form. The importance of an absolutely wholesome and authentic Torah was certainly uppermost in the minds of Moshe, Yehoshua and the elders. They were the original building blocks of Torah in our nation, and they knew that the responsibility upon them was tremendous and highly imperative.
Alshich adds that Yehoshua in his capacity that he served his Rebbe’s every need merited to accompany him closer to the mountain then even the elders. The importance of clinging to our mentors, glimpsing at their conduct and absorbing their insights is of extraordinary significance as we see from this episode.
BYTE FOR SHABBOS
Moshe sent the first born to offer sacrifices at the giving of the Torah. They are referred to as the young ones. However, since they are the first born, seemingly it would be more appropriate to call them as the older and more mature of the nation. However, the Torah is noting that the first born have a gift of alacrity and are highly motivated and they are young in spirit. S’FAS EMES