Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shavuos - Why Was The Torah Given in The Desert?

This was posted last year and I want to share it with you once more.

One of the most popular questions raised regarding the Giving of the Torah, is why it was given in the desert.

HaRav Shimshon Pincus Z’tl, looks at the question from a different perspective. HaRav Pincus asks not why the Torah was actually given in the Midbar, but rather why the Torah was not given in Eretz Yisroel. After all, does not the very air of Eretz Yisroel itself make one wise? Wouldn’t the intense kedusha of Eretz Yisroel have a unique and special effect on those receiving the Torah?

HaRav Pincus answers that we must put the Giving of the Torah in its proper perspective. On Pesach, HaKadosh Baruch Hu chose us as his Kallah, as his bride. The Shidduch was made, and we celebrate our new relationship over Pesach. The days of Sefirah are the equivalent of the engagement period - between the Vort and the Chasuna itself. Shavuos is then, the Great Wedding, where Hashem came out to greet us as a Chosson steps forward to greet his Kallah. The period after Shavuos is the time in which the newfound relationship was to be firmly and eternally established.

We can now understand why the Torah had to be given in the desert. A Chosson and Kallah need time with each other, without any distractions whatsoever - not even holy or important ones - in order to form an eternal bond. Giving the Torah in Eretz Yisroel would be the equivalent of getting married in a kitchen, even if it was Glatt Kosher LeMehadrin! As soon as the Chupa was over, the Chosson would soon be learning how to use the Shabbos Clock, and the Kallah would start figuring out how to make cholent! Just as the Yichud room follows immediately after the Chupa so that the newlyweds can focus on each other and only on each other, so too, did we need our special time to be separated from everything else and unite with HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

In order to connect to Hashem, we have to disconnect from the world for a moment. We have to get rid of the distractions and things that hold us back from getting to know Him. The best place to do that is in the midbar-in the desert, where there are no iPods, cameras, videos, magazines, computers with internet! All these things can be major distractions and hold us back from connecting to Hashem so this is what the midbar comes to teach us-about being alone, just us and Hashem, nobody else!

We are now like the Chosson and Kallah a little more than a week before the Chuppah. The anticipation, the last minute preparations, the prayers that everything goes right...but we must also remember that the goal to be achieved when Shavous arrives is not only the marvelous and incomparable moment of the Wedding itself, but also the raising of our own personal ever-special and eternally-lasting relationship that must follow, as expressed by the love that we have for Hashem, the improved way in which we study His Torah and the devoted manner and especially warm care in which we perform His Mitzvos!

We need to set aside some time during the day or during week and make it special and use it to connect to Hashem. Turn off the music, shut down the computer, don't look at your cell phone, stop texting (!), reading or whatever it is that you are doing and instead, use the time you have to show Hashem you want to connect to Him by doing something that will bring you closer to Him!


  1. Great post and great lesson. Thank you so much!

  2. That makes so much sense, I never thought of it that way!

  3. Devoiry, woah! Amaaaaazing! Thanx a million for sharing that. It's so full of clarity!!! Thanx sooo much!!!!:)

  4. Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm so glad you all liked it and I was able to share it!


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