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Parshat Yitro:


'The sound of the shofar grew louder and louder; as Moshe would speak, God would ... the torches, the sound of the shofar and the mountain smoking; the people saw ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Parshat Yitro:

Parshat Yitro The 4 Stages of Maamad Har
Sinai A PowerPoint Review, to be viewed with the
corresponding shiur.
Shiur by Menachem Leibtag Presentation by
Tammy Weisz
The Four Stages
  • Proposition (191-9)
  • Preparation (199-15)
  • Revelation (1916-19)
  • Limitation (1920-25)

Chapter 19 Proposition (191-9)
  • "If You will obey Me faithfully and keep My
  • Then You shall be for Me a 'mamlechet
    Kohanim v'goy kadosh' a kingdom of priests and a
    holy nation..." (194-6)

"And the people answered together and said,
'Everything that God has spoken we shall keep,'
and Moshe brought the people's answer back to
God." (197-8)
Chapter 19 Preparation (199-15)
  • How will Bnei Yisrael receive these laws?
  • "And God said to Moshe, 'I will come to you in
    the thickness of a cloud, in order that the
    people hear when I speak with you, and in order
    that they believe in you i.e. that you are My
    messenger forever..." (199)
  • Plan A Moshe will act as an intermediary
    between God and Bnei Yisrael
  • Rashi "Et divrei ha'am" The people responded
    'We want to hear from You God, for one cannot
    compare hearing from a "shliach" (a messenger) to
    hearing from the King himself, or they said,
    'We want to see our King!'
  • Plan B God will speak directly to Bnei Yisrael

Change of Plan Necessary 3 days preparation
Chapter 19 Revelation (1916-19)
  • "The sound of the shofar grew louder and louder
    as Moshe would speak, God would answer him with a
    kol." (1919)

Who is saying what? Is it Plan A or Plan B?
Rashi (Based on Mechilta) Moshe delivers last 8
dibrot (Plan A), God delivers first 2 dibrot
(Plan B). Therefor, the above pasuk refers only
to the last 8 dibrot.
Ramban The above pasuk isnt talking about 10
dibrot at all.
Chapter 19 Limitation (1920-25)
  • "God descended upon Mount Sinai to the top of the
    mountain and summoned Moshe to the top of the
    mountain, and Moshe ascended ... Then God told
    Moshe Go down and warn the people lest they
    break through toward God to see, and many of them
    will perish. And even the kohanim who are
    permitted to come closer must prepare
    themselves..." (1920-22)

These psukim reflect Plan A! Has God gone back to
His original plan? If so, why?
Chapter 20
"And the people all saw the kolot, the
torches, the sound of the shofar and the mountain
smoking the people saw and moved back and stood
at a distance. And they told Moshe 'Why don't
you speak to us, and we will listen to you, but
God should not speak to us, lest we die.'
"Moshe responded saying 'Do not be fearful, for
God is coming to 'test' you and instill fear
within you so that you will not sin.' "But
the people stood at a distance, and Moshe alone
entered the cloud where God was. (2014-17)
The nation grew fearful request Moshe act as an
intermediary. This explains why God reverts from
Plan B to Plan A.
But why is this story mentioned here?
Rashi Chizkuni This story happens after the
first 2 dibrot.
Ramban Chronologically, this happened before the
First or Third Person?
  • Rashis answer explains the shift from 1st
    to 3rd person after the second commandment.

Plus- since this story took place during the
dibrot, the torah could best record it
immediately afterwards.
  • Chapter 19 Unclear whether Bnei Yisrael would
    hear the Dibrot via Plan A or B.
  • Chapter 20 Bnei Yisrael were frightened and
    reverted to Plan A.
  • Rashi First two dibrot were delivered though
    Plan B, remainder like Plan A.
  • Ramban Bnei Yisrael heard all Dibrot through
    Moshe (Plan A).
  • Ibn Ezra Bnei Yisrael heard all the Dibrot
    directly from God! (Plan B)

Proof from Sefer Devarim
  • "Face to face God spoke to you on the mountain
    out of the fire Plan B. I stood between God and
    you at that time to convey God's words to you
    Plan A, for you were afraid of the fire and did
    not go up the mountain..." (Devarim 54-5)
  • Both plans were used in Matan Torah!

Summary of Events
1919 Moshe ydaber vHaElokim yeAnenu bkol
Plan A
Ahava Yirah
  • Q. But why cant the Torah be more precise? Why
    do wehave to guess how the Dibrot were delivered?
  • A. Perhaps the ambiguity is intentional.
  • Man must strive to come close to God. (Ahava)
  • But he must be aware of Gods greatness, he is
    essentially unworthy of closeness. (Yirah)

Plan A The Reality Plan B The Ideal Man must
find balance between realism and idealism
God Knows Best
  • Q Why does God concede to Bnei Yisraels request
    for Plan B?
  • A Parent Child Relationship
  • A wise parent allows child to try, even if child
    will fail.
  • This way the child has ambitions, learns his
  • Responsible parent also knows when to tell child
    to stop.
  • Similarly, Bnei Yisrael sruggle to maintain
    balance between their Ahava and Yirah.
  • God must guide we must strive!
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