Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted:February 4, 2015
It says the Creator gives the Israelites three days to prepare for the Revelation at Sinai, and that on the third day the Creator will come down to the mountain. In Aramaic, the word for coming down or descending would be nachat. However, Onkelos, who translated the Torah from its original Hebrew into Aramaic, uses the word itgalei, meaning that on the third day the Light of the Creator will be revealed from within the mountain… just as the kabbalists point out that in the story of the Burning Bush, the word that is used was also within; the Creator was revealed from within the Burning Bush. So, what is the secret there, and what is the secret at Sinai?
When most of us think about the story of the revelation to Moses at the Burning Bush, we think that the Creator chose to come from the Heavens and reveal Himself to Moses on the Burning Bush. But that’s not the truth. Really, a direct revelation of the Light of the Creator to Moses had already existed within that physicality of those thorns - and it exists everywhere - so what actually happened was that the Creator took off the veil, the illusion of this world, from that physical place and revealed something that had actually always existed there.
The direct revelation of the Light of the Creator exists everywhere, always. It is just concealed most of the time. And there, at the Burning Bush, the Creator decided to remove the veil. Therefore, the prophecy that was revealed to Moses was not something that came from somewhere else, but rather something that always existed. This is why it says the Creator was revealed from within the Burning Bush. The Creator - and those words, that consciousness, that revelation, that Light, that miracle - was there all the time. Moses just merited to see it because the Creator removed the veil.
So, back to the Revelation at Sinai. The story is very theatrical. There’s fire, lightning, sounds, clouds. There’s the Revelation of the Light of the Creator, and there’s the Voice of the Creator. Many people think there is a little mountain in the Sinai desert called Mt. Sinai and the Creator decided that was where to sort of produce this great extravaganza, like on a movie set. But that’s wrong. Within Mt. Sinai, as within everything in this world, there is the reality of the Revelation at Sinai. All that happened at Sinai was that the Creator removed the veil from the Israelites, and really from the world, so that they could see what is actually occurring all the time.
Mt. Sinai wasn’t special. The Creator chose it for the Revelation because what occurred at Sinai occurs everywhere, all the time, in every other mountain in the world, every other table in the world, every other plant in the world. If you had the eyes to see what is actually happening, you would see Light, fire, clouds, lightning, and hear the Voice of the Creator coming out of everything, all the time. But for most of us, as was for the Israelites there, it is concealed. Yet, at Sinai, the Creator took off the veil.
What happened at Sinai wasn’t that the Creator produced this dramatic effect and everyone heard the Voice of God. All that happened at Sinai was the Creator took off the veil of that one mountain and said - look at what exists all the time. This means that in every place, everywhere in the world, at every moment, there is the Revelation of Sinai, there is the direct revelation of the Light of the Creator to us. We, unfortunately, still live in a world of veils, and so we can’t see that from everything, everywhere, there is that revelation. But as every one of us sits here, Mt. Sinai is happening all around us; it is so beautiful and powerful.
So, what’s the practical application of this? What’s the practical purpose of this beautiful understanding of what really goes on in this world?
The Revelation at Sinai was not a production that the Creator brought to this mountain; it simply removed the veil of everything that already existed; those Ten Utterances that occur in this portion of Yitro are coming out of nature all the time! What this all means is that as we sit here right now, we can connect to Sinai. Because it’s here. It’s in this chair. It’s in this table. It’s in this cup. It’s in everything. And it comes from the Creator.
When you begin to truly understand that, you realize that in every moment you can have the most elevated experience, no matter where you are in this world. Because it’s there; you just have a veil over it. So, knowing this, you can make the moment you are in, where you are, the holiest moment in the world. Because Sinai, which is the pinnacle of human spiritual experience, is happening right now.
There is a lot more to this, but the purpose is to understand and realize that we can have these tremendous experiences right now, where we sit, in this moment, anywhere we are. Because it already exists there; there are just veils - probably many of them for our own benefit - that are put there. Most of us won’t now go sit in our chair and see Sinai coming out of our table, with the fire and the Voice of God. But we can taste a little bit of it, and realize that we are surrounded by Sinai all the time. And when we realize that, and we begin to make a connection, every moment can be holy, every place can be holy, every place can be Sinai.
In fact, if we could see what actually happens when we read a few words of the Zohar, if we could see what actually happens when we do a true action of sharing, if we could see what happens on Shabbat when the Torah is being read, when the Ark is being opened, we’d be so excited and invigorated for our spiritual work, nobody could stop us. How do we begin to see? By fighting, begging, and pushing to remove those veils.