Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Parshat Yitro

Parshat Yitro

Ratings: (0)|Views: 5|Likes:
Published by Josh Shpayher

More info:

Published by: Josh Shpayher on Feb 14, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Parshat Yitro
5773Rabbi Shaanan GelmanDrashaOne of the most often quoted yet most troubling Talmudic sourcesdealing with Matan Torah is found in Mesechet Shabbat:
: ,: ,-,- . : .
God says to the Bnei Yisrael "Accept upon yourselves the Torah,or be prepared to suffer the consequences!"A serious question arises in light of the phrase which we will bereading next week,
" "
, we will do and we will listen; forwhich the Bnei Yisrael were praised as they demonstrated awillingness to accept upon themselves the precepts of the Torah.The implication we get is that the Torah was optional, and the factthat we chose this lifestyle is a crucial piece of our religiousidentity. The first problem with the agadata of isthat it robs us of that identity.
The second problem is that from a legalistic/halachic standpoint itdoesn
t work. The Rambam deals with a sale which was coerced:
 ,, " ,,
, ,.
If the seller in the abov
e case indicates that he doesn’t want the
sale to go through then it is not a good sale.And that is what the Gemara means when it says,
, from here is our “great answer” to God. Should we feel
that at any point we are being unduly judged, we can simplyrespond that we never accepted the Torah in the first place!And so, if the sale is not a sale, what is it that we haveaccomplished with Kabalat HaTorah!?Some might explain as follows:The next line in the Gemara responds that nonetheless wereturned in the days of Achashveirosh and accepted the Torah
" ' ]" ': " " '
willingly, thus cementing our relationship with Hakadosh BaruchHu.Rav Chasdai Crescas, 14
Century Spanish philosopher ofBarcelona, in his work
) , , ( '
has an interestingway of explaining this aggadata: He claims that the ideal state ofa believing person is to suspend all of his own intellectualfaculties and to accept the yoke of Torah. If a person
s iscontingent upon a miracle or a sound argument, ultimately thatperson has not fully embraced the Almighty. Only when we reacha level of acceptance of God whether or not we will it, has a truecovenant been attained.The problem with this approach in my humble view is that such acommitment, forged under duress, doesn
t work.Generally speaking when it comes to inculcating an individual or agroup of people with a given set of values and laws,
isassumed by behavioral psychologists to be the least effectivemethod for two reasons: 1) It is dangerous:
Those who have been forced to live their lives a certain way underduress often emerge psychologically scarred. Studies have beenconducted on autistic children in which
Coercive psychological

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->