Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Yisro II

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Our Torah portion, Yisro, tells of the historical moment of the giving of the Torah. Before receiving the Torah, the Jewish Nation camped opposite Mount Sinai. The Torah says that[1] “Yisroel (meaning the Jewish Nation) encamped there.” However, it uses the Hebrew word for encamped in the singular form rather than the plural. It does not say “they camped,” as is generally the case. Instead, the Torah uses the word which means that “he (singular) camped.” Rashi explains that the reason for this is because the Jews camped “as one man with one heart. However, all of the other encampments were with complaints and strife.”

This world is called a “public domain[2].” In the public domain, the street, we see many different, unrelated things[3]. We see this especially in the realm of human beings. Our Sages tell us[4] that “no one person is comparable to another.” Each person is involved in activities that are not at all comparable to those of his fellow. Many people are engaged in activities that contradict those of their fellow. This being the case, how is it possible for the Jews to be “as one man with one heart?”

Rashi explains that they were like one man, and thus it says that “Yisroel (he) camped.” Why were the Jews like one man? The reason is that they were Yisroel; each had a G-dly soul. The entire Jewish Nation is one large, united entity. Because we were as one man, we were also of one heart. There are differences between one Jew and another when it comes to studying the Torah. However, when it comes to receiving the Torah, all Jews have one heart.

The way to unite the world is through revealing the truly one G-d. He transcends the limitations of the world. How can His presence be shown here? It can only happen through something above the world’s boundaries, namely Torah and the Jewish Nation.

This is what Rashi is teaching us. As the Jews prepared to receive the Torah, they became one person. We achieve this through the “spark,” the essence of the Jewish soul, which genuinely makes the Jews “as one person with one heart.”

I pray that this Shabbos we all receive the Torah together, as one man with one heart. I wish you all a wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 21, Page 100ff.

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס

[1]. Our Parshah, Shemos 19:22.

[2]. See Tanya, at the end of Chapter 33.

[3]. See Likkutei Sichos, Volume 15, Page 47.

[4]. See Talmud Sanhedrin, 37, a.

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