Vertluch: Parshas Yisro


In this weeks parsha the Torah describes the most monumental and important event of our storied history; the experience of matan Torah. Klal Yisroel had been told that they were leaving Mitzrayim to receive the Torah and they were anticipating the moment. But now, it was finally going to happen.

We see their excitement from the mere fact that they proclaimed na’aseh v’nishma- ‘we will do’ before ‘we will hear’. Furthermore Rashi (19;9) notes that Moshe had said ‘they want to hear directly from You. There is no comparison between one who hears a message from the mouth of the messenger and one who hears from the mouth of the king himself. They say, “We want to see our King!”

Klal Yisroel was prepared to receive the Torah but they wanted to see Hashem while He gave them the treasure. The obvious question here is, we have a pasuk in Ki Sisa (33; 20) which clearly states ‘And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.’ It was impossible to see Hashem and continue living. Why would klal Yisroel want to ‘see’ Hashem? It wasn’t a feasible request to ask Hashem to see Him.

Alshich offers a fascinating answer.

In reality, every person’s soul is pure and remains pure throughout its entire lifespan. However, there is lots of clutter that blocks the true shine of ones neshoma. All this clutter does not allow the neshoma to reach its full capacity, as a neshoma is completely spiritual and ones actions have an effect on that. It creates layers and barriers on a person’s neshoma that limits its strength. However, there are moments in a person’s life where the neshoma gets rattled and shaken so that for a brief moment the neshoma has the ability to be completely exposed. It is during these moments that it desires the “We want to see our King!” Since every neshoma is like a piece of Hashem, and on a daily basis its drowning in garbage, there will be moments in one’s life that something will trigger it and the neshoma will have a burst of inspiration and allow the full beauty of the neshoma to sprout. A neshoma alone can have a desire to see Hashem because that’s where it belongs.

It came time for matan Torah-finally the moment came that they were looking forward to for years. They cleansed themselves to a point where the neshoma was shining and yearning to get a glimpse of Hashem!

Perhaps this can be explain what Chazal meant when they said that Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon HaCohen were of equal stature. Although the pasuk stated ‘lo kam navi k’Moshe’- it meant that no one can attain the level of prophecy as great as Moshe and remain there. But for a while Aharon rattled his neshoma enough to reach the level of Moshe. There will be spurts and you can get to a higher madrega. Aharon was there but not consistently; but there were moments in Aharons life where he was equal to Moshe.

One has to understand that their neshoma is pure and holy and has the ability to reach tremendous heights. It’s our job to excite it and allow it to jolt and sprout forth to a point where we can proclaim that yes, we want to see our King. It should be at that point where it will be solely our neshoma talking, unpolished and shining brightly showing Hashem that we are ready for Him to bring Moshiach and take us out of this terrible galus.