Shavuot (first day)

  1. Mamlechet Kohanim and Goi Kadosh. A goi is just a group of people. But you can’t get there unless you go through being a Mamlechet (kingship, or organized group) of Kohanim (people with specific service roles). First comes Mamlechet Kohanim and then Goi Kadosh.
  2. The translation is that Moshe reports the words of the people to Hashem. But certainly Hashem knows what they said. So why report? The answer is that he doesn’t ‘report.’ He rests the words. The words are presented like resting a case. Here are the words, they are sitting in front of you, consider them. I rest my case.
  3. Why does Hashem say the people can come up and then seem to change his mind. The only thing that happens is that the people shudder. It is good to fear Hashem. But it is not good to be terrified. To be terrified suggests that you do not trust Hashem.
  4. In the dibrot we have direct parallels between the first and second set. For example, do not steal is paralleled by not lifting the name of G-d – which is Hashem’s only pure property in this world (we ascribe ownership to everything else). Why do we start with the Hashem set – surely people could learn the human set easily and understand it and then derive and understand the Hashem set. The answer is that the Hashem set comes first because our obligations to respect the life (murder), relationships (adultery), property (theft), and reputation (false witness) & ring of defense of the others (jealousy) are because they have G-dliness in them.
  5. Not just a generic tool, a sword. Tools of destruction cannot be used for Kedusha because they contain death and destruction. This commandment is here precisely because the people trembled earlier.

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