Our ancestors when they received the Ten Commandments were in the middle of the desert face to face with God. But on that day, God made a covenant with Israel and all mankind.
Israel must not remain the sole owner of the divine treasure, it is only the depositary charged with the task of sowing it on its way through the centuries. A few quotations from Pirke Avoth, the maxims of the Synagogue Fathers leave us in no doubt about this mission. “The voice heard on Mount Sinai echoed in all directions, it had seventy echoes. The Torah was given to the Jews to be communicated by them to the seventy nations, that is to say, to all mankind.
The Torah is our birth certificate and our family tree. It tells us who we descend from and who we are. It is also our title of nobility since it is the charter of the covenant between God and Israel which, by accepting it, was promoted from the rank of a slave people to that of a priestly people. Moreover, it is the being of our being. It is our natural element like water for fish. We owe our life and our survival to her. It has allowed us to resist victoriously not only the ferments of dissolution that have overcome the brightest civilizations and the most powerful empires, but also the most demonic enterprises that, throughout the ages and especially in the recent past, have done everything possible to degrade us, to debase us, to dehumanize us.
It is thanks to the Torah that we have not lost our minds, that we have continued to deny the absurd and have kept an intact faith in the future, in moral values, in man.
The Torah comes from God, it sends us back to Him indefinitely. This is what the sacred text tells us, when it shows us the She’hina, His presence among the Cherubim, placed above the Ark that contained the Tables of the Law. His infinite character could not therefore be undermined by His Revelation. It ensures the inexhaustible fruitfulness of the Torah.
“Deepen it constantly and in every sense, because everything is in it”. advises Ben Bag Bag in the Pirqé Avoth. The Torah is a call, an invitation to an ascent. It is a rule of life for man.
It was given to us not to inform us about the metaphysical nature of God, which is beyond human understanding, but to enlighten us about the meaning of his will. If the Torah was revealed in the desert on Mount Sinai, if Israel cannot suffice to contain it or monopolize it, it is, and will increasingly be, its principal transmitter, as the apparently banal verse indicates, which we recite too mechanically but to which we should give its full meaning: “Ki mitziyon tétsé Torah oudvar Adon. mirouchalayim” it is from Zion that the Torah, the teaching and the word of G.od will come out of Jerusalem.
This has been true in the past, it is obviously true today and it will be even more true in the future. Let us therefore remain permanently connected to this transmitter of faith, courage, light and hope.