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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Yisro

In Memory of Dear Parents Benjamin and Sara Steinig


"Well, Mr. Sanegor, do we have a credible claim?"

"As your attorney, I will give you my professional evaluation of the case. Everything depends upon the evidence that you supply. What kind of proof do you have for your claim?"

"Are witnesses a good proof?"

"The best! Do you have a witness?"

"I have more than one."

"Excellent! You have two witnesses. That adds a lot of credibility. I have won many claims with two witnesses."

"Well, actually, I have more than two witnesses."

"Three witnesses? Fantastic! Your case is looking better all the time. Now, let's discuss your claim."

"Just a minute. I must tell you that I have a lot more than three witnesses."

"Really? How many do you have? Ten?"

"More than ten."

"Twenty, fifty, one hundred?"

The man shakes his head each time.

"You have more than a hundred witnesses? What are you worried about? You do not even need a lawyer. You really have my curiosity aroused. How many witnesses saw this event that you are claiming. A thousand?"

"One thousand is a small number."

"Ten thousand? A hundred thousand?"

"You are still thinking small."

"How many people could have possibly seen this event? You cannot fit more than 100,000 people into a huge stadium. Just gathering 100,000 people into one place is a major logistical feat."

"My dear attorney, Mr. Sanegor; six hundred thousand men were witnesses to this event, in addition to women, children, and the elderly. The total was probably around two million witnesses."

"My dear client. Your claim is irrefutable. You do not need a lawyer. No one can possibly deny an event witnessed by two million people. That is unprecedented evidence. I must tell you that I am plotzing with curiosity. What is your claim? When did it happen? Where did it take place? Who are your witnesses?"

"The event was the giving of the Torah from The Almighty to Klal Yisrael, on Har Sinai, on the sixth of Sivan, 2448. The entire Jewish nation witnessed this earthshaking event. The evidence is irrefutable."

The Chofetz Chaim, in his sefer Nidchei Yisrael, describes the awesome truth of Maamad Har Sinai. Our Holy Torah was not given in secret. That would leave it open to claims against its validity. It was rather given, amidst enormous publicity, to 600,000 men (in addition to the women, the children, and the elderly). They all accepted the Torah with a complete heart when they answered, "Everything that Hashem has said, we will do and we will obey!"

Ever since that generation, all of the statutes and laws of the Torah have been guarded by Klal Yisrael. Not one was lost. Throughout all this long and bitter golus, not one of the mitzvos of the Torah has been forgotten or changed. Certain mitzvos like lulav and etrog required traveling 1000 parsos (about 2700 miles) to acquire, yet we never lacked them. Each and every mitzvah of the Torah has been studied and reviewed each generation by hundreds of thousands of members of Klal Yisrael. Their learning has been both intensive, with great understanding, and extensive, with all of its details. Every word and letter of the entire Torah has been exhaustively scrutinized by millions of scholars throughout the generations. Not one detail was ever overlooked in any way, throughout this long golus. This is a sign of the truth and eternity of the Torah that was given by The Eternal One. How many hundreds of thousands of Klal Yisrael gave up their lives, and suffered pain and bitter torture to keep this Torah? What gave them the strength for all this? The strong emunah that they received from their fathers, and their fathers from their fathers, all the way back to the original generation that stood at Har Sinai.

Kinderlach . . .

The Torah is absolutely, irrefutably, totally, 100% true: every word, every letter, from beginning to end. How do we know this? We have witnesses. Every Jew living at the time, man, woman, and child, was present at Har Sinai for this monumental event. The words of Torah were etched into their hearts and minds. They passed this on as a living inheritance from generation to generation to this very day. Kinderlach, the words of Torah that you will study this Shavuous were heard by your great, great, great ... grandfather at Har Sinai. What an inspiration to study Hashem's Torah with a new vitality. You have the irrefutable truth. It is your family inheritance. Learn it well and pass it on.

Not For You

"Here comes the King. Let's get closer so we can see him."

The men push forward in the crowd. The King's procession passes right in front of their eyes.

"Look at the crown on his head. It is magnificent."

"Let's steal it. Do you know how much money it must be worth?"

"Steal it? What would we do with it? We cannot sell it. Everyone knows that it is the King's crown. No one will buy it. It is certainly beautiful and valuable but it is useless to us."

"You shall not covet your friend's house, . . . wife, . . . servant, . . . ox, . . . or anything that belongs to him" (Shemos 20:14). The Iben Ezra states that many people are amazed by this mitzvah. How can one not desire something nice? He answers with a parable similar to the King's crown. No one with common sense would truly desire that crown because it is not relevant to him. It is something that belongs to royalty. That is the way we must view other people's possessions. Hashem gave each person what he needs to fulfill his purpose in life. He has exactly the amount of money that he needs. His possessions are perfectly suited to him. He did not receive a nice car like his neighbor because he does not need one. Therefore, how can he desire something that is not his? It is not relevant to him. He has no use for it.

Kinderlach . . .

Does your friend always get the newest toys? Does she wear fancy clothes? Is her house decorated with expensive furnishings? All of these things are beautiful. However, they are not yours. Do you think that it would be too difficult for Hashem to arrange fancy clothes and toys for you? He is All Powerful and can do anything. He did not give you these things. Therefore, they are not right for you. Desiring them is not only a waste of energy; it is a violation of one of the Aseres HaDibros (Ten Commandments). It can lead to many worse sins, as we will see.

Parasha Questions

Who bowed to whom? (Rashi 18:7)

What were the meanings of the names of the sons of Moshe? (18:3,4)

When did the Bnei Yisrael come to Midbar Sinai? (19:1)

What was the punishment for anyone who touches the mountain? (19:12)

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