Torah for Everyone – a Shavuos Message by Rabbi Sender Kaszirer

Matan Torah! As we prepare ourselves for the upcoming Yom Tov of Shavuos and Kabbalas Hatorah, let us analyze how the Torah describes the preparation Klal Yisroel did in anticipation of this momentous event. What lesson can we derive from it, specifically with regard to the chinuch of our children. In Parshas Yisro we read how Hashem revealed Himself on Har Sinai to give Bnei Yisroel the Torah. The psukim describe in detail how the Torah was given, through an awesome display of thunder, lightning, fire, smoke and shofar blowing. Chazal explain that until today when one learns Torah he must try to recreate that same environment we experienced at Har Sinai.

The parsha not only emphasizes Matan Torah, the giving of the torah per-se, rather a large emphasis is placed on how Bnei Yisroel prepared for this awesome event. Most specifically by refraining from tumah and keeping the mitzvah of “hagbalah” setting boundaries, that no one shall try to ascend Har Sinai. So important was this mitzvah, that Hashem had Moshe repeat the warning immediately before the Aseres Hadibros were given. As the torah writes “reid ha’eid ba’am” descend and warn the people, ”pen yehersu el Hashem lir’os vnafal mimenu rav”. Lest many people will break through (the boundary) to Hashem and many people will fall.

Why was it important that this warning in particular had to be repeated right before Matan Torah? What is the significance, and what lesson can we learn that this is a prerequisite for Torah?

The answer I believe lies in the words of Rashi. Rashi adds an interesting explanation to the words “vnafal mimenu rav” many will fall. Explains Rashi, “Even if one person shall break through and he will perish, in Hashem’s eyes it is considered as if many have fallen”. This, explains Rashi, must be our outlook to receiving the Torah. Torah was given to everybody. Every single Yiddishe Neshama was there to receive Hashem’s precious gift. Torah was not only made for the gifted students, for the highly motivated talmidim, or for illuyim and mitzuyonim! Hashem said “I want everybody to be there as an equal, and even if one neshama is missing it is as if a big chunk of Klal Yisroel was not present.

This was Hakadosh Baruch Hu’s final message right before Matan Torah. Torah is for all, and everyone must have a chance to learn Torah and be part of this beautiful mesorah. And this must be our outlook when we teach Torah (which is a continuation of the mesorah from Sinai). Yeshivos must be willing to give everybody their fair chance. Rabbeim must not label a student and say it won’t work, and teachers must realize that each and every child has a chelek in torah which is waiting to be transmitted to him or her. Never can we write off a talmid, for if we chas v’shalom do, we are essentially ignoring one of the main messages of Kabbalas Hatorah.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. so how does this answer your question “Why was it important that this warning in particular had to be repeated right before Matan Torah? “

  2. Once again Rabbi Kaszirer speaking about what he does best!! As an onlooker of some of the work he and his staff do, can’t help but be utterly amazed and humbled. He is doing OUR work! Work that lies on the shoulders of all of Klal Yisroel! Yet work that you get no postive recognition for, work that brings complaints from “well meaning askonim”. May Hashem pay him and his rebitzin back in this world and the next for shouldering OUR responsibilities!!!

  3. A big yasher koach to Rabbi Sender Kaszirer and the entire Mesivta hanala. In this mesivta every talmid counts, every one gets a chance. May he and his staff continue in this avodas Hakodesh in being marbitz Torah and Yiras Shamayim to his talamidim.

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