The Shavuot Sequence: Sources & Questions

The Day of the Giving of the Law

It is considered that the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai took place on the 6th [or 7th]
of Sivan, which is substantiated as follows in the sources:

1st Sivan:
"On the third new moon after the exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt, on precisely
that day, they came to the wilderness of Sinai."
                                                Shemot 19:1

Many translations use the convention: "In the third month", but our Talmudic Sages maintain
that the correct interpretation is: "On the third new moon". This is because the word "hodesh" [month] in the meaning of "new moon", occurs not infrequently in the Tanach [Samuel I. 20:1; Melachim-Kings II, 4:23; Devarim, 29:6, etc.]. The word may also signify  "month" - the period between two new moons
In the Torah, the months are calculated from the month of the Exodus from Egypt, in Nisan. Therefore, the third month from the Exodus is Sivan.

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2nd Sivan:
" Moses..... we shall obey and we shall hear"
                                                Shemot 19:8.

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3rd. Sivan:
"And G-d said, addressing Moses: Behold, I appear to you in a dense cloud, so that the people may hear, when I will talk to you and will believe it and in you forever. And Moses conveyed the people's word to G-d".
                                                Ibid. 19:9

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4th Sivan:
And G-d said, addressing Moses: Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothes, to be prepared for the third day."
                                                Ibid. 19:10

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6th Sivan:
"And it was on the third day...   And G-d descended on Mount Sinai."
                                              Ibid. 19:16-20

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"On the sixth of Sivan, the Torah was given. Rabbi Yossi says, "on
the seventh". And all agree that the Torah was given on the Sabbath."
                                             Talmud, Tractate Shabbat

The Ten Commandments - Asseret Hadibrot

The Giving of the Law:
"And it was on the third day.... summit"
                                                Shemot 19:16-20

Teacher Focus

  • On the third day from when did the events described above occur?
  • How did the people in the camp know that something momentous was happening?
  • How did Mount Sinai look?
  • Was G-d visible on the mountain, or was His presence detectible by other signs?

                               


 

 

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19 Mar 2007 / 29 Adar 5767 0