Seeking God’s Face

| Purim By :  Eliezer B. Diamond Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics Posted On Mar 7, 2017 / 5777 | Sound Bytes | Holidays

Featuring Rabbi Eliezer B. Diamond, Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS, with Bronwen Mullin (RS ’17)

Images of Mount Sinai and the Red Sea from a hand-painted Haggadah (Germany, 1733) in the JTS Library collection.

BT Shabbat 88a

Rabbi Avdimi bar Hama bar Hasa said: This teaches that the Holy Blessed One overturned the mountain above [the Israelites] like a tub, and said to them: If you accept the Torah, excellent, and if not, this will be your grave.

Rav Aha bar Ya’akov said: this is the basis for a serious objection against [the binding nature] of the Torah!

Rava said: despite this, the generation of Jews in the time of Ahasuerus accepted it willingly, as the Megillah says: “The Jews established it, and took it upon themselves” (Esther 9:27). This means that they established what they had previously taken upon themselves [at Sinai].

א”ר אבדימי בר חמא בר חסא מלמד שכפה הקב”ה עליהם את ההר כגיגית ואמר להם אם אתם מקבלים התורה מוטב ואם לאו שם תהא קבורתכם

א”ר אחא בר יעקב מכאן מודעא רבה לאורייתא

אמר רבא אעפ”כ הדור קבלוה בימי אחשורוש דכתיב (אסתר ט, כז) קימו וקבלו היהודים קיימו מה שקיבלו כבר