Back to Archives


Weekly Parsha Summary

Moshe’s father-in-law, Yisro, hears of the great miracles which Hashem performed for the people of Israel, and comes from Midian to the Israelite camp, bringing with him Moshe’s wife and two sons. Yisro advises Moshe to appoint a hierarchy of magistrates and judges to assist him in the task of governing and administering justice to the people.

The children of Israel camp opposite Mount Sinai, where they are told that Hashem has chosen them to be His “kingdom of priests” and “holy nation.” The people respond by proclaiming, “All that Hashem has spoken, we shall do.”

On the sixth day of the third month (Sivan), seven weeks after the Exodus, the entire nation of Israel assembles at the foot of Mount Sinai. Hashem descends on the mountain amidst thunder, lightning, billows of smoke and the blast of the shofar, and summons Moshe to ascend.

Hashem proclaims the Ten Commandments, commanding the people of Israel to believe in Hashem, not to worship idols or take Hashem’s name in vain, to keep the Shabbos, honor their parents, not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to steal, and not to bear false witness or covet another’s property. The people cry out to Moshe that the revelation is too intense for them to bear, begging him to receive the Torah from Hashem and convey it to them.

Rabbi's Shabbos Message

Respecting Torah Scholars

"Anyone who touches the mountain will surely die" (Shemos 19:12)

The Chofetz Chaim learned from this the lesson of treating Torah scholars with the respect that they are due. If a mountain, which has no feelings or even knowledge of its existence, is sanctified when the Torah is given on it; certainly a scholar who has mastered Torah is sanctified.

The Chofetz Chaim said that someone who slights the honor of a Torah scholar is committing a worse offense than anyone who would have touched the mountain.

This warning is given to people who disagree with such scholars. If one disagree with a Gadol in Torah, it doesn't mean they have a right to say or do anything that would slight him in the least, even if he is somebody you don't go to for your personal questions.

Rav Yechezkel Abramsky  related that it was the custom of the Jews in Slutsk, when they came to visit the Rav's house to ask a question, to first put on their Shabbos garments before visiting. THEY had respect for Torah.

We should all merit to give the Gedolai Hador the proper honor that is due to them.

Have a great Shabbos!