I’m going to be at Sinai. Are you?

Our tradition teaches that on the 6th of Sivan (Tuesday night/Wednesday day), Moses went up Mt. Sinai and God gave the Torah to the Jewish people, beginning with the Ten Commandments. And, the tradition goes on to suggest that all souls connected with the Jewish people were at Mt. Sinai.

Did it happen?

There are two answers.

The first is an honest, “Who knows?” It is possible that it is exactly as the Torah describes it. (To read the whole text from the Exodus 19-20, click HERE and HERE.)

Yet, as far as we know, there are no independent verifiable sources (outside of Torah) that confirms what happened. So, it’s equally possible that there was SOME event that occurred, that SOME people identified with a revelation from God. And it has come to us as the story of the Ten Commandments. It’s also possible that the entire story is made up, a piece of fiction intended to communicate power, authority, and a covenantal relationship with God. In truth, who knows?  


The second is an equally honest, “Of course! And I was there. Faith and belief do not rely on verifiable facts. It doesn’t really matter whether the events occurred or were even made up. If one BELIEVES it be true…it is.

And I do believe in Sinai. Thus, I believe that I was there.

I believe that something unfathomably powerful connects me to others who choose to walk a Jewish path. There is a knowing and a relationship that is both palpable and yet indescribable. Therefore, I believe that all of us were at Sinai. Together, we heard what it means to be Jewish, what it means to be righteous, what it means to be a “light unto others.”

Just as on our birthdays, we celebrate a fact in which we had only so much control in making happen – yet we are the recipients of the wonder that was our conception and birth….so too does Sinai celebrate that moment when Jewish history begins, when we are born and are given the tools to travel that path called Judaism. It has changed over the millennia and it will continue to change, just as we do physically and emotionally year after year.

So, I will be at Sinai this year on the 6th of Sivan (Tuesday night/Wednesday day). I hope you will join me as we celebrate our birthday as a people, as a faith.