Sharing Torah Insights

“They Have Done Well”

Posted on כ׳ בשבט ה׳תש״ע (February 4, 2010) | in Yitro | by

Yisro 5770 When the Aseres HaDibros are repeated in Devarim, Hashem responds to the request of B’nai Yisrael that He not communicate directly with them lest they be killed by the experience, saying: “They have done well in all that they have spoken. Would that their hearts be like this, to fear Me and to keep all My commandments all the days, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Devarim 5:25-26). The Sfas Emes comments that there is a need to create a balance in our relationships with G-d. On the one hand a person must have the fear of Heaven upon him so that he does not come to sin. On the other hand it is also incumbent on a person to strengthen himself to serve G-d with love – even when he knows that through his sins he has distanced himself from Him! How could Hashem express satisfaction with B’nai Yisrael’s decision to remain safely distanced from him? The answer is that “they [had] done well” in their accurate assessment of themselves; they were far from a level at which they, like Moshe, could communicate directly with Hashem. Nonetheless, Hashem recognized the sincerity of their desire to come closer to Him, and their request was granted.

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