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Shir ha-Shirim XIII: Part Four: Sefirah 13

How did the command issue from the mouth of the Holy One, Blessed is He? Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and the Rabbis explained this differently. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said: This teaches us that the Statements went forth from the right hand of God to the left hand of Israel and went right round the camp of Israel, and returned from the right hand of Israel to the left hand of God, and He received it in His right hand and inscribed it on the Tablet, and the sound of it went from one end of the world to the other, to confirm what the verse says, “The voice of God hews out flames of fire (Psalms 29:7).” (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 1.2:2, Part Four)


From the right hand of God to the left hand of Israel describes God and Israel facing each other. God’s Word went all round Israel until it was on their right; God’s left. God, so to speak, took back the word from Israel as He received it back from them, and only after His words went through Israel did He inscribe the words on the Tablets! The words inscribed on the tablets were God’s words only as Israel received them.

Torah is not only what God teaches; it is what we do with Torah; how we apply its teachings to life and new situations.

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