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09/06/2022 02:36:32 PM

Sep6

Sinai becomes a metaphor

Our journey through Jewish history in honor of CBSW’s 40th anniversary continues with the Covenant at Sinai. Approximately 3,200 years ago our ancestors made an agreement with God. In exchange for a close and supportive relationship with the Creator and Lawgiver, the people agreed to follow God’s commandments. Sadly, and with the notable exception of Hollywood’s Raiders of the Lost Ark – if only it were true – no archeological evidence of the period has been discovered. We are not even sure which mountain is Sinai. In 1979, I climbed Mount Sinai, at least that’s what they called it, but there is no proof Moses slept there. A 6th-century Greek Orthodox monastery in the area makes the mountain a convenient choice, however, as there are steps carved into the mountainside.

The meaning of Sinai is not historical as it is existential. What does it suggest about us that we as a people know we cannot be free if we are not bound to something greater than ourselves?

Sinai becomes a metaphor for us: it means we live our lives in fidelity to a higher calling than satisfying our own desires. Sinai means responsibility matters more than liberty. Sinai means we are in a covenant with God and our actions matter. This truth transcends geography, history, and science. It cannot be proven. It is a matter of faith.

William Blake the great British poet was right: “Great things are done when men and mountains meet!”

Sun, February 5 2023 14 Sh'vat 5783