- Do the verses describe a sense of unity or division among the Jewish people?
- How do the Jewish people respond to Moshe - as individuals or a group?
- How do you go about making important decisions? Is it the same process through which the Jewish people accepted God's Torah?
- What is interesting about the words and order of the words in 24:7 with which the Jewish people responded? Are there other words which you would have used?
- Is there a precedent in pre-Sinai Jewish history for this type of response/behavior in the service of God?
היבל: הוא שופר של איל, שכן בערביא קורין לדכרא יובלא, ושופר של אילו של יצחק היה:
the ram’s horn: Heb. הַיוֹבֵל. That is a shofar of a ram, for in Arabia, they call a ram “yuvla.” And this shofar was from Isaac’s ram [the ram that Abraham sacrificed instead of Isaac]. (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 31)
Connection between Akeida and Har Sinai
- Why go to the effort of "recycling" an old one-can't find a ram in the desert? What's so special about this particular shofar? What is the meaning behind connecting these two events: the Akeidah and the revelation at Sinai?
פרקי דרבי אליעזר (היגר) - "חורב" פרק ל
ר' זכריה אומר, אותו האיל כשנברא בין השמשות היה ובא להתקרב תחת יצחק.
Pirkei Drabi Eliezer
Rabbi Zecharia said: this ram (at the akeida) is the same one created at dawn (of creation). And it's purpose was to be sacrificed in place of Yitzchak.
- Based on these 3 sources, what do you think Avraham is thinking?
- At what point do you think he would have a question for God?
Now consider the akeidah from Yitzchak's perspective. Who overcame the greater challenge, Avraham or Yitzchak? Why?
- What is unique about Yitzchak's willingness to participate in the Akeidah?
- What link do you think it might have to accepting the Torah at Har Sinai? Hint: what is another way to divide the Torah into 2 categories?
The Torah's 613 mitzvot, accepted by the Jewish people at Har Sinai, are divided into 2 general categories.
- What are they?
- Can you identify an allusion to these 2 categories in the Akeidah?
- Are these 2 categories of equal difficulty/value?
- Count the words in each of the verses 24:2 and 24:12
חג השׁבועות, זמן מתן תורתנו
The holiday of Shavuoth, the time of the giving of the Torah