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19

There is no archaeological evidence of the Exodus. When you get down to it, it's surprising how little archaeological proof there is of many things which we're pretty sure happened - we have difficulty identifying some entire nations which are described by sober ancient historians; and there are many monarchs who are known only by a single reference in a ...


18

One popular explanation: When the Jewish People reached Mount Sinai, the Torah (Ex. 19:2) describes their encampment in the singular form - ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר. Rashi, citing Mechilta, states that this means that they really felt unified, "as one person, with one heart." That unity among Jews, then, was by itself worth reaching Sinai in order to achieve. ...


14

See this article by R' Gil Student. He seems to be very familiar with the relevant literature, and he "believe[s] (with perfect faith) that 600,000 men and their families left Egypt," but it's clear to him that if there's any archaeological evidence of the Exodus, it's not great or conclusive. In sum: Here's the simple truth: The single largest question ...


14

Mechilta Drav Yishmael - Yisro - Parsha 5 says that it was not given in Eretz Yisroel in order that the non Jews would not to be able to say that they did not accept it since it was given in the Jewish land. Another reason was to avoid a dispute between the Shevatim. ומפני מה לא ניתנה תורה בארץ ישראל? שלא ליתן פתחון פה לאומות העולם, לומר: לפי שנתנה תורה ...


8

Additionally, it was given in the desert (no-man's land) so that no people would be able to claim that they have no share in the Torah. (See English comments in the Stone Chumash; I can't give a more specific reference because I don't have the book on my lap ATM, sorry). edit: Mekhilta De-Rabbi Ishmael (Exodus 19:2).


7

I'd have to find the source, but one of the answers I remember learning is based on the Talmud (Makkot 23B-24A). There (also brought in this answer), the Talmud tells us that the verse (Devarim 33:4) "תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ מֹשֶׁה מוֹרָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב", hints to the 611 commandments that were given to us by Moshe. "תּוֹרָה" is the numerical value of ...


7

The gemara in Sanhedrin 8a deals with bnos Tzelophchad. The first opinion holds that Moshe forgot the halacha as a punishment for when he appointed judges and said 'any law too hard for you, bring to me.' as if he were the final word and not Hashem. This is learned from the words Vayakreiv/Vatikr'vun. The second opinion asks on this: Moshe didn't say (by ...


6

Not everyone agrees that Moshe was taught the whole Torah on Mt. Sinai. There is an argument in the Gemara (Chagigah 6A) regarding what Moshe was taught on Mount Sinai (English taken from here): R. Ishmael said: The general directions were given at Sinai and the details in the Tent of Meeting. But R. Akiba said: The general directions and the details ...


6

Aside from the other excellent answers listed here, two points: 1) Dayeinu does not mean that it would have been enough for us, as in it being an end in itself, but rather than it would have been sufficient cause for us to give praise to Hashem. See here for further elaboration. Each step in the process was wonderful and deserving of our praise. 2) This ...


6

Rashi answers your question when he says on verse 24: Go, descend: And warn them a second time. We admonish a person before the act [he is to perform], and we admonish him again at the time of the act [when it is to be performed]. [from Mechilta] Moshe evidently thought that one warning was enough and the intent of his response was to understand ...


5

ב"ה Hope this helps. http://members.bib-arch.org/publication.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=29&Issue=5&ArticleID=9 Interesting find in 2003 by Manfried Bietak. This find is actually a real game changer in proving the existence of the Israelites in Egypt. This doesnt seem to be a huge find on the surface, but really this sort of throws a wrench in the ...


5

HaSeder Haruch (vol. 3, Iyunim Behagada pg. 414) collects ten explanations (some of them may overlap answers already posted, but I nonetheless bring the whole list for sake of completeness and because they are well sourced): The Gemora (Shabbos 146a, Avoda Zorah 22b) states that when the Jews stood before Har Sinia "Paskah Zuhamasam Miyisroel" (Machzor ...


5

See Yerushalmi Peah Perek 2 Halacha 4, Shmos Rabbah Begining Parsha 47, Vayikrah Rabbah Begining Parsha 22 where it says that it was all said to Moshe at Har Sinai. ריב"ל אמר עליהם ועליהם כל ככל דברים הדברים מקרא משנה תלמוד ואגדה אפי' מה שתלמיד ותיק עתיד להורות לפני רבו כבר נאמר למשה בסיני For a lot on this subject please see this and the following pages


5

The Beis HaLevi in Parshas Yisro writes: וכמו שאמרו בבבא מציעא (נט, א) ״לא בשמים היא״, רק היא כמו שמסכימים ב״ד שבזה העולם, וכו'. וזהו שאומרים ״מתן תורתנו״, ולא ״מתן תורה״, דתורתנו הפירוש שנעשית שלנו Shavuos is called the time of Matan Toraseinu - the giving of our Torah, as it is the time when the Torah became ours, and the principle of לא בשמים ...


4

I see that the current version of this idiocy (which has been around since Wellhausen the antisemite invented it) tries to pretend that the Torah was invented by Shmuel Hanavi, at the end of the period of the Judges. This was only a few centuries after the Exodus since Shlomo finished building the first temple 480 years after the Exodus and the mishkan at ...


4

Rambam explains this in Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah (1:8,10): Behold, it is explicitly stated in the Torah and [the works of] the prophets that the Holy One, blessed be He, is not [confined to] a body or physical form, as [Deuteronomy 4:39] states: "Because God, your Lord, is the Lord in the heavens above and the earth below," and a body cannot exist ...


4

Please read THE RIDDLE OF THE EXODUS by James Long, a gentile who has faith in the oral tradition. He has fascinating archaeologic corroboration for many events and their geographic location.


4

Rav Leuchter in his second shiur on the Hagodo says that at the time of Har Sinai “posku zuhamosom” Klal Yisroel went back (admittedly for a short time) to the state of Adam before he sinned. That would have been enough (reason to be grateful to Him).


4

Rashi explains that moshe asked what the merit of the Jews are that they will be saved from Egypt. Hashem answered that their merit is that they will receive the torah. So this was not intended as a proof.


4

The Kedushas Levi explains that Moshe was responding to Hashem according to Moshe's own perception - Moshe lived on a level where if Hashem said no, then it is impossible to disobey - Hashem's command is reality, and it's inviolable. Therefore he said "They can't come up, because You told them not to." Hashem's response was "לך רד" - go down; go down to ...


3

We still would have been a nation, and then could have formed our own set of ethical laws. That seems to have worked out well for the Greeks around the same time. B"H we got the Torah instead, and have since long outlasted our secular contemporaries.


3

In general, these maps come from rumors and stories that flourished and were written in the period after the crusades, when people would come from far and wide to try to find this places in the bible. Sometimes they were based on the stories and names given to the places by Arab tribes, and sometimes they were derived from investigations. They would then ...


3

They say in the name of the Kotzker, that even though being haughty is disgusting in the eyes of Hashem, there is still a need for a minimal amount of haughtiness. (Shemini SheBshminis) The purpose of this minimal amount of haughtiness is in order not to be embarrassed from those who make fun of his good deeds and to realize his value in heaven. Therefore it ...


3

main thing is to accept the mesora of our elders as explained in the intro to chovos halevavos, but if you want to delve in chakira and have proper guidance and are motivated to strengthen your faith then: First thing that should be clear is that G-d exists. This can be demonstrated either through logical inquiry or more safely through studying the divine ...


3

Chazal state that Har Hamoriah and the place Yaakov slept were identical to Har Sinai, which is called "Har Hashem." Matan Torah was the point where Hashem "made himself seen on the Mountain of Hashem," which would be the literal interpretation of the text when using the masoretic taamim. He also appeared to Yaakov at that location, who identified the place ...


3

First of all, the plain-sense meaning of the verse (even without the te'amim) is that בהר and יי are in construct ("the mountain of God"), as is evidenced by the niqqud. As mevaqesh noted in a comment on the previous answer, "on the mountain" is בָּהַר (bahar), while בְּהַר (behar) means "on the mountain of". So the niqqud and the te'amim are, in this ...


3

I think the end of the question is key. What we call the giving of the Torah is really a code word for us having an ability for a direct relationship with Hashem, in a new reality which fosters us to understand Him better, in a more open way. This way, R' Moshe Shapiro in Thursday night shiur, often cites kabbalistic seforim that the 10 Commandments ...


3

The Ramchal in Da'as Tevunos siman 158 s.v. ומה שיש לנו לדעת (p. 170 in Friedlander edition) explains that the the spiritual ability to keep the Torah is what was given to the Jewish people at Har Sinai. In the following paragraph, ותראי, he writes: ותראי כי זה מה שעשה האדון ב"ה לישראל בהר סיני, שהנה לא נתן להם שם התורה כולה במעמד ההוא, אבל הייתה הכנה ...


2

In this article, Rabbi Michoel Gourarie answers [I believe based on the Lubavitcher Rebbe's explanation in Likkutei Sichos vol. 1 pg. 276]: Humility is often erroneously associated with feelings of nothingness, self-negation, inferiority, unworthiness and being undeserving. However in truth, the consequence of these attitudes is not humility. On the ...



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