It says in the Gemara (Shabbat 88a) that when the people of Yisroel said "we will do" (na'aseh) before "we will listen" (nishmah), 600,000 angels came and tied two crowns to each of their heads; one corresponding to "we will do" and one corresponding to "we will listen".

The fact that it says that there are only two, one for the very fact that they said "we will do" and one just because they said "we will listen", then what did they get as a reward for saying "we will do" before we will listen?

Seemingly even if they would have said "we will listen" first, they would still have received two crowns.

So what did they get for prefacing "we will do"? Would they still have gotten two crowns even if they didn't?

  • 1
    You know you can answer your own questions.
    – shmosel
    Commented Jun 10 at 6:36
  • 1
    @shmosel if I knew the answer I could. Why mention that fact in this case? Commented Jun 10 at 9:54
  • It's a classic question in chassidus. Did you just happen to think it up?
    – shmosel
    Commented Jun 10 at 17:03
  • @shmosel I've heard of the question in chassidus, but I don't remember the answer Commented Jun 10 at 22:02
  • The Rebbe Maharash explains that נשמע following נעשה corresponds to the שוב following רצוא, which can only be achieved in the proper sequence. So while they are distinct stages with separate "crowns," it's only possible to attain the pair by virtue of הקדמת נעשה לנשמע.
    – shmosel
    Commented Jun 10 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


There are many shiurim on the topic of "the two crowns." I think that this one provides a good answer to the question posed by @Awtsmoos:

The Secret of the Two Crown by Rabbi Daniel Z Feldman


"The Talmud relates that the exclamation of the Jews, “Na’aseh V’Nishma”, was so impressive to the Angels that they responded by crowning the Jews with two crowns each, one for Na’aseh and one for Nishma. However, it requires some explanation as to why this inverted order, implying a commitment without being informed of the details, is so laudatory; and presuming that it is, one crown would appear sufficient, rather than two.

"In explanation, the Beit HaLevi (in the introduction to his Responsa; in I, 6 of those Responsa; and in his commentary al haTorah) suggests that Na’aseh actually contains Nishma within it, as it would be impossible to perform the mitzvot without first learning their details. The greatness of stating Nishma after Na’aseh was that it indicated an acceptance of Torah study above and beyond that which was necessary to fufill the mitzvot. Thus, the phrase, which actually means “Nishma V’Na’aseh V’Nishma”, conveys two separate acceptances of the study of Torah: that which is practically necessary for observing the halakhah; and beyond that, study in and of itself, separate from any practical considerations. Hence, two crowns are appropriate: inverting the order of the words turned one acceptance into two. (The Bet HaLevi’s great-grandson, Rav Joseph B. Soloveichik, suggested a different explanation of the greatness of “Na’aseh V’Nishma”; see “Reflections of the Rav”.)"

The Crowns of Torah by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Ullman at https://ohr.edu/4159 includes this passage:

"The Talmud (Shabbat 88a) asserts that when the Jews unconditionally agreed to accept the Torah, preceding their commitment to observe before hearing the reasons and explanations for the commandments, G-d exclaimed, “Who revealed this secret to them, which only the ministering angels know?” And in the merit of this two-phrased, unconditional commitment, 600,000 angels descended from Heaven and conferred two crowns on the head of each Jew – one on account of “we shall observe” and one on account of “we shall hear”."

"Of course, these were not literal crowns, but special “spheres” of influence that enlightened their minds and enabled them to perceive the depths of the Torah."

  • I think you're missing the question. The implication is that they were rewarded for prefacing naaseh to nishmah, but the fact that they were given two crowns suggests that they were rewarded for each individually, not for the relationship between them.
    – shmosel
    Commented Jun 10 at 18:36

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