We know the medrash as to why the Torah was given on Har Sinai. My question is, how is the fact that Har Sinai had no reasons to give as to why the Torah should be given on it considered humility? Moshe Rabenu was zoche to have Hashem speak to him and tried to make it seem like happen stance, that is humility! Har Sinai had nothing special about himself, so how can we compare the two? Also, assuming Har Sinai did have something special and decided not to brag, by saying it has nothing and no reason for the Torah to be given on him, isn't that just feelings of nothingness and unworthiness?

Additionally, the other mountains were simply pointing out their G-d giving strengths, shouldn't we, as servants of Hashem find our strengths and use them to be an eved Hashem, isn't that what the mountains were truly doing? Trying to have the Torah given on them to fulfill their Tafked?

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    – mbloch
    Mar 23, 2016 at 19:32
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    I think including the midrash in the question (or at the least linking to a page that has it) would make it accessible to a broader audience. We don't, in fact, all know it.
    – msh210
    Mar 25, 2016 at 3:32
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    First of all, it seems overwhelmingly likely that this Midrash is meant to teach us some story that applies to our own lives, not just to the "lives" of inanimate lumps. That being said, the lesson does not have to strictly correspond to the mountains; they are just a metaphor, and as always we ought not get too hung up in the metaphor. In this case, we might learn the particular mode of humility (or whichever other adjective one chooses to use to describe this) of accepting one's strengths and weakness and not boasting his strengths; particularly those which one does not posses.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 8, 2016 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


The question is supercharged (and paradoxically, answered) when we realize that the Midrash is likely an anthropomorphism. No actual mountain fighting took place, the Midrash is merely describing the quality that caused the choice of Har Sinai for the seminal event in the history of the universe. That leaves Har Sinai as displaying no particular refined character. Just a small, dumpy little hillock.

And that is precisely what the Midrash is pointing out. H-shem chose Har Sinai not for his humility, but for his plainness. The appropriate place to give the Torah was an identifiably indistinct spot. Somewhere that was not particularly high, low, pretty, broad, strong, or craggy. Because that is the nature of Torah itself. Access to Torah knowledge does not require any distinct feature. It is not the property of the wise, the domain of the rich, or the possession of the mighty. It doesn't go to the one who is particularly tall, short, or smart. It goes to he who makes the effort to reach it.

Torah couldn't be given on a mountain with any distinguishing feature, to teach the lesson that the study of Torah does not require any distinguishing feature. It requires only hard work.

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya Shoshana and great answer! +1
    – ezra
    May 16, 2018 at 1:40

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