Sometimes when you are involved in something you don’t always notice the details. As funny as it sounds there are times that the most interesting ideas are passed by because we are zeroed in on other nuances. It takes a quick glance or zooming out and all of a sudden you take notice and almost say to yourself where did that come from.
While perusing through this week’s Torah portion I became aware of a very interesting phrase. While Moses is recounting the story of the “Ten Commandments” he says that the Jewish people “approached the foot of the mountain and the mountain was burning with fire, up to the heart of the heaven, darkness, cloud and thick cloud”. What struck me here was the “fire reaching the heart of the heaven”. What is the heart of the heaven? Where is the heart of the heaven? Why the heart of the heaven?
Maybe it means: The heart is the organ that gives life to the body. It is the machine that supplies the rest of our body with the ability to be alive. It represents health, but more importantly, life. It is also the seat of our emotions. All and any feelings we have, stem from the heart. It creates our love and hate, lets us feel happy or sad and allows us to experience the highs of winning and the lows of losing.
With that in mind, what took place at Sinai was the real meeting of heaven and earth. I know its cliché, but what happened wasn’t a meeting where they both were in the same place physically and had a face to face meeting rather there was a connection on a much deeper level. Of course there is no red shaped heart somewhere in the heavens, but it’s symbolic of the spiritual emotions that exist on a G-dly plane. Not only was there G-d descending on the mountain and a physical presence of the spiritual (that gets its own explanation and not right now) but there was a connection that occurred here that was much more meaningful. Not everyone we meet do we allow into our hearts. There are many barriers, both self imposed and natural, that we have. It is only those who are special that get the privilege to connect with us on the deepest of emotional levels. G-d was opening His heart.
The fire rising to heaven was symbolic of a channel or wire that allowed interaction between G-d’s “heart” and us. The Torah wasn’t something that we received from G-d and now we move on, it is also something that allows us to have a place in G-d’s heart. The rules are the same; it works like our heart. It gives life and more importantly it allocates and dispenses unconditional love. The giving of the Torah was the ring that G-d gave us under the “Chupah” that created our relationship. So it only makes sense that at the marriage ceremony we were able to connect with the heart that will love us back.
Rabbi Mendy Hecht