“What did the Jewish People REALLY receive at Mount Sinai?”

Was it…

5 Books of the Torah? … That was 40 years later!
2 Tablets of the Law? … That was 40 DAYS later!
10 Commandments? … Not exactly…

Join us for a deep dive into that eventful day of Divine Revelation to learn what really was transmitted to the Nation of Israel.

Source Sheet

Context of Revelation

Why did the Jewish People NEED to experience the Revelation?

  • To become – A Holy Nation – Goy Kadosh — וְג֣וֹי קָד֑וֹשׁ
  • A Treasured People – Am Segula — סְגֻלָּה֙ מִכָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים
  • A Kingdom of Priests – Mamlechet Cohanim — מַמְלֶ֥כֶת כֹּהֲנִ֖ים

(Exodus 19:5-6)

How do you become those?

  • You need “Instructions” a “general users guide” and a “complete user’s manual with tutorials”
  • At the national level, you need a “constitution” and a “legal code”
  • Torah means “instructions”

What is Torah?

Lehorot – להורות  means “to instruct” or “to teach”

Moreh  — מורה — means “instructor” or “teacher”

To succeed as a student the teacher will give you …
  • Rules for the classroom – with consequences if you break them
  • Information and Instructions on how to solve a math problem
  • Customs for classroom culture

Horeh – הורה — means “parent” who is seen as a “teacher of life wisdom to his children”

  • A parent wants their children to experience the pleasures they have in their own lives by earning those experiences on their own… and avoid all the pitfalls in life.
  • When the child achieves those things, it deepens the bond between child and parent because of the “shared” common experiences.
  • The PARENT is the one who must communicate to the CHILD what these experiences are and how to achieve them. The child cannot know on his own – unless he decides to leave home – go out onto the street – and try to survive the school of hard knocks.



All had “Torah” – Instructions for Living

  • Adam was created to “take pleasure in a relationship with God”
  • The more you are God-like, the more you can relate to God.
  • How can we physical beings be God-like when we are trapped in a physical world? We need God to tell us which physical interactions with the world are the “God-like” ones and which will lower us to a more physical state.
  • God gave Adam “Instructions” (Torah) via Prophecy on how interact with the physical world to succeed in his relationship with God.
  • Adam and Chava (Eve) chose to “be like God” on their own terms. And were exiled from the Garden.
  • The goal of human history after the exile from the Garden of Eden is to do “teshuva” – repent. Fix the mistake… ie. Choose to become God-like on God’s terms and see there is no other way “power” in the world to help us achieve our purpose in life.

  • In exile from the Garden of Eden, it was harder to perceive God, so humanity descended to the lowliest of states – everyman for himself (the pure anti-thesis of being God like)
  • Since it was a tribal world, one human being could teach the world how to be “God-like”
  • Noah was righteous in his generation and had the ability to bring back the world to God
  • He failed and all humanity was destroyed to allow Noah to rebuild humanity with his family
  • Noah was PROPHET and God gave him “instructions” – Torah on how to rebuild the world based on this new reality.
  • In the end, we see he failed. The tower of Babel shows that the people united to become “gods” independent of God.
  • Binding of Isaac on Mount Moriah

    The world had developed into “complex societies” and no longer could one person set an example for all humanity to be “God-like”

  • Abraham through objective observation of the world around him achieved Prophecy.
  • Abraham understood the purpose of creation was to have a relationship with the One Creator of the Universe… there were no gods with independent power of the Almighty Creator, Sustainer and Supervisor of the Universe.
  • Abraham began reaching out to pagans and taught them about God and how to have a relationship with Him… and Abraham created a following.
  • God chose Abraham to be the father of a HOLY NATION dedicated to God that would serve as the teachers to other nations about the purpose of Creation and how to have a relationship with the One True God.
  • A Nation requires a language and a land. This Holy Nation, would require a set apart (holy) Land and Language to build their Kingdom of Priests… to serve as an example and light to the Nations.
  • The Brit Mila – ברית מילה — Circumcision served as the sign of this covenant to become this Nation. (Genesis 17:10)
  • When promised the Land, Abraham was concerned that his descendants might not merit the Land if they abandoned their commitment to the idea of Monotheism.
  • Then God made another Covenant of the Parts (Genesis 15:13) ciwhich ensured that his descendants would always merit the Land… but there was a condition…
  • Abraham’s descendants would have to become slaves in Egypt and experience the Exodus to purge them of any tendency to worship other gods and burn into their national consciousness for eternity that there is no other power in the world other than God.
  • Even though he grew up in Pharoah’s palace he remained outwardly focused on the needs of others
  • He was the humblest of all people – and the greatest of all Prophets
  • Therefore, he became the one to merit to redeem the Children of Israel and Lead them to Nationhood and their mission according to the Instructions of God.


  • Prophecy is when we see the world as God sees it, now how we feel like seeing it
  • In order to see the world objectively (God’s perspective), we need to get our egos out of the way
  • As we do this, we begin to see the world more objectively than subjectively
  • Hence, as we get “humbler” the better we see the world as God sees it and “get” God’s message for us.
  • Prophecy is not all or nothing, it is a continuum.


  • Navi – נביא – Prophet literally means “we will cause to come” or “we will bring”
  • The Prophet turns himself into a “vessel” that causes him to receive God’s message and bring it to the world
  • The relationship between God and the Prophet is “Television Transmitter” to “Television Receiver.” God is constantly broadcasting. If someone turns themselves into a “TV receiver” they will “see” the message being broadcast. If he does a really good job, he will receive the audio as well.
  • At the beginning of his Prophecy the Prophet will get a snippet of a message
  • Regular Prophecy is accomplished through a vision. The Prophet sees an image usually in a night vision or when under a trance-like state and relays the meaning of that message in his own words (eg. Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah)
  • Moses Prophecy was unique. He achieved the level where he could be totally conscious and “hear” the words, even letters of the Prophecy.
  • In the beginning of Moses journey… he “saw” the burning bush and was “shocked and taken aback” … then he heard God’s voice. Exodus 3:2-4
  • PROPHECY is an intense spiritual experience which can be traumatic for the body if the Prophet is not practiced. Through time Moses perfected his ability to Prophesy.


  • In order to become a Nation of Priests who will live life dedicated to building a relationship with God and serving as a Light to the Nations, ISRAEL will need a “Constitution” and “Body of Law” from God to accomplish that. These will be the INSTRUCTIONS (TORAH) and will serve as the “User’s Guide” and “Detailed Users Manual.”
  • This “Torah” – Instructions from God can only be received via Prophecy from God.
  • The fledgling Nation of Israel, through the experience of the servitude and exodus of Egypt, burn out of their national consciousness the idea that any person or idol has any power independent of God.
  • This consciousness and the 49 days leading from Passover to the foot of Mount Sinai helps purge the “slave mentality” that was preventing them from “seeing” God.
  • They are collectively at the lowest level of potential Prophecy, which will allow them to “see” an image, and be totally clear about the meaning of the message, but as “novice” Prophets… it could be tremendously shocking and potentially fatal.
  • But in order to receive the complete detailed “Torah” it would have to be an aural Prophecy which the ordinary people were not capable of.


  • Moses at this point was perfectly capable of receiving a detailed aural Prophecy, take dictation and write down the entire Torah (constitution) and relay the details (body of law – oral Torah).
  • But would the “stiff-necked” people believe that all the details were from God and not made up by Moshe?
  • It was crucial that the People believe in Moshe and his Prophecy.

GOD SAYS TO MOSHE – Exodus 19:9

וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה הִנֵּ֨ה אָנֹכִ֜י בָּ֣א אֵלֶיךָ֮ בְּעַ֣ב הֶֽעָנָן֒ בַּעֲב֞וּר יִשְׁמַ֤ע הָעָם֙ בְּדַבְּרִ֣י עִמָּ֔ךְ וְגַם־בְּךָ֖ יַאֲמִ֣ינוּ לְעוֹלָ֑ם וַיַּגֵּ֥ד מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הָעָ֖ם אֶל־יְהוָֽה׃

And the LORD said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.” Then Moses reported the people’s words to the LORD,


וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֵ֛ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לֵאמֹֽר׃

God spoke all these words, saying:

אָֽנֹכִ֖י֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֧ר הוֹצֵאתִ֛יךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם מִבֵּ֣֥ית עֲבָדִֽ֑ים׃

I the LORD am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage:

לֹֽ֣א יִהְיֶֽה־לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל־פָּנָֽ֗יַ

You shall have no other gods besides Me.


  • The People Prophetically “saw” the first two “commandments” and almost died from the shock.
  • They understood the reality of Prophecy that they were experiencing with Moshe, but only “saw” the vision. They did not comprehend all the details.
  • But they now knew that when Moshe said, “God spoke to me saying…” they would believe every word and letter, whether it was written words in a scroll or a detailed explanation handed down through the Sages.
  • The People asked Moshe to speak to God on their behalf and relay what God had to say.

וְכָל־הָעָם֩ רֹאִ֨ים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹ֜ת וְאֶת־הַלַּפִּידִ֗ם וְאֵת֙ ק֣וֹל הַשֹּׁפָ֔ר וְאֶת־הָהָ֖ר עָשֵׁ֑ן וַיַּ֤רְא הָעָם֙ וַיָּנֻ֔עוּ וַיַּֽעַמְד֖וּ מֵֽרָחֹֽק׃

All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the blare of the horn and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they fell back and stood at a distance.

וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה דַּבֵּר־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּ֖נוּ וְנִשְׁמָ֑עָה וְאַל־יְדַבֵּ֥ר עִמָּ֛נוּ אֱלֹהִ֖ים פֶּן־נָמֽוּת׃

“You speak to us,” they said to Moses, “and we will obey; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.”

וַיֹּ֨אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֣ה אֶל־הָעָם֮ אַל־תִּירָאוּ֒ כִּ֗י לְבַֽעֲבוּר֙ נַסּ֣וֹת אֶתְכֶ֔ם בָּ֖א הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים וּבַעֲב֗וּר תִּהְיֶ֧ה יִרְאָת֛וֹ עַל־פְּנֵיכֶ֖ם לְבִלְתִּ֥י תֶחֱטָֽאוּ׃

Moses answered the people, “Be not afraid; for God has come only in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may be ever with you, so that you do not go astray.”

  • In his humility Moshe says the Revelation was for the People to “fear” meaning have “awe and respect” for whatever He says. In reality, God said it was so that they would “Trust Moshe Forever!”
  • In the next few verses, that is put into practice and we see an example. Moshe gets details about “not having gods before God.”

וַיַּעֲמֹ֥ד הָעָ֖ם מֵרָחֹ֑ק וּמֹשֶׁה֙ נִגַּ֣שׁ אֶל־הָֽעֲרָפֶ֔ל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁ֖ם הָאֱלֹהִֽים׃

So the people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה כֹּ֥ה תֹאמַ֖ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אַתֶּ֣ם רְאִיתֶ֔ם כִּ֚י מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי עִמָּכֶֽם׃

The LORD said to Moses: Thus shall you say to the Israelites: You yourselves saw that I spoke to you from the very heavens:

לֹ֥א תַעֲשׂ֖וּן אִתִּ֑י אֱלֹ֤הֵי כֶ֙סֶף֙ וֵאלֹהֵ֣י זָהָ֔ב לֹ֥א תַעֲשׂ֖וּ לָכֶֽם׃

With Me, therefore, you shall not make any gods of silver, nor shall you make for yourselves any gods of gold.

מִזְבַּ֣ח אֲדָמָה֮ תַּעֲשֶׂה־לִּי֒ וְזָבַחְתָּ֣ עָלָ֗יו אֶת־עֹלֹתֶ֙יךָ֙ וְאֶת־שְׁלָמֶ֔יךָ אֶת־צֹֽאנְךָ֖ וְאֶת־בְּקָרֶ֑ךָ בְּכָל־הַמָּקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַזְכִּ֣יר אֶת־שְׁמִ֔י אָב֥וֹא אֵלֶ֖יךָ וּבֵרַכְתִּֽיךָ׃

Make for Me an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come to you and bless you.


  • At Mount Sinai the PEOPLE only experienced “saw” the first two “commandments” – which mystically encompass all of Torah.
  • For the next 40 days, Moses goes up on the mountain to begin receiving the details (Oral Torah)
  • Then Moses comes down with the First Tablets which have the 10 Statements (commandments) engraved on them but he breaks them when he sees the people and the Golden Calf.
  • For 40 days after that Moses ascends the Mountain and receives MORE detailed rules based on the fact that the People “worshipped” the Golden Calf.
  • He returns on “Yom Kippur” with the second tablets fashioned by Moshe and he begins relaying the detailed rules (oral Torah) to the Elders who will relay it to the people. Moshe also begins writing down the 5 Books of Mose (Torah) on a scroll.
  • NOTE: The People are observing the 613 “Commandments” for 40 years in the desert even before the Written Torah is complete. The 5 Books of Moses are only finished on the day Moses died.
  • For the entire 40 year period in the desert, Moshe would enter the Tent of the Tabernacle to receive conscious aural Prophecy from God and write down the general principals in the Torah scroll letter by letter, and then transmit (teach) the details to the Elders.
  • The final Torah scroll has 304,805 letters and becomes the Constitution of the Nation of Israel. The detailed laws related to the 613 commandments are faithfully transmitted for 1500 years until a summary was published by Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi in the form of the Mishna meaning “Teaching”
  • Two hundred years later, the Talmud will be published which is comprised of the Mishna and explanations.
  • For the next 1800 years, the Written and Oral Torahs will be faithfully transmitted from teacher to student.


  • So on the Festival of Shavuot, that we call “Zman Matan Torateynu” “The Time of the Giving of our Torah,” what are the Jewish People really commemorating?
  • The beginning of the receiving of the “Oral Torah,” the detailed Instructions for Living a God-centric purposeful life, that emerge from the first two “utterances.”

אָֽנֹכִ֖י֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֧ר הוֹצֵאתִ֛יךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם מִבֵּ֣֥ית עֲבָדִֽ֑ים׃
לֹֽ֣א יִהְיֶֽה־לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל־פָּנָֽ֗יַ

I the LORD am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage:
You shall have no other gods besides Me.

(Exodus 20:2-3)

Copyright 2020 – Shmuel Veffer – Galilee Green



“Who REALLY Stood at Mount Sinai to Receive the “10 Commandments?”

Was it the Jewish People? The Nation of Israel?

Is there a difference between the two?

How does that affect the rest of the world?

Source Sheet


Exodus 19 – Arriving at Mount Sinai.

  • The “Bnei Yisrael” – “Children of Israel” who exited Egypt were called by a number of different names by God when they arrived at Mt. Sinai.

בַּחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֔י לְצֵ֥את בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם בַּיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה בָּ֖אוּ מִדְבַּ֥ר סִינָֽי׃

On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone forth from the land of Egypt, on that very day, they entered the wilderness of Sinai.

  • Israel (plural) as one unit (singular) camped at the mountain.

וַיִּסְע֣וּ מֵרְפִידִ֗ים וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ מִדְבַּ֣ר סִינַ֔י וַֽיַּחֲנ֖וּ בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר וַיִּֽחַן־שָׁ֥ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נֶ֥גֶד הָהָֽר׃

Having journeyed from Rephidim, they entered the wilderness of Sinai and encamped in the wilderness. Israel encamped there in front of the mountain,

וּמֹשֶׁ֥ה עָלָ֖ה אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֵלָ֤יו יְהוָה֙ מִן־הָהָ֣ר לֵאמֹ֔ר כֹּ֤ה תֹאמַר֙ לְבֵ֣ית יַעֲקֹ֔ב וְתַגֵּ֖יד לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

and Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob and declare to the children of Israel:

אַתֶּ֣ם רְאִיתֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשִׂ֖יתִי לְמִצְרָ֑יִם וָאֶשָּׂ֤א אֶתְכֶם֙ עַל־כַּנְפֵ֣י נְשָׁרִ֔ים וָאָבִ֥א אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֵלָֽי׃

‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me.

וְעַתָּ֗ה אִם־שָׁמ֤וֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ בְּקֹלִ֔י וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֑י וִהְיִ֨יתֶם לִ֤י סְגֻלָּה֙ מִכָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים כִּי־לִ֖י כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

Now then, if you will (listen to me and hear what I am saying) obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine,

וְאַתֶּ֧ם תִּהְיוּ־לִ֛י מַמְלֶ֥כֶת כֹּהֲנִ֖ים וְג֣וֹי קָד֑וֹשׁ אֵ֚לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּדַבֵּ֖ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

but you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Exodus 20 – Ten “Commandments”

וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֵ֛ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לֵאמֹֽר׃ (ס)

God spoke all these words, saying:

אָֽנֹכִ֖י֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֧ר הוֹצֵאתִ֛יךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם מִבֵּ֣֥ית עֲבָדִֽ֑ים׃

I the LORD am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage:

לֹֽ֣א יִהְיֶֽה־לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל־פָּנָֽ֗יַ

You shall have no other gods besides Me.

The classic Catholic and Protestant Version removes the reference of “taken you out of the land of Egypt” which universalizes the Decalogue. You no longer see that God is speaking to the Nation of Israel (whom he took out of Egypt) alone with respect to these instructions.

In Summary: Who was there?


So who are the Jewish People?

The first “Jew” mentioned in Tanach

אִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדִ֔י הָיָ֖ה בְּשׁוּשַׁ֣ן הַבִּירָ֑ה וּשְׁמ֣וֹ מָרְדֳּכַ֗י בֶּ֣ן יָאִ֧יר בֶּן־שִׁמְעִ֛י בֶּן־קִ֖ישׁ אִ֥ישׁ יְמִינִֽי׃

In the fortress Shushan lived a Jew by the name of Mordecai, son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjaminite.

  • Mordechai was a JUDEAN (from the political entity of the Kingdom of Judah) belonging to the tribe of Benjamin … not Judah.

אֲשֶׁ֤ר הָגְלָה֙ מִיר֣וּשָׁלַ֔יִם עִם־הַגֹּלָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָגְלְתָ֔ה עִ֖ם יְכָנְיָ֣ה מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֑ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר הֶגְלָ֔ה נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּ֖ר מֶ֥לֶךְ בָּבֶֽל׃

[Kish] had been exiled from Jerusalem in the group that was carried into exile along with King Jeconiah of Judah, which had been driven into exile by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.—


Map of Divided Kingdom

Romans Conquered Judea

Who used the term Jew?

  • Judean

  • Jude – German

  • Jood – Dutch

  • Judisch – Yiddish

  • That’s my grandfather’s flowershop in Bussum, Holland.
  • The Nazi sympathizers painted JOOD on the window so that people would know to boycott the shop. Click on the photo to learn about their story of Hiding for 1000 days.


Jews call themselves Israel!

  • Jews get called up to the Torah as “Israel” NOT “Yehuda.”
  • In Hebrew we refer to ourselves as “Am Yisrael”… when we speak the language of the non-Jews we use the term that they call us . “Jewish People. :

Similarly, in Hebrew we call our Holy City, “Yerushalayim.” When we are speaking with an English speaker, we refer to it as “Jerusalem.”

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