There is a childhood rhyme associated with this week’s Torah portion that goes something like this: “Little Har Sinai just stood there and sighed, I know I’m not tall, I know I’m not wide, the Torah won’t be given on me, cuz I am as small as can be…” The song goes on to tell how the Torah was indeed given on little Har Sinai, the smallest, quietest of all the mountains.
Isn’t the Torah the greatest gift God bestowed on the world? Isn’t the entire reason for creation for the Torah to be received by the Jews and fulfilled for eternity? So then why would it be given on a small lump instead of a glorious mountain?
There are countless answers to this age old question, but perhaps we can look at it through a different lense. The Torah was given on a small mountain, a mountain the nation could stand around and see, from base to summit. There were no parts of the mountain that were obscured by clouds or covered with trees. All was out and open, all was clear. God wasn’t looking for a “showman” mountain, He wasn’t looking for a stage. God was looking, perhaps, for a simple receptacle that could allow the Torah to shine without getting in the way of it.
Sometimes in life we have to take a step back and realize that it’s not about the grandeur of success or the glamor of achievement…it is about the joy and transparency of the climb. Of looking out at the world without our preconceived notions or rosy-eyed glasses…just seeing what is in front of us for what it truly is. The Torah didn’t need any frills on it…simple black on white was more than sufficiently beautiful.
Perhaps we can try to focus on what we see with our eyes, not with our minds. Look at the beauty around us in its simplest, most basic form and appreciate it for what it is. No human can create water, or snow, or wind or love or fear or pain the way that God can. Let us appreciate that for what it’s worth and use it to grow.