Monday, May 24, 2010

Seeing Sound

The Torah tells us of a peculiar revelation during the episode of the Ten Commandments. We're told the Jews "saw the sounds".
Rashi tells us, "They saw what normally was heard"
(Shmos, 20, 15).

Truth is normally heard. Truth is usually discovered during talking or study, and enters cognizance via the ears. Torah, for example, the ultimate source of truth, is learned and discussed, and the truth experienced therefrom first enters through the ears. [Even if in today's modern times books abound and can teach us truth, Torah truth still usually is learned and discussed in company of teachers or friends.]

During the historic event at Mount Sinai, G-d performed many miracles, such as healing all illnesses, providing "fireworks", sounding the shofar, invoking divine speech, etc. One other phenomenon Jews got the privilege of experiencing is - seeing the truth behind physicality. That is, they could visualize that everything in the world existed only because a divine source of energy gave all matter the cause for its existence. Physicality, they saw, only manifests as a result of the divine life-force that sustains it; Otherwise, without this spiritual generator, physicality would disappear from existence.

The truth of this concept, before and after the Mount Sinai event, could only be understandable through hearing it. But while Jews stood at Mount Sinai, they were actually given to see this truth.

[Adapted from The Rebbe's talks in 1985.]

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