With its idealism and ethical imperatives, the revelation at Sinai
"tore up the human psyche by its ancient roots," depriving its inheritors of not just the material God and the image, but also "natural consciousness," and "instinctual polytheistic needs." Jews, the original Puritans, rejected the satisfaction of both the body and the image, for the purity and ascetic life dictated by the divine Word.
The notion of a Mosaic revelation at Sinai
Indeed, Dorff is uncertain that there was any substantive revelation at Sinai
("I cannot unequivocally affirm or deny belief in a verbal communication at Sinai ..." [p.
The idea of a literal revelation at Sinai
is also indigestible for many, despite its honored place in Jewish tradition.
The chaos of creation resolves into the order of God's name and the revelation at Sinai
The career of Moses is inextricably bound to two of the seminal memory events in Jewish history: the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation at Sinai
; one cannot conceive of Jewish history as received and taught without them.
The story of Abraham, the revelation at Sinai
, the construction of the temple, the observance of Sabbath, and a series of crises about the land (spy story), the cult (the Korah rebellion), and even Mosaic leadership (especially his sin in Numbers 20) are read in the framework of the opening Priestly cosmology.
Or by "Judaism" people may mean a religious community, a social entity that all together takes a position in response to the revelation at Sinai
, whether Reform or Orthodox or any of the other Judaisms that flourish.
The analysis covers such interpretative phenomena as the removal or re-interpretation of anthropomorphisms and the general trend towards a concentration of the theophany motif in relation to the revelation at Sinai
(to which chapter six devotes special attention) and in the eschaton.
Commenting on Exodus 19:9, Sforno suggests that the purpose of the Revelation at Sinai
was for the nation to experience this exalted state for a brief moment, so that they could trust Moses in the future when he stated that he prophesied while in a waking state.