27.05.2011 23.Ijar, 5771 Tag 38 des Omer
Why was the Torah given in the desert? Because it is ownerless – just like we should make ourselves, if we want acquire the Torah.
While the first significant word in Numbers, “BaMidbar” (in the desert), bestows upon the Biblical book its Hebrew name, this is not the first time that reference is made to the desert in the Five Books of Moses. Already in Genesis, the desert is depicted as a place of exile, devoid of significant human habitation, attracting those consigned to its bleak landscape to live an outlaw and even criminal existence.
However, in Exodus, the same desert environment that was earlier so clearly associated with desolation and violence, takes on an additional, supremely positive spiritual context. While there was understandably great natural reluctance on the part of many of the Jewish slaves to follow G-d out of Egypt into the forbidding landscape of the desert, and seemingly no end to the people’s subsequent complaining about the lack of food and water, it is also specifically in the desert that G-d is revealed to Moses and ultimately Gives the Torah to the Jewish people….