Short Vort: Should We Care Which Mountain is Sinai?

When it comes to real estate we've all been told: location, location, location. Yet, in the realm of the spirit things often transcend space or time. Therefore, it's no surprise that the Torah rarely mentions the location that Laws were transmitted. There is one exception - the Laws of the Sabbatical year. Here the Torah specifically emphasized that they were given at Sinai.  Since most others laws were as well, why single out these?

The Sabbatical year is inextricably bound with Sinai. The year of rest culminates with a unique ritual called "Hakhel" where the King of Israel, gathers the nation in Jerusalem, and recreates the Sinai experience by imparting words of Torah. My father once commented that as we stand at Hakhel we do not look towards Sinai. Rather, Sinai looks towards Hakhel. 

This ceremony was not a reenactment of an historic event but rather the apex of a process. At Sinai we received our mission to be a Light unto Nations with Jerusalem as our epicentre. In truth, we could care less where Sinai is. It's merely a station not a destination. As Isaiah (2:3) describes: "From Zion shall emanate Torah and the Word of God from Jerusalem."

No other law is rooted in the Land of Israel more than the Sabbatical year where the actual soil rests. As we stood at Sinai, at the dawn of Jewish history, God told us to keep our eye on the goal - Zion and Jerusalem. Let us not confuse our station with our destination.

Rabbi Daniel Green