Chapter 1, Verses 1-2) “G-d spoke to Moses in the wilderness
of Sinai...Take a census of the entire assembly of Israel,
according to their families, according to their fathers'
Shemoni explains the reason for the census – G-d initially
offered the Torah to all the gentile nations but they
refused the Torah because they did not wish to be burdened
by the Mitzvot (commandments) (Yalkut Shemoni: 286).
However, after G-d gave the Torah to the Jews, the other
nations became jealous and demanded to know why they were
not given the Torah. G-d responded by rhetorically asking
them to cite their lineage (Yalkut Shemoni: 684). When they
could not, G-d ordered the Children of Israel to take a
census “according to their families, according to their
Why is a
nation’s ability to trace its lineage a prerequisite to
receiving the Torah? Aren’t good character and understanding
far more important than knowing who was your great great
answering that question, let us ask another – How do we know
that the Torah we have today is the same Torah G-d gave
Moshe at Mount Sinai? Simple. We have an unbroken chain of
transmission from Moshe Rabbeinu to the present; we can
trace the Torah’s transmission from generation to generation
beginning from the revelation at Mount Sinai.
any nation of the world ever assume to guard the Torah when
they have no means to prove that they actually posses the
Torah? How could they vouch that the torah they have is the
same one given to Moshe Rabbeinu? How could they testify
that not a single word had changed? They could not.
proven to be a worthy guardian of the Torah. Not only have
we preserved an unbroken chain of transmission but each
generation endeavors to ensure that all future generations
will protect the Torah.
Shavuot, we will celebrate 3320 years of guarding the same
Torah given to Moshe at Mount Sinai. Children will celebrate
an unbroken chain of learning Torah from the previous
generation and teaching Torah to the next generation. The
House of Israel will celebrate the Torah of our fathers and
our children. This Shavuot, like the thousands of Shavuot in
years past, we will celebrate receiving the one and only