Rabbi Yossy Goldman
Sydenham Highlands North Shul
These words were spoken by Hashem…a mighty voice that did not end…(Deuteronomy 5:19)
אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה דִּבֶּר ה'...קוֹל גָּדוֹל וְלֹא יָסָף...(דברים ה:יט)
Moses describes the G-dly voice of the Ten Commandments as "a mighty voice that did not end."
Rashi explains that Moses was contrasting G-d's voice with the human voice. Even Pavarotti's voice will fade and falter. But the voice of the Almighty remained strong throughout.
But is this all Moshe had to teach us? That G-d’s voice was powerful? That He didn't suffer shortness of breath, or need some Ventolin?
Moses was the greatest of all prophets.1 He foresaw what no other prophet could. Perhaps he saw his people becoming caught up in the immoral culture of ancient Greece, or the brashness of the Industrial Revolution, or the atheism of the Russian Revolution, or our own generation’s obsession with telecommunication and technology. And he saw young people questioning whether Torah and faith were not primitive and obsolete.
So Moshe tells us that the voice of the Ten Commandments that thundered from Sinai was not only powerful at the time, but one that "did not end." It still rings out, it still resonates, it still speaks to each of us, everywhere, and always.
Revolutions come and go but revelation is eternal. The voice of Sinai continues to proclaim eternal truths that never become passé or irrelevant. Honour Your Parents; live moral lives; keep the Sabbath day holy; don't be guilty of envy or corruption.
Are these ideas and values dated, stale, or irrelevant? No! They speak to us now as ever before. The G-dly voice has lost none of its strength and majesty. Man’s mortal voice declines and fades.
Politicians and spin-doctors come and go, but the heavenly sound reverberates down the ages.
Torah is truth and truth is eternal. The voice of G-d shall never be stilled.
Deuteronomy 34:10-12; Rambam, Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1, 7th Principle of Faith