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A Devar Torah The Big Bang Theory of Torah

By Rabbi Rafi Rank

There are a variety of theories of exactly what happened so many thousands of years ago at Sinai. We know it was spectacular. We know it was riveting. We know that it stands at the very foundation of who we are as a people. But in the end-what was really communicated between God and the Jewish people? Some say it was the Ten Commandments. Others say it was the Torah. Still others say, in violation of all historical reality, that it was the written Torah and the Talmud itself [compiled between the years 100 BCE-600 CE]. One Rabbi Yitzhak put it as follows: "What future prophets were destined to prophesy, in every generation, was also delivered at Sinai...(Shemot Rabbah 28:6). Wow-that sounds a little far-fetched! But is it any more far-fetched than the physicists who explain the creation of the universe via the big-bang? According to this theory (one of several), all energy and matter were concentrated into a very small volume, perhaps no bigger than a pin-head, and about 9-12 billion years ago (give or take a billion), there was a vast explosion, and the universe began to expand and has been expanding ever since. Fascinating! That truth may emanate from a single source is no less credible than all of matter and energy emanating from a single source. It seems as if Rabbi Yitzhak was the first to develop the big bang theory of Torah.

And the truth about the message delivered at Sinai? That may be a question only you can answer, for as the Torah teaches, we were all there. Unborn though we were, we were all at Sinai. In revealing Torah, God revealed the truth. In revealing the truth, He revealed Himself. And in revealing Himself, He bound us to be forever receptive to truth in whatever form it may come. To love God is to love the Truth. For the Jewish people, the truth and God are one.

Rafi Rank is Rabbi of Midway Jewish Center in Syosset, NY as well as Vice President of the International Rabbinical Assembly

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