These are the questions I ask myself as I am doing my daily reading. “I wonder… How high IS Mount Sinai??”
I have been to the top of Aspen Mountain in Colorado… (Full disclosure, I didn’t climb it, I took the ski lift) Its peak is 11,212 ft.
I have also driven up Mount Shasta in Northern California… 14,179 feet. It towers 10,000 above its surroundings! (You can only drive up to about 8,000 feet, mid summer after the roads are open all the way up.)
Mount Rainier in Seattle, WA peaks at 14,179 feet, dominating the surrounding terrain by more than 13,000 feet!
Lowly Mount Mitchell, just outside Asheville in North Carolina, is a paltry 6,684 feet, but its claim to fame is it is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River in the U.S. (I have also driven to the top of Mount Mitchell, as it is on the Blue Ridge Parkway.) I can say “I ate pancakes at the top of Mt. Mitchell!”)
Mount Sinai, however, is 7,497 feet and is not even the highest peak in that region. You can actually ascend Mount Sinai in 2.5 hours.
Also wondering, why Mount Sinai??
I found this article: https://unitedwithisrael.org/the-ten-commandments/
“The Midrash teaches an important lesson with regards to the revelation at Mount Sinai. Why did God choose to give the Torah on Mount Sinai? Why in the desert? Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to reveal the Torah in Times Square amidst camera, lights, and action? In fact, Mount Sinai was not even a very high mountain. A mini one, actually, surrounded by much larger and more majestic ones.
So why did God choose to give the Torah in a desert? And why on mini Mount Sinai? To teach us the humility is a prerequisite for coming close to God. Sometimes you have to leave the materialistic distraction of life in order to become an observant and God fearing person. As the Talmud teaches, God does not dwell in the same space as one who is arrogant. Humility is the ultimate vessel for absorbing spirituality. Nothing fancy in the desert. Nothing majestic about Mount Sinai. …..It’s just the way God wants us.”
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Shabbat Shalom from Israel!
Rabbi Ari Enkin