The covenant at Sinai was about and unconditional love and yearning between HaShem and the Jewish people. The conditions could only be understood through the lens of unconditionality - this is the seeming dichotomy that is necessary to be at peace and to continue to serve HaShem with strength and focus to fulfill our purpose in this life.
When we go into this week's portion, Parshat Mishpatim, Moshe is told by Hashem to “come up to the mountain,” "עֲלֵ֥ה אֵלַ֛י הָהָ֖רָה.” However the pasuk ends off with two profoundly important deep words, “'וֶהְיֵה־שָׁ֑ם,” “and be there.”
At the end of this week’s parsha, Mishpatim, Hashem tells Moshe to “Come up to the LORD, with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel, and bow low from afar. Moshe alone shall come near the LORD; but the others shall not come near, nor shall the people come up with him.” (Shemos 24:1-2) What does it mean to be “far” from Hashem? What does it mean to be “near” to Him?
We are constantly looking for our place in Torah. We ask Hashem at the end of the Shemoneh Esreh to let it be His will that שֶׁיִּבָּנֶה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ. וְתֵן חֶלְקֵנוּ בְּתורָתֶךָ. But where should we look for our place and and how do we find it?
“Hashem went before them in a pillar of cloud by day, to guide them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, that they might travel day and night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.”
Rebbe Nachman Says: “It is very good to pour out your thoughts before God like a child pleading before his father. God calls us His children, as it is written (Devarim 14:1), “You are children to God.” Therefore, it is good to express your thoughts and troubles to God like a child complaining and pestering...