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On the second day of the third month, Moses received word form God to betake himself to Mount Sinai, for without this direct summons he would not have gone there. This time, as at all times, when God desired to speak with Moses, He twice called him by name, and after he had answered, "Here I am," God's revelation to him followed. [188] When Moses had been carried to God in a cloud, which was always ready to bear him to God and the restore him to men, God said to him: "Go and acquaint the women of Israel with the principles of Judaism, and try with kindly words to persuade them to accept the Torah; but expound the full contents of the Torah to the men, and with them speak solemn words concerning it."

There were several reasons for his going to the women first. God said: "When I created the world, I gave My commandment concerning the forbidden fruit to Adam only, and not to his wife Eve, and this omission had the effect that she tempted Adam to sin. Hence it appears advisable that the women first hear My commandments, and the men will then follow their counsel." [189] God, furthermore, knew that women are more scrupulous in their observance of religious percepts, and hence He first addressed Himself to them. Then, too, God expected the women to instruct their children in the ways of the Torah, wherefore He sent His messenger first to them. [190]

The words that Moses was to address to the women as well as to the men, to the Sanhedrin as well as to the people, were as follows: "You yourselves have seen - for it is not from writings, or through tradition, or from the mouths of others that ye learn it - what I did for you in Egypt; for although they were idolaters, slayers of men, and men of lewd living, still I punished them not for these sins, but only for the wrong done to you. But ye will I carry on the wings of eagles, on the day of the revelation at Sinai, and ye will I bring to Me when the Temple shall be erected. Since I have wrought for you so many miracles, even before you had received the Torah and observed the laws, how many more miracles will I work for you, when you will have received the Torah and observed the laws! The beginning of all things is hard, but as soon as you will have grown accustomed to obedience, all else will be easy to you. If you will now observe the Abrahamic covenant, the Sabbath, and the commandment against idolatry, then will you be My possession; for although everything belongs to Me, Israel will be My especial possession, because I led them out of Egypt, and freed them from bondage. With respect to Israel, God is like one who receive many fields as an heritage, but one he purchased himself, and the one he earned was dearest to his heart. I will reign alone over you, as My possession, I and none other, so long as you keep yourselves aloof from other peoples. If not, other peoples shall reign over you. But if you obey Me, you shall be a nation, not only free from care, but also a nation of priests, and a holy nation."

If Israel had not sinned through worshipping the Golden Calf, there would be among them no caste of priests, the nation would have been a nation of priests, and it was only after their sin that the greater part of the people lost the right to priesthood.

God now instructed Moses to transmit to the people His words without adding to them or diminishing from them, in the precise order and in the same tongue, the Hebrew. Moses hereupon betook himself to the people to deliver his message, without first seeing his family. He first addressed the word of God to the elders, for he never forgot the honor due the elders. Then, in simple and well arranged form, he repeated it to all the people, including the women. Joyfully and of his own impulse, every Israelite declared himself willing to accept the Torah, whereupon Moses returned to God to inform Him of the decision of the people. For although God, being omniscient, had no need of hearing from Moses the answer of the people, still propriety demands that one who is sent on a message return to make a report of his success to him who sent him. God hereupon said to Moses: "I will come to thee in a thick cloud and repeat to thee the commandments that I gave thee on Marah, so that what thou tellest them may seem to the people as important as what they hear from Me. But not only in thee shall they have faith, but also in the prophets and sages that will come after thee."

Moses then returned to the people once more, and explained to them the serious effects that disregard of the law would have upon them. The first time he spoke to them about the Torah, he expounded its excellencies to them, so as to induce them to accept it; but now he spoke to them of the terrible punishments they would bring upon themselves, if they did not observe the laws. The people did not, however, alter their resolution, but were full of joy in the expectation of receiving the Torah. They only wished Moses to voice to God their desire to hear Him impart His words directly to them, so they said to Moses, "We want to hear the words of our King from Himself." They were not even content with this, but wanted to see the Divine presence, for "hearing is not like seeing." God granted both their wishes, and commanded Moses to tell them to prepare themselves during the next two days for receiving the Torah. [191]

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