The Voice of Sinai (Feb 2007)

“We hear the Voice of Sinai as the Knesset Yisrael (the Community of Israel) in our individual hearts.The covenantal relationship between Knesset Yisrael and God is manifested in the inner and outer life of each individual Jew. This is what makes Judaism a religion and not a club…not just a “grouping” of people with a common nationality or shared ideals. It is that individual communication with God which paradoxically produces the “We” of all Jewish prayer and all Jewish activity, and it is a paradox which is at the heart of specifically Jewish mysticism.”


“I believe that we are all capable of hearing God’s voice (in our prayer). Not in the way Moses did, for sure, but in the way all Israel did at the foot of Sinai. We hear it in our “hearts” and not through our ears. It is not our own voice, (though part of it is). It seems to have a “tone” all of its own and does not speak often.

The Voice seems to respond to questions and its answers are usually either unexpectedly mundane, brief and brutally to the point, or just plain odd.

Sometimes “answers” are delayed while we rephrase our question after realising that the question we thought we needed to ask had been masking one we were afraid to ask.

Sometimes we are given an “answer” which seems to bear no relation to any question we may have asked, in such cases it is what we really need to hear.Often, we are the ones being asked a question

The Voice can be commanding, but it never makes our decisions for us.

I believe that the “Voice” I have described is both God’s Voice and ours simultaneously. The extent to which it is His Voice, I cannot say. If you are brave, ask it!

How much of it is “our voice” can often (but suprisingly, not always) depend on the level to which we have removed our self-centredness, our insatiable desire for (material and spiritual) things we don’t really need, our prejudices, and our totems……… Or had them removed for us.