Rabash, “What is the Preparation for the Receiving of the Torah”: As for the Lord, it says “and the Lord descended upon Mt. Sinai, at the top of the mountain.” And as for the people, it says “and they gathered at the bottom of the mountain.” And we should understand what a “mountain” means. A “mountain” (Har) originates from the word “doubts” (Hirurim), which is a person’s mind.
If we accept this message in our mind, it means that the Creator is at the top of the mountain, meaning that He operates that way and we feel and agree that we have no choice and that we must receive the Torah. It’s because after we understand that the evil inclination prepares us for burial, we must receive the Torah, to be saved from death, from this doomed life.
So where is our free will if we are naturally forced to receive the Torah? The evil inclination itself, which is our desire to enjoy this life, leaves us to this choice. But is this called receiving?
So when we gather at the foot of the mountain and discover our evil inclination, and opposite to it we reveal the Torah, it’s a start. We clearly understand that we begin to live under these conditions. Now as the evil inclination is revealed in every step we make, we have to decide: Why has it been revealed, why do I need it, and how can it be corrected by using the evil inclination and the Torah that was given for its correction correctly? Can we ascend to the Creator’s level, to the top of the mountain?
This is the preparation for the receiving of the Torah, but it’s only the preparation and not its fulfillment yet. Here we still act out of necessity: There is such a revelation that doesn’t leave us much choice. We see that we have an evil inclination and a means to correct it, the Torah, and if we refuse to accept it, this will be our burial place. Otherwise we have no chance of being saved from this life, which is worse than death, and so of course, a person accepts the condition he is given.
Free will appears later with every step a person makes along the way, when we begin to fulfill the Torah during the forty years in the desert. All these years of wandering are already the real levels of the receiving of the Torah, by which we rise higher and higher, until we reach the top of the mountain.
From the preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/14/13