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Yitro. A Human Torah

Following God's revelation on Mount Sinai, Moses ascends the mountain to receive the tablets of stone (Ex. 24:12). It is interesting to ponder this dual motion. Does God “descend” to humanity, or do humans need to ascend to God? (See Talmud Sukka 4b-5a for a riveting discussion of this question.)

This tension is at the core of a wonderful Talmudic passage (Shabbat 88b-99a) that relates the legend of what happened when Moses ascended the mountain to receive the Torah: