The day drew near when G‑d desired to give the Torah to His chosen people, the children of Israel, whom He saw now cleansed of the impurities that had filled their lives in the slavery of Egypt.

But G‑d decided that it would only be fair to offer the Torah to the other nations of the earth (although He knew that they would reject it) before offering it to the children of Israel. And so He first approached the Edomites, descendants of Esau, and offered them the Torah with these inviting words:

"Ye, Edomites, sons of Esau, I bring you a gift - My holy Torah. Accept it and ye shall be blessed with long life, you and your children also."

"What is written in Your Torah?" questioned the Edomites.

"It is written in My Torah: `You shall not murder!' "

"But that is ridiculous!" protested the Edomites.

"We are soldiers, men of war who live by the sword! How do you expect us to accept a Torah that preaches against our chosen way of life? No, thank you. Your Torah is no use to us at all."

G‑d then took the Torah to the children of Ishmael and offered it to them:

"Children of Ishmael, accept the Torah which I bring you this day, and if you keep its commandments you shall be blessed with all good!"

"What does Your Torah demand of us?" the Ishmaelites asked cautiously.

"My Torah says 'You shall not steal!' " replied the Almighty.

"That wouldn't suit us at all," replied the sons of Ishmael. We are men of commerce, and such a law would interfere with our business transactions. We are sorry, but we have no use for Your Torah."

The next people that G‑d approached were the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon and all the people of Canaan, to whom He said

"I bring you a most precious gift - My Torah. Take it and you shall all be blessed with many days upon your land!"

The Canaanites spoke up, saying: "First tell us what is written in Your Torah."

"In My Torah it is written: 'You shall have fair scales, correct weights, and give full measure,' " replied the Almighty.

"We do not want to accept Your Torah which is so finicky about such matters. Your Torah is not for us!" answered the Canaanites emphatically.

And thus, after G‑d had taken the Torah to all the other nations of the world, who lacked sufficient understanding to estimate its worth, He went to the children of Israel. He was confident that His chosen people would appreciate the Torah and accept it eagerly.