“Would you like to say a d’var Torah for Shavuos, Shlomie,” Mr. Gold asked, looking at his son who had come home from yeshivah for Yom Tov.

“ Sure,” Shlomie said. He began, “The Torah was given on Mount Sinai. Why? There are other mountains….”

“Aw, come on,” his younger brother David interrupted. “Is that a d’var Torah for a yeshivah bachur? Even Dini knows the answer to that and she only goes to kindergarten. Go ahead, Dini, tell him. Why was the Torah given on Mount Sinai and not on one of the taller mountains, like Mount Carmel or Mount Tabor?”

“Because Mount Sinai is small and G‑d wants us to know that we shouldn’t boast,” Dini answered proudly.

“Of course everyone knows that,” said Shlomie. “That isn’t what I meant. What I wanted to ask is this: If G‑d wanted to teach us not to be too proud, then why didn’t He give us the Torah in a plain, or even in a valley? That would surely show us that we should not boast.”

David was stumped; he hadn’t thought about that. He looked up at his father. Mr. Gold told Shlomie to wait before giving the answer. He wanted David to be able to understand the idea himself.

“Tell me, David,” he asked him. “How do you feel when you do a mitzvah?”

“ Happy, of course,” David answered.

“And how do you feel when you know your gemorah well?”


“And would you still feel good even if you knew that no one would ever see that you know the gemorah?”

“Sure,” David replied. “Everyone likes to show others what he knows. But the truth is that I feel good about knowing the gemorah, because it’s HaShem’s Torah, and He commanded us to study it.”

“Now can you understand why the Torah was given on a mountain?”

David still needed time to think. Shlomie explained, “You see, HaShem wants us to know that studying the Torah and performing its mitzvos should make us feel proud and good, so He gave us the Torah on a mountain. But since He wants to make sure that we don’t become too proud and start boasting, He gave it on the smallest mountain.”

“And I have a mountain of Shavuos ice cream for my Talmidei chachamim,” Mrs. Gold called with a smile. “But it’s Mount Sinai ice cream. It will melt away in humility if you don’t eat it right now.”

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. I, pgs. 276ff)