One of the most dramatic scenes from our nation's history unfolds when Moses descended from Mount Sinai holding the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Witnessing his people worshipping the golden calf, he threw down the tablets, shattering the priceless covenantal agreement between the Jewish people and G‑d.

Biblical commentaries offer various reasons why Moses broke the tablets. One of the explanations given is that Moses was attempting to spare the nation of G‑d's wrath, by destroying the binding contract that contained the holy pact that His nation flagrantly breached.

Rashi (Ex. 34:1) explains:

This can be compared to a king who went abroad and left his betrothed with the maidservants. Because of the immoral behavior of the maidservants, she acquired a bad reputation. Her "bridesman" [the person appointed to defend the bride should any problems arise] arose and tore up her marriage contract. He said, "If the king decides to kill her, I will say to him, 'She is not yet your wife.'"

But in breaking the tablets at this critical moment, Moses was also engraving on his people's psyche an essential message that would remain with them for eternity.

Perhaps Moses was telling them that because their "contractual agreement" with G‑d had been violated and destroyed, G‑d was now effectively freed from any commitment to them. And yet, although the contract had been shattered, G‑d would not desert them. Even without a "contract," they would remain His chosen people.

Moses wanted the Jewish people to see that G‑d's connection to them goes beyond contractual agreements, beyond circumstances and bad choices, and even beyond logic itself. It is an essential, unbreakable bond of love for all times and places.

And perhaps in his dramatic act, Moses was also asking the Jewish people to reciprocate, by rededicating themselves to G‑d for all times as His chosen people—even when it would become difficult.

Even in circumstances when it would not be rational or seem beneficial… Even if it would seem that He was not keeping His promises to us… Even if other nations would hate us for it… And even if it would mean reaching deep within our souls to access a tiny ember of flickering faith.

The Jewish people understood the lesson in Moses' dramatic act. It became etched into the very fabric of our nation.

Centuries later they rededicated themselves to being G‑d’s nation on the holiday of Purim, when Haman tried to kill each and every one of them, yet not even a single Jew considered converting to another faith to be spared his death sentence.

Until today, Moses’ message helps us to turn to G‑d and restore our connection again and again, even during the most trying times.