This week's selection from Heschel's God in Search of Man is keyed to Parashat Yitro and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai. I'll post more passages in future weeks on Heschel's view of the Torah, or you can read a several page explanation I prepared for one of my classes here. To subscribe to the weekly e-Heschel directly, send me a note.
Revelation does not happen when God is alone. The two classical terms for the moment at Sinai are mattan torah and kabbalat torah, “the giving of the Torah” and “the acceptance of the Torah.” It was both an event in the life of God and an event in the life of man. . . . At Sinai God revealed His word, and Israel revealed the power to respond. Without that power to respond, without the fact that there was a people willing to accept, to hear, the divine command, Sinai would have been impossible. For Sinai consisted of both a divine proclamation and a human perception. It was a moment in which God was not alone.