Kenneth Cohen

Man Needs Torah

There is a well known Midrash that describes a discussion between the angels and Hashem. They protested the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people.

Moshe Rabbeinu is asked by G-d to justify their receiving the Torah. He begins listing the Ten Commandments and asks the angels if they have the same challenges as man.

He asks if they were slaves in Egypt. Do they have parents that they need to respect? Do they have the temptations of coveting that which belongs to others?

It is very interesting how Moshe presents, not taking Hashem’s name in vain. He asks the angels whether they have tough business negotiations that they need to deal with. Moshe understood that often during such intense negotiations, people tend to use profanity and take the name of the L-rd in vain. The angels do not have such problems.

Clearly, Moshe won the argument and the angels conceded that the Torah does belong to the Jewish people. It is now our task to study it, and live by its principles.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at