Sharona Margolin Halickman

The Significance of the Jewish Star

In Parshat Ki Tavo, Dvarim 27, Moshe told B’nai Yisrael that immediately after entering the Land of Israel, they would reaffirm their commitment to God and to the Torah. They would assemble at the two mountains, Har Grizim and Har Eval for a new acceptance of the Torah. Six tribes would stand on Har Grizim and six tribes on Har Eval and the Kohanim, the Elders and the Leviim would stand with the Aron (Holy Ark) in the valley between the two mountains. The Leviim in the valley would pronounce the blessings and the curses and the tribes on the mountaintops would answer Amen.

Rabbi Uri Sherki of Kehillat Beit Yehuda in Jerusalem contrasts Ma’amad Har Sinai, the Revelation at Sinai with the new commitment at Har Grizim and Har Eval:

Ma’amad Har Sinai took place on top of a high mountain. The voice of God was scary, intimidating. The nation stood at the bottom of the mountain. They were not allowed to go up. The Torah from the Heavens was thrust upon them. People didn’t have the independence to choose. They were forced to accept it in the middle of the wilderness.

The new commitment at Har Grizim and Har Eval was the opposite of Ma’amad Har Siani:

The tribes stood on the mountains. The Luchot (tablets) were not in the sky. Rather, the Torah was on the land. The voice was from the Liviim who were standing on the land. B’nai Yisrael were serving God in the Land of Israel.

Har Sinai can be looked at as a triangle pointing up. The valley between Har Grizim and Har Eval resembles a triangle pointing down. The Torah integrates these two triangles which combined make up a Magen David, a Jewish Star.

Unlike Har Sinai which we can’t identify today, you can take the opportunity to see Har Grzim and Har Eval the next time that you visit the Shomron (Samaria) as well as the amazing people who live in the area who are reminded of the new commitment every day.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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