Pirkei Avos: Removing Darkness to give the Torah


משה קבל תורה מסיני, Moshe received the Torah from Sinai. The word for received is קבל. The Targum renders the word חשך as קבל. There is a rule in Hebrew grammar that certain words have opposite meanings. For example, the word תשרש can mean to take root and can also mean the opposite definition, which is to uproot. In Shemone Esrei we recite the words כי באור פניך נתת לנו ה’ אלקינו תורת חיים, for with the light of Your countenance You gave us, HaShem, our G-d, the Torah of life. Rav Pam zt”l explains that the words כי באור פניך refers to the Giving of the Torah. Thus, we can interpret our Mishnah to mean that Moshe removed darkness from the world when he received the Torah from HaShem’s countenance at Sinai.

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