The holiday of Shavuot which we begin celebrating tonight, commemorates G-D giving the Torah to the Jewish people. The commentaries tell us, that when G-D appeared on Mount Sinai at dawn of the day designated for giving the Torah, he found the Jewish People sleeping, and G-D had to arouse them from their sleep.
At first glace this seems very perplexing, we know that the Jewish people were preparing themselves extensively in anticipation of this great day. They were literally counting the days all 49 of them, starting from the second day of Passover, and culminating on Shavuot. How can it possibly be that after all this preparation, they dropped the ball just before the main event, and were sound asleep on the morning of the big day.
The answer is, they didn’t drop the ball, they weren’t asleep by mistake, it was induced sleeping and it had a deeper purpose. The Jewish people were attempting to attain a higher spiritual awareness in preparation of the awesome divine revelation they were about to experience. They believed that this kind of spiritual state can best be be achieved while their souls departed their bodies. They understood that the ability of a soul to experience the Divine in a spiritually tangible way, is greatly diminished when the soul is within the confines of a body. They therefore decided to sleep, being that sleep is a time when the soul partially departs the body they believed this would be the best possible spiritual state in which to experience Divine revelation.
G-D thought differently.
G-D was about to introduce a new world order by giving of the Torah to man on earth, the status quo was about to get a substantial shake up. Prior to the giving of the Torah the physical and the spiritual did not mix or impact each other, each remained in their own respective spheres and areas of influence. That which was spiritual remained so, and that which was physical or material remained such, and this was by design. By giving the Torah to man, this long held policy came to an end and a new one began. G-D changed the rules, from here and on, spirituality was meant to impact and transform physicality. G-D handed over the most holy and spiritual of all, The Torah, to the physical man living in a physical world. The purpose of man would now be the to take the spiritual gift of the Torah and use it to transform his character and the physical world around him.
In order to prepare the Jewish people for this new world order which was very different to what they were used to in Egypt, G-D put the Jewish people through a 49 day Rehabilitation program, to cleanse and detoxify the Jewish people from their dependency and addiction to Egypt and its sole focus on physicality and materialism. During this time the Jewish people were supposed to work a program of detailed individual character transformation, where spiritual sensitivities would dictate their physical behavior and transform them.
When G-D appeared on the mountain on the dawn of the designated day he found the Jewish people sleeping, in their attempt to achieve a higher spiritual awareness. Clearly the Jewish people didn’t get what the significance of giving the Torah was all about, they were still living by the old rules where the spiritual and physical don’t mix, which is why they attempted to escape their bodies to achieve the ultimate spiritual high. G-D had to awaken them and remind them that from this moment on Thou shall not Escape the physical, Thou shall Transform the physical for this is the entire purpose of creation and mans existence on earth. The Torah is here so you can work with your bodies and transform them, you need to be up for this one, escape is no longer an option.