When the Ten Commandments are repeated in the Torah as part of Moses' review of the Israelites' 40 years in the wilderness, Moses describes how G‑dspoke those words in "a mighty voice that did not end" (Deuteronomy 5:19). One of the explanations offered by Rashi is that Moses is contrasting G‑d's voice with human voices. The finite voice of a human being, even a Pavarotti, will fade and falter. It cannot go on forever. But the voice of the Almighty did not end, did not weaken. It remained strong throughout.
Is this all the great prophet had to teach us about the voice of G‑d? That it was a powerful baritone? That it resonated? Is the greatness of the Infinite One that he didn't suffer from shortness of breath, that He didn't need a few puffs of Ventolin? Is this a meaningful motivation for the Jews to accept the Torah?
Moses was the greatest of all prophets. He foresaw what no other prophet could see. Perhaps he saw his people becoming caught up in the civilization of ancient Greece, in the beauty, culture, philosophy and art of the day. And they might question, is Torah still relevant?
Perhaps he foresaw Jews empowered by the Industrial Revolution, where they might have thought Torah to be somewhat backward. Or, maybe it was during the Russian Revolution that faith and religion were positively primitive.
Perhaps Moses saw our own generation with its satellites and space shuttles, television and technology. And he saw young people questioning whether Torah still speaks to them.
And so Moses tells us that the voice that thundered from Sinai was no ordinary voice. The voice that proclaimed the Ten Commandments was a voice that was not only powerful at the time, but one that "did not end." It still rings out, it still resonates, it still speaks to each of us in every generation and in every part of the world.
Revolutions may come and go but revelation is eternal. The voice of Sinai continues to proclaim eternal truths that never become passé or irrelevant. Honor Your Parents, revere them, look after them in their old age instead of abandoning them to some decrepit old age home. Live moral lives; do not tamper with the sacred fiber of family life, be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. Dedicate one day every week and keep that day holy. Turn your back on the rat race and rediscover your humanity and your children. Don't be guilty of greed, envy, dishonesty or corruption.
Are these ideas and values dated? Are these commandments tired, stale or irrelevant? On the contrary. They speak to us now as perhaps never before. The G‑dly voice has lost none of its strength, none of its majesty. The mortal voice of man declines and fades into oblivion. Politicians and spin-doctors come and go, but the heavenly sound reverberates down the ages.
Torah is truth and truth is forever. The voice of G‑d shall never be stilled.