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ד' אלקינו דבר אלינו בחרב לאמר רב לכם שבת בהר הזה

Hashem, our G-d, spoke to us in Chorev, saying: Enough of your dwelling by this mountain. (1:6)

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Rashi quotes the Midrash which defines rav, enough, as abundance. This refers to the abundance of reward and achievement that Klal Yisrael gained during their one-year layover at Sinai. At Sinai, they received the Torah, built the Mishkan with its accoutrements, and Hashem designated the Zekeinim, Elders, as the leaders of the nation. Now, it was time to move on. The Nesivos Shalom offers an alternate exposition, with a homiletic twist. Chorev may be translated as destruction, referring to the churban, destruction of the Bais Hamikdash. Does this mean that we as a nation in exile are finished? Do we have no hope? Rav lachem sheves should be read as Shabbos. True, without the Bais Hamikdash, the Three Festivals during which we were oleh regel, pilgrimaged to the Temple thrice annually, were no longer possible. The korbanos, sacrifices, we had offered on the Mizbayach, Altar, were no longer feasible. Shabbos, however, is here to stay. It is our holy island in time which will never leave us. We should not give up, because, through Shabbos, we can achieve a sense of holiness even in our contemporary exile, when there is no Temple.

Furthermore, Hashem Elokeinu diber eileinu b’chorev. The sanctity of the Torah which we received remains with us even in Chorev – churban. Even in exile, the Shechinah, Divine Presence, is with us on Shabbos and through our commitment in Torah study.

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