And the entire Mount Sinai smoked because the Lord had descended upon it in fire, and its smoke ascended like the smoke of the kiln…
In the last post, Thou Shall Not Collapse G‑d’s Wavefunction, we discussed the notion that G‑d only appears to man in a cloud of smoke, for which reason, the Kohen Gadol – High Priest – had to fill Kodesh Hakadoshim – the Holy of Holies – with the smoke of ketoret (incense), before entering it. On Shavuot, we read the Torah portion from Shemot (Exodus), Ch. XIX, in which this concept is made very explicit – “The entire Mount Sinai smoked because the Lord had descended upon it…”
There is great symbolism in this smoke, which preceded the Revelation, when G‑d gave Jewish People Ten Commandments. As we discussed in the last post, the first of Aseret Hadibrot – the Ten Commandments – begins with Anochi – Ani K’ – the word “I” followed by the letter Kaf, called “kaf hadimyon” that, according to the Ishbitzer Rebbe, can be translated as “approximately I” or “something like I” denoting that we can never know the Essence of G‑d, only a faint approximation. In that post, I took the poetic license to translate it as the “wavefunction of G‑d,” as it were. In the Torah portion read on Shavuot this concept is emphasized by the vision of smoke surrounding the mountain, in which G‑d descends to reveal Himself to His people.