nothing to see here

I was learning the translated edition of R' Morgenstern's comments on Parashath BeShalach:
At the splitting of the sea the verse says, " ותמונת ה' יביט "—“You have
seen the image of Hashem (as it were).”8 Matan Torah was a much higher level,
about which the verse says: " ותמונה אינכם רואים "—“You have seen no image.”9
The splitting of the sea was a manifestation of Binah; exalted as it is, the level of
Binah is considered “diminished” or “immature” when compared with the level
of Chochmah, which was the aspect of Matan Torah.
And, I thought he was going to say something that he didn't say, perhaps he implied it. It happens to me a lot, that the greatest (i'm using this term relative to my own level, obviously) chidushim I have are usually things I thought someone else was about to say, but then never did.

Anyways, I thought R' Morgenstern was going to offer a new insight into the passuk ותמונה אינכם רואים - You have seen no image. The phrasing of this passuk is a little strange and so it can be read/translated with a slight alteration: You saw an image of your nothingness.

In other words, at Har Sinai, it wasn't that we didn't see anything, we actually saw as much as we could see: We saw that we didn't exist at all, we saw that nothing exists--other than HaShem--Even though we still were unable to see HaShem because He is beyond our ability to see. It is like the Rambam (Mishnah Torah:Hilchoth Yesodei HaTorah) explains, we cannot limit HaShem, not in positive (by saying he is all X) or in negative, (by saying he isn't X) all we can do is recognize our inability to quantify Him. By Har Sinai we experienced this limitation, rather than just learning and understanding it.

We saw that we were nothing, we experienced bitul.


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