The Torah tells us when the Jews complained about the mon, they claimed that they had it better in Egypt! The Chizkuni explains each line in the Torah as follows: This is because they ate in Egypt without any trouble – and it was all FREE! “We had watermelon for dessert, onions that added zest and flavor, and garlic for dips and to flavor the beef and fish. Now we are stuck here eating this sundry mon.” It seems to me difficult to understand what the Jews were thinking back then, for definitely they had to work very hard each day, and had only a meager existence in Egypt. Yet they describe it as if they were vacationing in a 5-star luxury resort!
Who are they telling this to? The people who were there saw what it was really like in Egypt! There is a saying in English “History does not depend upon what happened, but rather on the historian.” “Facts” are adjusted in order to portray an image, many times far from the reality of what actually happened. Usually one changes his opinion about the past in order to enhance his present position.
Many times I hear people say “I remember the good old days…” or “back in the old country…” and we know that these people actually fled from that existence because of its difficult circumstances! Yes, memories are like that, forever rewriting history, to the point that even a slave could say “I remember the good old days (when I was enslaved)” – and believe it!
Shavuos is fresh in our minds – it has not yet become history. As we inscribe it into our own personal history, which highlights of the day will we choose to inscribe? The cheesecake or the zemiros? The endless cake and cookies in the middle of the night or the exhilarating learning? The deep slumber of the wonderful tefillos?
The Torah tells us to remember Har Sinai, the event of Shavuos. The purpose of remembering it is in order to forge forward with confidence in our avodas Hashem. Being that this is our objective, it should be clear what events from Shavuos we are to remember.
Yes, history may depend upon how you write it. What will you write for your personal history book on Shavuos 5776?