They journeyed from Rephidim, and they arrived in the desert of Sinai, and they encamped in the desert, and Israel encamped there opposite the mountain. (Exodus 19:2)
The Jewish people are a paradoxical people. We are the most divided nation on earth. Our customs vary from country to country. The Talmud is replete with debates and arguments about almost every aspect of Jewish practice.
Yet, there is an underlying unity.
Our Sages put it succinctly: “All of Israel are responsible for one another.” The Previous Lubavticher Rebbe translated the Hebrew word for responsible (“areivim”) as intermingled, amalgamated, or united. It also has a third meaning: “sweet” All three renditions are connected: We are all responsible for one another because of our underlying unity that makes us feel goo, warm and sweet about the other.
Most of the time this unity may be submerged. However, when the Jewish people came to Mount Sinai the Torah describes their encampment in the singular as if there was only one person, unlike all the other places where their encampment is described in the plural. Our Sages comment that when they got to Mount Sinai they experienced unprecedented unity.
However, the lesson is that even when we disagree, we have to recognize that there is an underlying oneness and love between each and every Jew. This is how we prepare for the giving of the Torah. And this is how we prepare for the Messianic Age by demonstrating the awareness of our inherent unity and endeavoring to make this intrinsic unity an overt reality.