Why Did the Jews Fall Asleep when the Torah was Given?
It says in the Zohar (Emor 97), "The early Chassidim would not sleep on this night (of Shavuos), but would stay up all night learning. they said, 'Let us inherit this holy inheritance, for us and our children, of the Two Worlds (this world and the World to Come).'"
The Magen Avraham (Orech Chaim, 494:1) adds that "already most of the learned do so (stay awake all night learning Torah). One could explain this simply that because Am Yisrael were sleeping the night the Torah was given, and Hashem had to awaken them, as it says in the Midrash. Therefore, we need to fix this.
The Midrash referred to is found in Shir HaShirim Rabba (1:56) . There it quotes the pasuk, "And it was on the third day, in the morning" (Shemos, 19:16). It also says, "For on the third day, Hashem descended before the eyes of the nation" (19:11). The Jews were asleep for the entire night, for sleep is pleasant on Shavuos, and the night is short.
Rav Yudin said, even the fleas didn't bite them. Hashem came and found them asleep, and began to awaken them with horns..
The Lubavitche Rebbe asks, how is it possible that Klal Yisrael rose to such a level that they could say Na'aseh V'Nishma (we will do and we will listen/understand), and then go to sleep?? How could the Midrash say that "sleep is pleasant"? And finally, our Sages say that Moshe Rabbeinu "added a day on his own da'as" - how was that?
Shavuos is a rectification for the sin of the Eitz HaDa'as (Tree of Knowledge). At that time, the snake said to Adam, "you will be like Elokim, knowing good and evil." The commentaries differ as to the word Elokim: some say it refers to Hashem ("you will be like G-d"), while others say it refers to the angels. In any case, the serpent tried to inject them with arrogance (ga'avah).
The prerequisite for receiving Torah is humility, as seen when Hashem ignored all the hills and mountains of the earth, and chose to cause his Shechina to dwell on the lowest of the mountains, Sinai.
Why is humility a prerequisite? One who is arrogant is compared to one who worships idols (in this case, himself). One cannot receive the Torah, which begins with "I am the L-rd your G-d," and "You shall have no other gods before Me," and have even a trace of idolatry in him.
One who is arrogant lacks "da'as", as our Sages tell us that "all arrogant ones are fools," and "one who is boastful, his da'as departs from him." From this it follows that the humble have da'as. One should learn humility from his Creator, who brought his Divine Presence onto the lowest of the mountains. He should also learn from Moshe Rabbeinu, who was the humblest of men. Therefore our Sages tell us that Moshe added a day "mida'ato", from his da'as.
When the Jews said, Na'aseh v'Nishma, Hashem asked, "Who revealed this secret to my children, a form of speech that the Ministering Angels use?" There was a chance that they would fall into arrogance with this, and negate their chances for receiving the Torah, which, as mentioned above, requires humility. Therefore Hashem told them to sanctify themselves "today and tomorrow," for on the third day He would be coming to give the Torah. How would this bring them to humility? Our Sages tell us that anyone who swears or vows that he won't sleep for three days is punished and may go to sleep immediately, for it is physically impossible.
When Adam was created, the angels thought he was a Divine being, and wanted to say "Kedusha" before him. Hashem them put him to sleep, and they no longer considered him Divine. Sleep, our Sages say, is "one-sixtieth of death." Therefore, it is difficult to be arrogant and asleep.
Therefore, Moshe reasoned that if Hashem comes on the third day, the people may stay awake (in anticipation of receiving the Divine) and fall into arrogance. Therefore, he added a day "on his own," making it a full 72-hour period, and they would have to sleep. Therefore, the sleep was a "pleasant" one before Him.

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