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    There are many
    myths and mistakes
    regarding the great
    event of Matan
    Torah. Some of
    those myths were
    adopted from artists
    own renditions
    of this monumental event based on their own
    interpretations, whereas some are simply
    mistakes of people.
    Here are some common mistakes about the
    Luchot that became accepted due to the famous
    drawings of the Luchot:
    Mistake: A common way to draw the
    Luchot show them as the words of the Ten
    Commandments written on the Luchot or
    engraved on the surface. Secondly, it seems like
    the back of the Luchot had nothing on them, just
    a flat stone.
    Reality: The words were engraved all the
    way from side to side in a way that there was
    nothing in the place that the letter was engraved.
    There was a miracle that one was able to turn
    the Luchot to the other side, and instead of
    having the words backwards, they were able to
    .(רש״ר הירש שמות לב,טו) regularly read be
    Moreover, the letters were actually able to be
    read from either of the four sides of the stones
    .(רע״ב אבות פ״ה מ״ו)
    Mistake: As Moshe was holding the stones

    one can clearly see that they were firm and hard.
    Reality: A less-known miracle is that those
    stones were able to be rolled like a Sefer Torah
    and therefore it’s very likely that Moshe had
    them scrolled rather than exposed (אבות רע״ב
    שם יו״ט‘ ותוס מ״ו פ״ה (. This also seems to be the
    way the Radbaz (תתפג סימן (understood since he
    said that no one was able to see the letters on the
    Myth: We are all very familiar with the
    common pictures of the Luchot which all show
    only the beginning of verse of each of the Ten
    ,לא יהיה לך and’ אנכי ה as such ,Commandments
    but are those really the only words that were
    written in the Luchot?
    Reality: In the Luchot the entire verses of
    Ten Commandments were written. Besides the
    fact that this is obvious, we can also prove this
    from what Chazal said that the letters ם and ס
    were written in the Luchot in a miraculous way
    since they had a circle inside them which was not
    attached to anything but floating on the air. Now,
    only the later words in the verses had those two
    letters which clearly demonstrates that all the
    letters in complete were written.
    Myth: The Luchot were rectangle and
    rounded on the top edges.
    Reality: The Luchot were square on top with
    square edges. This we learn from the words of the
    Gemara (א,יד בתרא בבא (says that the stones had a
    length of six tefachim by six tefachim wide. The

    thickness was three tefachim. It is clear from this
    gemara that the Luchot were completely square.
    Myth: The Luchot had five commandments
    on one tablet and five on the other.
    Reality: Although that is the opinion of Rabbi
    Chanina, but Chachamim (who were the majority
    and more accepted opinion) surprisingly held
    that the Ten Commandments were written on one
    side and again repeated on the other side.
    כיצד היו הלוחות- כתובים רב חנינה- )בן אחיה ר‘”
    יהודה( בן גמליאל אומר- חמשה על לוח זה- וחמשה על
    לוח- זה, הה‘‘ד: ”ויכתבם על שני -לוחות אבנים“- חמשה
    על לוח -זה וחמשה על- לוח זה. ורבנן- אמרי עשרה על
    אשר צוה אתכם- לעשות עשרת הדברים“- עשרה על לוחלוח זה ועשרה- על לוח זה,- הה‘‘ד: ”ויגד לכם את -בריתו
    -.זה ועשרה על לוח זה״ ירושלמי שקלים יד
    It seems like the reason for the repetition was
    because the tablets were set as a contract between
    the nation and Hashem, and therefore each party
    receives a copy of the contract.
    Rashi (א,לד שמות(tells us that the Luchot served
    as a Ketubah, which is a contract between a
    husband and his bride, here it was a contract
    between Hashem and the nation.
    There is also a third opinion of Rabbi Shimon
    Bar Yochai who held that there were twenty
    commandments on each tablet.
    The explanation to his opinion could be since
    the letters on the Luchot were shown from four
    sides (as explained above) therefore it had to be
    repeated four times.

    Possible Mistake: The Hebrew name for
    the Ten Commandments is הדברות עשרת. This is
    a problem for two reasons. One is that the words
    דבר- Commandment is masculine and according
    to correct grammar the plural to that should be
    הדברים עשרת. Next is that the Torah itself calls
    them הדברים עשרת in couple of places.
    ויכת ֹב על הלֻח ֹת- את דברי הברית- עשרת…”
    הדברים“ שמות ל“ד, כ“ח
    ויגד לכם את -בריתו אשר צוה -אתכם לעשות -עשרת”
    הדברים ויכתבם על- שני לֻחֹות אבנים“ )דברים ד‘,
    י“ג ”ויכת ֹב על הלֻח ֹת- כמכתב הראשון את -עשרת
    הדברים אשר -דבר ה‘ אליכם- בהר מתוך האש -ביום
    הקהל…“ )שם י‘, ד
    The Mishna, too, (א,ה תמיד (calls it עשרת
    הדברים On the other hand, it is not totally wrong,
    because the Gemara(ב,יא ברכות (brings it in the
    more common way: הדברות עשרת
    Mistake: Only the Ten Commandments were
    engraved on the Luchot.
    Reality: Aside from the Ten Commandments,
    their explanations and interpretations were also
    engraved. The amount of writing contained
    within was surely a miracle of- את המחזיק מעט
    המרובה )ירושלמי שקלים יד, במד״ר פי״ג פט״ז, שהש״ר
    (ה,יד. רדב״ז ח״ג סי‘ תקמט